Happy 2021! Making new year’s resolutions this time seems like a futile exercise and it is daunting to start the year when we are still reeling from the pandemic. But you and I are made of steel and I feel that if we stop having dreams, goals, and ambitions – we have lost all hope. Let’s support each other in the best ways we can to make 2021 a successful year. Here are my tips to make 2021 a wholesome year.
1. Create your new year’s resolutions to encompass “health”, “wealth” and “relationships”. Under these headings, decide goals that you would want to achieve this year.
- Health: I made sure to do a list of self-care habits that include physical and mental health. Self-care habits can include ensuring that I stick to my skincare regime at night even though I am exhausted from work, making sure that I eat my breakfast (yes, guilty of skipping this and just going to work), run 1km once a day as well as taking time to review the day. When I review the day, I made sure to write at least 3 things that I had successfully done today and another 3 things that I am grateful for. This helps me maintain my motivation to be better each day.
- Wealth: I focus on finances, personal and career development as well as hobbies here, to ensure the richness of my life. Wealth is not just ensuring a positive net worth (economic capital), but also to build upon your cultural capital – the tangible and non-tangible social assets (knowledge, skills, and behaviours) that can confer us an advantage in life. By stating this, I do not mean for you to forgo your cultural background, to learn and adopt certain skills and mannerisms of a different culture that are deemed superior, but to celebrate your uniqueness while also allowing the flexibility for improvement. Because not everything that we have embodied by virtue of being part of a social group is all good, and if you are fans of self-improvement, you would take the good, and throw the bad. But I digress. In terms of hobbies, it is important to keep hobbies as hobbies. Hobbies do not have to have the same pressures that you put on your career wants. Not all hobbies make money and that is OK. Honestly, we don’t have to squeeze money out of every aspect of our lives. Do something solely for your own enjoyment.
- Relationships: You can choose to improve, mend, or break it off. Keep family and friends that you can trust to support you and keep you grounded. Celebrate relationships with these people, and find ways to love and support them better. For example, remember their birthdays and anniversaries, celebrate their successes, and support them when they are stuck in a rut. Mend relationships that you feel are worth salvaging, but above all, cut out toxic people from your life. Life is too short to worry about people who don’t matter. Give your 100% focus to people who care, and not even 0.5% to toxicity. After all…
It is great to have goals in life, but life just focussing on career goals is a myopic one. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Remember to spend time with family and friends – they make achieving goals worthwhile.Hannah Nazri
2. Action plan: Once you have made your list of new year’s resolutions, it is time to build a strategy of how to achieve them.
- Next to each goal, state steps or tasks to do to become closer to your goal. Make sure the goals are actionable. For example, for the goal of “I want to get fit or exercise more”, you might want to tweak your goal to “To be able to run 3km in a month”. Break this goal down into weekly goals, then daily. The same can be done for different types of goals. For example, for the goal of “I want to be better at my job”, you could dissect this further by analysing what skills and knowledge are needed to be better at your job. For example, you may want to read more about your job, so you can include “To read 12 books on my career”, or “To listen to three productivity podcasts” or “To attend x number of professional development courses”. You can break down these career goals into actionable tasks by identifying the books you need to read, the podcasts you need to listen to, and the professional development courses you need to attend. Then break up these tasks into tasks you can do weekly and daily. For example, I dedicate 30 minutes to read a book each day.
- Make it easier for you to achieve your goals. Print them out, put them somewhere visible. Write down the daily tasks that you need to do in your diary. Put deadlines corresponding to your goals on your calendar. Understand why you are doing them. Invest in the appropriate materials, for example, if you want to run, make sure you have running shoes. Buy the books you need to read. Incentivise yourself for achieving your weekly goals, and for me, my reward would be a vegan takeaway from a restaurant in Cowley!
- Measure your progress. You can download a habit tracker app on your phone to ensure that you keep up with the daily tasks that you wish to develop into a habit. My habit list includes making sure I eat my breakfast before rushing out of the door, drinking 2L of water, reading, and reviewing the day. You get the idea.
- Share your resolutions with like-minded people. Find yourself your own “board of directors” or mentors or a group of friends who can support and encourage each other. For example, if you want to read more books, you could form your own book club or join one. In my case, I try to schedule a Zoom call with my “board of directors” every month where we discuss many topics including our personal goals. I cannot stress enough about how my friends have been amazing in helping me survive and thrive in 2020!
Bon courage! May you achieve all your new year’s resolutions!
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