It is less than five hours away now, 2020, the highly anticipated new year is here. As with every new year, this one will entice many people to make new year resolutions. The New Year gives people the sense of a clean slate, a new beginning, new possibilities for self improvement. What better time to embark on self improvement than when you have a brand new year ahead of you?
But what new year resolutions should you make and which ones should you avoid?
Don’t make any of these four resolutions (or any like them)
1. To Lose or Gain Weight
This resolution will be on many lists, but it is pointless. Why? Because it is not SMART.
It is not
Besides, losing or gaining weight is a by-product not a goal. Your resolutions should be goals: discrete tasks with set time frames.
So instead of saying your new year resolution is to lose or gain weight, say your new year resolution is to:
Eat healthy six days a week
Jog for 60 minutes every week
Skip 2000 times a day
Or all three, or more.
It could also be to
1. Eat an extra high calorie meal a day
2. Drink a high calorie mixture every night
3. Sleep at least eight hours a day
Basically, resolve to do things that you are in control of and add a time frame to them. Your future self will be immensely grateful.
2. Make More Money
This sounds very commendable.
But, what is more money?
Is it a penny, a thousand naira, twenty pounds or a million Malawian kwacha?
You know where I am going by now, but i will still spell it out: be specific.
State how much more you want to make in the new year.
State how you want to make it.
State the steps you will take to make it possible.
Do you plan to change jobs or change industries?
Are you going to start a side hustle?
Will you win grants and extra stipends?
Are you going to start a virtual career?
Be specific about how much you want to make, how you want to make it and the small steps you will take to make it happen.
3. To Get Closer To God.
This can also be written as ‘to be more spiritual’ or ‘to be more attuned to my spiritual side.’
Again, you have to be specific and you have to make resolutions that have discrete time bound tasks.
So in this case your resolutions could be:
1. To spend 20 minutes every day in prayer/meditation
2. To fast once a week
3. To read a chapter of the bible every day. Or five or twenty
4. To Increase my monthly giving by 5%
5. To volunteer my time at church/charity/orphanage once a week
Make your resolution specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound.
4. To Widen My Networks
This is too vague, too generic and too cliche to do you any good.
How are you going to broaden them?
Why are you broadening them?
A smarter resolution would be:
To broaden my networks in (insert your industry or the industry to want to broaden networks in) in order to (insert the reason why you want to broaden them) by (insert activities that will help you achieve this).
So for example, in my case, I would say:
To broaden my creative writing networks in order to gain more visibility and piblish more in anthologies and related projects through focused engagement on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and open calls for volunteers.
Then I would go a step further and make a actionable goals like:
1. Follow people whose work I like and amplify/compliment their work once a week.
2. Post on LinkedIn once or twice a week.
3. Enrol in one relevant project every quarter.
So that is it folks. Instead of making the same old resolutions, make new, focused, SMART goals that will inspire you to achieve new things and attain new heights.
The new year is filled with success and prosperity. Position yourself for it by making plans and flowing through.
I am rooting for you!