This is an article for those who have written a new year resolution and… failed it. Let’s be fair, all of us have been there. You woke up on January the 1st and felt empowered, but this feeling didn’t last long and disappeared just in a few days. The same happens with those who want to start something new on Monday. What is more - we already know all the pitfalls occurring on our way and still didn’t do much to prevent ourselves from another failure!
We collected some of the practical recommendations to train your self-discipline followed by some ways to reinvent yourself in 2020.
1. Evaluate your goals
Do you want to know some of the most common objectives people list on their New Year Resolutions? We’ll add some comments to explain why they will never work!
Do you know how to exercise? What kind of sport is better for your health? Do you have all the necessary equipment? Think of these questions before setting such a blurry goal, which certainly needs more planning than you expect.
If you’re an avid reader, who may easily read 50-100 a day, “reading more” would mean going over that number (which can be a challenge for others, by the way). Do you want to read some classic religion essays from your home library? Put those on the list along with hypothetical deadlines.
So here we go again - you set Paris on your desktop background and started listening to some French music (last-year scenario). Did you check what hostels are available? Or maybe counted your daily budget? There are so many details to be figured out before you post an Instagram picture from abroad!
So, the question is: how can you improve your goal-writing skills and redefine your future?
Start from using the SMART method - check whether your goal is...
S - specific
M - measurable
A - achievable
R - realistic/ relevant
T - timely
2. Emphasize the numbers you’re trying you reach
How does “improve writing skills” differ from “read 50 religion essay examples and come up with 5 own academic essays”? And what is more realistic - “lose weight” or “lose 30 pounds”? You see an accurate goal, which makes the planning process easier. Set a numeric goal and break it into the smaller pieces (e.g., number of the days/weeks you’re ready to dedicate to reaching this goal). Smaller steps - bigger results!
3. Learn the basic skills you struggle with
There are a few fundamental skills you need for almost every class and job – public speaking, creative or academic writing, starting a small talk… If you know that you cannot perform well without any of these, it’s time to start working out your weaknesses! For instance, you feel unconfident handing in a paper on religion since knowing that the content you present is quite poor. Your solution is to read thousands of religion essays and then come up with your own examples on the relevant topics. Just imagine how much free time you’ll get after acquiring a skill that used to be a challenge!
4. Don’t quit after your first mistake
Being kind to yourself may imply ruining your initial self-improvement plans, that’s correct. However, most of the people stop even trying to follow these plans after failing one little step. How to reinvent yourself? Forget about the punishment and keep working on your habits! Self-compassion doesn’t mean weakness; instead, you can reveal your vulnerabilities and come up with a creative method of overcoming those!
For example, you have to exercise an hour after college daily. One day, you get so overwhelmed with the piles of religion essay topics that there’s literally no time for sport. You were forced to miss one day, but what keeps you from working out after all the assignments are done? It may turn out that your excuse wasn’t reasonable enough (like going to a fast-food restaurant or just staying in bed with a book you wanted to finish). Like in any other niche, you should analyze your mistakes and work on improving yourself.
Practice makes perfect. Start practicing today!