New Year’s Resolutions 101: How to Set Goals without Feeling Overwhelmed
Dec 30, 2020   •   Ina Louise Manto
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Dec 30, 2020   •   Ina Louise Manto
This rollercoaster of a year is nearly coming to an end and you’re probably preparing your new planner and a set of goals for the next year. But let’s be real, things aren’t going to change instantly when the clock strikes midnight; it’s just a +1 to the year and the rest is up to you. Oftentimes, when we set these huge goals, it doesn’t take long for us to get overwhelmed and give up. In fact, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail as early as February!
While we prepare and hope that 2021 would be better, here are some ways to help you feel less overwhelmed when setting and achieving new goals for the New Year:
Listing down your goals is an easy task but having the will to accomplish them is another story. You know what you want to accomplish for the year but are you ready to take on the effort to attain them? You have to accept that things will have to change ~for real~ this time. Allow yourself to prepare and adjust; you still have the rest of the year to be better!
Take a step back and evaluate the past year. Instead of focusing on the resolutions you missed, try celebrating the ones you accomplished, no matter how small they were. It’s important to celebrate small victories because they matter the most, and they give you the motivation to keep going.
After all, 2020 has been nothing but a series of adjusting to life’s many unexpected changes.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why New Year resolutions fail is because they’re too broad. For example, you want to live a healthier lifestyle – but how?
Be more specific with your goals: instead of promising to live a healthier lifestyle, commit to walking at least 5,000 steps a day. It’s also important to quantify your goal and set a time table. For example, by the end of January, you should be walking at least 3,000 steps a day. The next month, it should be 5,000 steps. It’s easy to bite more than what you can chew and most times, it only leads to failure or you lose the motivation to continue when you feel yourself slipping.
Remember that even superheroes can’t get everything done all at once. Yes, you want to try five new hobbies, get rid of seven bad habits, and make 50 new friends, but remember that you’re human too. Instead, try to limit your goals and write down the ones you can manage for a year. If trying new hobbies and mastering them is too much, then why don’t you start with two — or even just one? Learning how to prioritize goals you can manage is the key!
We can get too eager when listing down goals and without realizing it; we’ve already set tasks that are too grandiose. It’s not bad to feel ambitious but a sure way of accomplishing them is focusing on smaller goals. For each “big” goal, list down smaller steps or sub-tasks to get them done – like you’re making an outline. Instead of focusing on the yearly goal, try to break them down into daily, weekly, or monthly goals because they’re easier to achieve! Remember that small steps matter the most and without realizing it, you’re ready to check that goal off your list.
Because we need the ~accountability~ just in case you slip. Some may say it’s cheesy to keep a list and have it on your wall but it’s an easy reminder of what needs to get done. Sure, you have these goals in mind already but it’s still satisfying to have a list you can see and hold, and slowly check-off as the year passes. It’s also great to share these goals with a friend to make you not only accountable but also keep you on track when you lose the motivation. If you’re the only one who knows about it, it’s easy to just brush it off! You can also try setting the same goals with them so you wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed and see who can achieve it faster (if you’re competitive like that).
With these things in mind, here are some New Year resolutions you can try:
This year, how many times have you told yourself you would quit social media or at least go on a detox but fail every time?
Honestly, what was the world like without the internet? It’s difficult to get rid of social media completely as we heavily rely on it for news and keeping up with friends. So instead of going MIA in just a snap of a finger, try to lessen your socmed use by going offline for an hour daily. No phones, no WiFi – just enjoy what you’re doing at the moment. It may be during your lunch break at work or moments before you sleep. You’ll be surprised at the meaningful conversations you’ll have with family or time focusing on hobbies without distractions.
How many books did you buy did this year and how many have you read among them? It turns out that reading and buying books are two different hobbies! If you finally want to work your way through your to-read pile, try to read at least a chapter each night. It’s more achievable than setting a deadline to read a whole novel in just three days!
Procrastination is everyone’s enemy especially now that we’re working remotely. There are way too many distractions online and at home! If battling procrastination is on your list for 2021, you can start small by trying to focus on a task for 25 minutes straight and reward yourself with a five to 10-minute break after. There are plenty of apps and websites that will help keep you focused and once you get used to it, you’ll be able to get more things done.
What’s your battle plan in achieving your goals for 2021? Share with us below!
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