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A Resolution for the New Year

As 2023 is coming to an end, we are about to experience a new chapter in our lives as another year will begin.

We all made resolutions in the past, but let's be honest, we might have not been able to commit to them as much as we initially anticipated to, through the year. If you feel this way, you're not alone. And I got to admit that it happened to me. This is why in this post, I am going to share some tips on how I managed to turn most of my goals, which I struggled for years, into reality. Goals can mean anything, as they vary from being single achievements, such as coming first in a race, or a continuous one, like eating less processed foods throughout the year and onwards.

One of my most notable goals was to become vegetarian. Prior to a few years ago, I was a meat-loving person who frequently ordered sashimi for takeout during my lunch breaks and Cheeseburgers and Big Macs on most dinners outside. It wasn't until one day when I questioned myself on animal rights and my individual impact on the environment. I initially made a pledge that I would eat less meat back in 2018, but later felt that I wasn't committing towards it, making me feel embarrassed and defeated, because it was something that I was optimistic of adopting into my lifestyle. Scrap 2018, I will try it again in 2019, but it didn't work well again. And then it was 2020, and once again, I didn't see any progress. 2021 came around, and I began to devise a strategy to enable myself to seriously stick to this goal, and this took some brainpower and perseverance to get to where I am now with what was once originally a goal, adjusted into a lifestyle routine.

One day I told myself this is enough. I had to be stringent on myself (for good reason) and become my own motivation coach. I purchased a generic undated diary from an office supplies store and started recording down the days I went by maintaining a vegetarian diet. At the end of each week, whenever I scored at least 4 days in that week, sticking to my new habit, I marked the end of that week with a smiley-face merit stamp or a metallic star sticker as a little, but motivational, reward. By doing so, I gradually picked up on my commitment, which soon became an everyday thing that no longer felt like a difficult challenge.

It is a bit complicated for me to explain how I did it, via video demonstration, so I decided to include a general representation below, of what my monthly commitment board is like:

I have been referring to this technique since 2021 and found it to be very effective in helping me adopt new habits. (Representational Image: Mine)

Today is the day you can come up with any goals of your own. Be sure that they are realistic ones which you could work towards pursuing. These goals are to improve yourself and potentially others around you, depending on the context.

Examples of goals:

  • Eating less takeout

  • Eating less processed foods

  • Exercising more frequently

  • Reading books more often

  • Quitting smoking/vaping

  • Participating in at least 10 volunteering events throughout the year

  • Making yourself available to spend more time with loved ones

  • Sleeping before 12am

I wish you all the best! Every positive goal matters, and is worth celebrating while working towards it and reaching it.


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