2017 was a hot mess – there’s no denying it. It seems that scandals, crisis and outbreaks galore plastered headlines like tragedy was in style, making it a turbulent year all around. The good thing is – it’s all over. And perhaps with the new year, people will be inspired to make changes that make 2018 better and brighter for everyone.
Of course, resolutions themselves are difficult. We’re often told to set a goal that we should achieve by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around again. Somehow we’re tricked into thinking we have the luxury of time, as 12-months can seem like an eternity when sitting behind a desk. And yet, each year it rolls around, seemingly quicker than the year before; our resolutions nothing but scribbles on an office poster board or long-abandoned bullet journal.
If there’s ever a time to start a new project or pick up an old one, it’s when the world itself is changing. Resolutions themselves can keep us on track and remind us of what we want and who we want to be. If executed properly, resolutions can make for great stepping stones to achieving your goals. There are several ways to keep yourself on track in order to make 2018 exactly what you want it to be, as long as you keep focused.
A well-known acronym for setting and achieving goals is S.M.A.R.T. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. If your resolution is all of these 5 things, there’s no reason why you can’t keep it by the end of the year.
Specific And Measurable
Some of the most common resolutions include losing weight, quitting drinking or smoking, getting more sleep or eating healthy. While these are all admirable resolutions, they’re all too vague to maintain all year. A vague goal will only set you up for failure as you’re super energized by the New Year but lose motivation as time goes on. If you belong to a gym, you’ve seen the New Year’s spike before with long lines for treadmills in January only to have them disappear by March. Setting a specific goal (i.e. I want to lose 15 pounds) in a specific time frame (i.e. in 3 months time) gives you a target to work towards which is motivating in itself.
Setting realistic, attainable goals will help you achieve a hell of a lot more than grandiose ideas you can’t keep up with. For example, becoming a millionaire in 12-months time with absolutely no plan isn’t a resolution – it’s a pipe dream. In order to create something out of nothing, you need to get honest with yourself about what you want and what you’re able to do in a 12-month period. I’m not saying you can’t make a million dollars in a year – what if you’re sitting on the next Instagram or Snapchat? But if your resolution is to save let’s say $50,000 – where is that money going to come from? Can you really save that much money given your current income, skill set and experience? Maybe in January you sit down with people you want to work with to brainstorm ideas. February, you talk to some financial advisors. March, you reach out to developers or software engineers or graphic designers. If your resolution seems a bit too complex or unachievable, that’s fine. Adjust it to something you can do – a goal you can hit. That way, you won’t get discouraged and hopefully see some progress.
To be frank, if you don’t give a shit about your goal than who will? You have to make sure you’re striving towards something you want to make happen. If you don’t want to learn how to surf, why are you wasting your time? So you can use your money and energy to impress a handful of people on vacation or score one measly Instagram? Don’t forget, every project is fuelled by passion of some kind – it’s pertinent to find your own.
Of course, each resolution is propelled by time, that’s the magic of New Year’s. Once you set a resolution, you know you have 12 months to make it come true. Of course, setting smaller time-based goals will help you achieve and even surpass your original goal. For example, if you want to run 10 miles by the end of the year, you may start by running a couple and add on as the year progresses. If by November you’re running 10 no problem, why not try for 11? Or 12 even? Your resolution isn’t chiselled in stone, it’s going to change and adapt as you do, even if that means pedalling backwards sometimes. The important thing to remember is that a lot can happen in a year, 2017 was a prime example of that. Don’t let life’s ups and downs get in the way of what you really want to accomplish as the year flies by.