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Focus Guides & Tips

My Five New Year Goals: How to Make Your Resolutions Work

Thi Thanh Ha Doan January 30, 2019

A new year has started. Naturally, this gives us opportunities to reflect on all the events in the last year and push ourselves towards new ambitions. As for me, I have given some thought to why all of my resolutions from last year (and last last year) failed miserably, and I realized that I have always been too general. I do not have any particular guide or detailed planned on what to do. As a consequence, this year, instead of only stating the resolutions, I have divided them into 5 different “groups”: Main goal, five-year goal, annual goal, monthly goal, and daily goal. Read on to see my resolutions for this year; perhaps they will give you some inspiration too!

1.Main goal: Stay healthy

I know that this might sound common and basic. In fact, if you google “most common resolutions”, “keeping fit” or “exercising” is the most common resolution every year. Moreover, we all know that our plans can be easily interrupted after one or two months with all of the excuses we make. Therefore, this time I will be realistic about my goal. When I mention “staying healthy” in here, I only need myself to eat clean and be more active during the day.This could be accomplished as simply as consuming less fast food and more vegetables, walking up and down the stairs instead of using elevators, going to nearby places on foot not by motorbikes, etc. Small and easy though these steps might appear, they are actually helpful in the long term to improve our health sustainably.

2. Five-year goal: Make commitments about my future

I am fully aware that commitment is an extremely strong and scary word. Nowadays, the world is filled up with exciting choices and inviting opportunities, we all want to try different things. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that as time is limited, committing ourselves to one area still remains important to our growth and success in life. Since I am still young and naive now, I will need 5 more years to explore my inner self, to answer all the thought-provoking questions (Who I am? What do I want?). Yet, after a while, I shall gain enough experience as well as understanding to make a choice and commit to that path. Obviously, achieving this objective is neither simple nor straightforward. It demands patience, determination, continuous studying, learning, experiencing and even failing.

However, it is acceptable that in the future I might change or evaluate my commitments. Undeniably, none of us will stay the same after a challenging five-year process; therefore, our decision might not suit future circumstances.

3. Annual goal: Read as much as possible

Needless to say, “I am too busy” is my most common excuse for not reading. Even though I spend hours on social media surfing the Internet or sitting passively on the bus, I have not spared much time to read. In this digital age, we are constantly distracted by even a small beep from our phones and concentrating on reading suddenly becomes rough. Still, the benefits of reading are widely recognised and it should be our priority. As a result, I put this goal for a quite long time (a year) to limit any excuses I might come up with. Additionally I prefer not setting the specific number of articles or books I would read as I believe expanding knowledge is not simply about maximizing the gain of  information but more about adding value to myself. As long as I can comprehend what I read thoroughly, the number and the time it takes is not important. Moreover, it should also be highlighted that it is important to continue to seek out new and high quality sources of information that are both relevant and inspire you to work outside your comfort zone.

To track the pace is essential in this goal since our attention to reading might divert after a while. Whereas “GoodReads” is an excellent choice with its convenient uses, I personally prefer keep a notebook to record my progress. I am aware that the moment I touch my phone, I would not be able to resist the temptation of more online checking. Consequently, any technological distractions should be eliminated, and a physical list will be more suitable for those who are similar to me.

4. Monthly goal: Saving money

Have you experienced a situation where your bank account goes to 0 only a few days after receiving your salary or pocket money? That has been me for the past few years, and admittedly I have heeded time and time again to the influence of consumerism culture. Nonetheless, for this year, I have decided to spend and save my money more wisely. I have blocked online advertisements, turned off email notifications, and even unfollowed Instagram stores so that I will not get lured into buying anymore. Furthermore, for each month, I will save some of my pocket money for emergency or future spending. Even though the savings could be as little as $10 per month, during the time they will add up and become valuable.

From my part-time job and parents, I usually gain approximately $50 in a month. While I do not need to cater for my own bills, I often spend money on books, stationery, or sometimes hanging out with friends. However, it is highly recommended that before making any of those purchases, I promise myself set aside at least 40% per month (which is $20), and after one year I will have already saved to me $240. To a student like me, it is such a huge number.  This commitment not only prevents me from unnecessary expense, but also guarantees spending for better purpose in the future.

5. Daily goal: Keep a journal

I have always fancied the idea of keeping a journal for myself. It does not need to be clean and written with sophisticated words with strict rules. It is only a way for me to express myself during daily life, for example my thoughts about an event or feelings after a day. I think keeping a journal is a great method not only to improve your writing but also reflecting on yourself over time. Everyday is a precious moment as well as an unforgettable memory, therefore noting it to yourself is important for future growth.

Above are my 5 goals in next year. I hope that through my goals you might find some useful suggestions or some ideas for your 2019 targets. May this year be happy and remarkable for you!