David Poon, BSc. Immunology and Infection, PharmD Student
New Year, New Me
The New Year is a great time to work on that goal you’ve been meaning to start months ago. Whether it’s starting to write a new novel, quitting smoking, losing weight, or trying to develop some better habits, we have your back! With the tips and tricks mentioned throughout this article, we can increase your chance of meeting your resolutions exponentially (actual results may vary)!
Being S.M.A.R.T. About It
Saying that you’re going to write that science fiction novel this year isn’t enough. Sure, you might get a few chapters in, but eventually, other priorities will get in the way and that novel finds its way into a pile of junk mail. Don’t let this happen to you! Laying out your goals in the S.M.A.R.T. format allows you to thoroughly examine your goals and makes it easier to keep track of your progress. Making a S.M.A.R.T. goal means making your goal specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-oriented. For example:
- I will write a 1000 page science fiction novel that explores the theme of betrayal.
- By the end of each month, I will have at least 83 pages written. I will also have my peers review my rough draft every 3 months.
- To achieve my goal, I need to research and plan the characters, settings and general storyline.
- Is it realistic for you to write a 1000 page novel in 1 year? Are there barriers restricting you from achieving your goal? If so, then make the appropriate changes to your goal.
- I will finish writing the novel by December 27, 2019 (1 year from today).
Don’t Give Up
Obstacles are bound to arise when trying to meet your goals, but it’s important to not give up! Have you ever noticed that there are generally more people in the gym during January than any other month? Why is this the case? Because of everyone’s New Year resolution to lose weight! Unfortunately, the number of gym attendees dwindles off because people give up or no longer have the time to dedicate to working out. No matter what your goal is, plan for failure. This means that you should have a plan in place for when you run into barriers. For example, if you miss a day at the gym, instead of taking an off-day, make up for it with a 30 minute jog around the neighbourhood. Take responsibility for your goal because, at the end of the day, you’re doing this for you!
The Bottom Line
New Year’s is always a great time to finally kick start that goal you’ve been meaning to work on. Just remember to make a plan of how to achieve your goal using the S.M.A.R.T. format. Plan for success, but also plan for failure because you’re bound to run into challenges. Lastly, develop good habits and set up a routine. Once a behaviour becomes a habit, it’s harder to break. Good luck everyone, and we’ll see a better version of you next year!
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