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2020 is coming to a close and what a year it's been! There is so much that's happened that's changed how we look at our lives. The effects of COVID-19 has forced us to rethink our plans and goals to achieve amidst the pandemic. 2021 might just feel like the shortest or longest year ever. When looking back at past resolutions that were set, did we actually achieve all of them? If yes, then please tell us your secrets! If not, well, you're not alone. In an article by U.S. News, it found that 80% of the people who make resolutions in January lose their motivation by the second week of February. There are many factors involved that might prevent us from reaching our goal. However, by knowing the mistakes that are usually made, we may be able to learn how to work our way around it and practise steps to achieve any target.
So Long, Farewell New Year's Resolutions
What if we just bid farewell to New Year's resolutions? I'm not saying having goals is wrong but waiting an entire year to make and fulfill resolutions is a bit of drag. So if we scrap New Year's resolutions, what do we do then? Our goals have the potential to become more achievable if we set a realistic deadline by having weekly or monthly resolutions. We tend to do the things that have the closest deadline first. So, by changing to a shorter goal, it makes it easier for us to keep up with our progress. The amount of time for us to solidify a habit will be around 12-weeks, according to a James Clear article. So, don't be discouraged if you fail to achieve your target within a few weeks. Discipline and patience will no doubt be tested here.
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The next point might be something that is done unconsciously, which is the mistake of not knowing what they are getting themself into. An example can be if the goal is to have a diet, we may follow our knowledge and maybe skip meals that in effect, will be more harmful to our health. To get started on a goal, we should be well-versed with the steps and the things required. Research is a vital part of understanding the ins and outs of the topic. Knowing the what, when, where, why and how gives us a full picture of the journey, and that brings us to the next crucial step.
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The foundation of a resolution is planning. While having a goal is commendable, concentrating on something vague with no context can be confusing. An instance is when we say "I'm gonna start going to the gym to lose weight", but when we do, we're confused about what to do. And if we're not careful, we could injure ourselves in that instance. The importance of planning should not be neglected because it determines how successful our goal will be. A misconception of planning is that people think it is just unnecessary extra steps. But to argue against that, I'd say that as long you do it, it will work out effectively and properly.
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All set and ready to go, you start on the first week, and it goes smoothly! Reaching the second week still going strong and following the plan but in the third week, usually, we realise that we may start giving excuses to slack off. Then, little by little, we continue postponing what we need to do and eventually, just stop. A great solution is to build your self-trust. A small reminder can be great to keep you on track and improve your self-trust. Take it day by day and don't worry about the number of days, enjoy the process and you will fulfil your target in no time!
Setting goals are easy but sticking to them is a whole other story. No matter the goals you set for yourself, be it for the year, month or week, take it bit by bit and don't be hard on yourself for not seeing it through. We're only human at the end of the day, and things are bound to slip through the cracks. Eventually, you'll get there, and you'd have accomplished your goal!
By Quenton Chang