Map Your Way To Success
You’ve got new resolutions for 2019. The difference is, this year, you’ll fulfil each one with these goal-getting tips
Every end-of-December, amidst the festive chaos of Christmas and New Year celebrations, I make it a point to carve out a day of reflection to take stock of things that I’ve achieved over the past year, and then set my priorities for the upcoming one.
I’ve found that it’s really easy to make new year resolutions – but keeping to them is much harder as the months go by and enthusiasm wanes. Like many others, I find my resolve wearing thin after a few weeks, and it sometimes feels like a monumental effort getting back on track. So to help myself stay on the wagon as much as possible, I try to keep to the habit of taking 10 minutes in the morning to properly plan and prioritise my day’s activities before starting out. This enables me to visualise my day and mentally map out what I want to achieve.
I’ve also learnt the importance of working on high priority items first – though I admit, it doesn’t always pan out that way. Sometimes, I cheat and finish the more mundane (and what I consider “brainless”) tasks first, simply because it’s easier, less stressful, and faster to finish. At times, this procrastination of sorts messes up my plans and leaves me feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day. It adds mental clutter and it’s a feeling I really don’t enjoy. That in itself is usually motivation enough to nudge me back towards taking care of the high priority items first!
On days when my list of to-dos seem overwhelming, I also like to list them down and physically cross off each task that gets completed. The sense of accomplishment encourages me to keep going. But above all, I really relish the sense of liberation that comes with the lifting of mental burdens every time an item on my list gets ticked off.
If you’re a keen reader of self-help books, Outswimming The Sharks, by JH Hyun, contains a treasure trove of tips for achieving your potential (especially if you find yourself amidst a competitive environment). Here are some of the strategies that I’ve found highly useful:
MANAGE YOUR NUMBERS
“Regardless of age, gender, or profession, we all have only 24 hours a day, so decide how you want to make the most of it,” says Fortune 500 veteran, JH Hyun. “Equally as important as choosing what to do, is choosing what NOT to do.”
KEEP GOALS SPECIFIC
Replace vague ambitions such as “be a more loving parent” or “lose weight”, with clear tangible goals such as, “spend 15 minutes every night reading bedtime stories to my kids” or “stop snacking at work”. A higher chance of success lies in setting specific goals, rather than admirable but vague ones.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES
Break down a long-term goal into smaller components that you can achieve on a daily and weekly basis. This way of measuring baby steps in the right direction, helps to keep your momentum going. In fact, celebrate your small victories along the way with little rewards, like treats!