As one of my favourite podcasters once said, I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions in the traditional sense. Nobody I’ve known has ever managed to stick to them. That’s not to say that goals aren’t important, they are. However, one year is way too long a timeframe to plan anything to a reasonable probability of success. What’s important is setting tangible, numerical goals with a clear plan on how you will work to achieve them within a 3 month timeframe. Am I boring you yet? That’s the plan ;).
One of my goals is to finish my first year at university unscathed. See, that’s an intangible non-numerical goal. Reword it: Finish first year with a GPA of 7.0 (A- average). Tangible, achievable, numerical.
How will I achieve this goal?
Sure, while I still stand by my philosophy of doing stuff as soon as it’s assigned, there are definitely flaws to this plan. For one, I could be given 10 things to do at once which does throw a wrench in my “getting stuff done ASAP” mentality. It’s as if the universe wants me to fail. Like, oh, so you don’t like letting things pile up? Well, here’s a big pile of things to do. Have fun!
For example, you’ve probably seen this triangle diagram. It’s a hilarious meme that suggests students are only able to choose two out of three options: good grades, social life, and sleep.
While it does have a valid use in depicting the increase in difficulty from high school to university, it’s not entirely accurate with the message it’s depicting. For one, life isn’t neatly divided into just those three activities. Why not an icosagon diagram? That also sounds way cooler.
I’m just going to put it out there that it’s entirely possible to change the caption from “choose two” to “choose all you need” without having to resort to time turners or other time travel devices. You have millennia of human technology at your disposal, use it. Time management? Track your time using one of dozens of apps. What you’ll find is that there are 24 hours in a day. Shocking, right? Twenty-four is more than you might think. I’m not asking you to track every second of your life, just realize where your time is going.
Setting goals quarterly instead of annually is also important. It allows you to make more corrections, see what’s going right and what’s going wrong. And let’s face it, the human brain can’t handle planning a whole year in advance, which is why New Year’s resolutions usually go awry.
And if you want to take this to the next level, start making spreadsheets which log aspects such as time, budget, and if you’re like me, books (or other types of media) consumed. Yes, I log every book I read… behold my secret pastime.
Feel free to copy the spreadsheet for your own needs and be my fellow book buddy!!
This turned into a really bad persuasive (?) essay (probably Achieved at most, I didn’t even use PEEL) instead of a blog post, so I apologize for that! Does anyone else really miss essay writing? I know I do! …not
Samantha WoonSamantha Woon
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