New year, new you?

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

It’s 2017! Happy New Year! All the atrocities that happened in 2016 is now behind us yeay 😣.

Talking about the new year, we all know that a new year symbolises new resolutions. The vision of becoming a better person in light of a new era of a new year is what most of us think of as we watch the fireworks and countdown to the cheers of a “Happy New Year”. As people, I believe we always strive and yearn to become a better person. We might not be able to achieve it due to a lack of motivation and will, but the desire is always there.

What are your new year resolutions this year? Start going to the gym? Start eating healthy and waking up early?
And the more important question, how do you ensure you will stick to it?
I will write on how to make resolutions that you will be able to follow through

1 . First – reflect on the previous year ⌛️
It might seem such a cliche thought. But how do you aim to move forward before reflecting back on what you need to improve right? Think through 2016 (and previous years) what could you have done better? What were you not satisfied of? A good example of this would be what were last year’s resolution that you didn’t manage to keep? If you didn’t have a new year resolution beside surviving the year (which is fair enough considering on how bad 2016 was 😂), then maybe think of other plans you had throughout the year that you did not go through.

Spend a good while reflecting, give time for it. This is an underestimated part of resolution-making (or any plan-making to be fair).

2. Find a few concrete resolutions
There isn’t much point to making an entire list of 99 things you will do this year. Because to be fair – be real – you won’t be able to remember most of it 😂. So make a few (1 or 2) that you are really sure you want to do. At least when there is only 1 or 2 you know that you can’t forget it (well at least I hope you don’t).

3. Make sure your goals are SMART.
I’m so sure you have all heard of SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Let’s go through that one-by-one:
a. Specific – Make sure your goals are specific enough. Don’t give yourself lee-way to find loop-holes throughout the year. If you want to go to the gym every week for example –  how long are you going to spend at the gym? doing what exercises? Break it down to e.g. running for 30 minutes, cycling for 30 minutes, 5 minutes for reps for example. That way you have no reason to dilly dally having to plan something else out again. The more specific, the better.
b. Measurable – How do you know that you have achieved what you have wanted in the new year? Make sure it’s a tangible goal. If you want to lose weight, don’t just say that you want to lose a bit of fat here and there, take measurements (weight, etc.) This partially holds yourself accountable of doing what you want. Additionally, having a tangible goal is so fulfilling when you have achieved it and makes you feel even better about yourself.
c. Achievable – Please set realistic goals. It’s ok to be ambitious but know your limits. If you want to start volunteering this year and you want to be a little ambitious and say you want to go overseas for a 3 months trip to Africa that’s all good as long as you plan it and know you can do it. Don’t just say that you want to start a charity this year that has branches in 100 different countries (ok that is extreme. But i’m sure you understand what I mean. Wait unless you already have so much contacts and you’re already a big philanthropist or something, please do go ahead if you are). It all depends on your capability and knowing your capabilities.
d. Relevant – Don’t just set a random goal if it doesn’t benefit anyone. I’m sure it will be fun but live for yourself and for others (obviously). I guess this is pretty self-explanatory.
e. Time-bound – I guess being a new year’s resolution sort of already make it a guaranteed that it needs to be done by the end of 2017. But of course if you have big plans (or if its a continuous change) then it can take longer than just a year. A tip for this to make sure that you continue your progress would be to make small time check-points (e.g. what you need to achieve by the end of every month or every 3 month). This will help you track your progress 🙂

Phew, wow that’s a long list.

4. Find a resolution that you really feel strongly for
It seems too ideal to find something that you know you need and you feel so passionate about. But if you do know that what you need to do is something you feel for strongly then that is great! Like if you know you love animals and you feel like you should volunteer in a pet shelter this year then that’s a perfect recipe for a successful resolution 🙂 There is a higher chance that you will stick to it.

But if you can’t find something that you want to do and something you know is necessary, at least find a new year’s resolution that you think you will find enjoyable somehow. If not, unto no 5…

5. Ask someone to keep track of your progress
Keeping yourself accountable to something always helps in going through with a plan. So how about you tell your friends about your resolutions (that might be something you absolutely hate but you know is good for you – like cutting down those takeaways and eat healthier). This way they can keep track of your progress and remind you whenever you have that temptation to have a sneaky takeout 😉. In turn you can keep track of their resolutions. That way you two (or even better do it in a group!) can motivate each other throughout the year to keep true to your resolutions.

Now make sure you find friends that are reliable and firm and don’t cave in to your pleading and puppy-dog eyes when you’re desperate 😅

6. If you really can’t think of a resolution, then ask your friend to challenge you to something!
Sometimes you really just can’t think of something that you should do this year. Well, if that’s the case, ask your friend to challenge you. You might not realise that sometimes your friends know you better than you think you do (like all  those bad habits that you deny to acknowledge 😝). So ask them to set a challenge for you to do this year and make sure you update them about it so that they know too that you are doing it! This is a good and fun way to keep to your new year’s resolution. Again, doing it in a group also makes it even more exciting!

7. Last but not least – brace yourself. Prepare yourself mentally, physically, etc for the task of having a new resolution. If you yourself is not into it and is not fully committed there is no point to even begin. Mind over matter remember! So make sure to put your full effort into it!

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. – Rainer Maria Rilke”

Those are my tips for you to meet your new year’s resolutions! All the best, good luck and as always, i hope you always follow your heart, and find your passion. Especially in this new year! Wish everyone a happy, fulfilling and memorable 2017! 😊

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson”