Self Improvement



Self-improvement: photo courtesy of eduCBA

Every year, millions of people construct New Year’s Resolutions hoping to spark positive change in their lives. Each year, the recurring themes include a more active approach to health, fitness, and improved finances. In addition to that, many take on learning new things for personal and professional development.

Mentally Prepare for the Challenge

In the weeks approaching the New Year, it is essential to acknowledge that changing ingrained habits is not an easy task. As you look for changes you wish to execute, make sure to stay positive, allow room for error, and savor the progress you make.

Set a Goal that Motivates You

Although having people in your life to support you will help you follow through with your goal, intrinsic motivation incentivizes enjoyment, purpose, and passion when applying yourself to a new task, especially self-improvement.

Making a plan

Starting your self-improvement journey can often be overwhelming, so it is essential to plan out your actions. How do you go about making a thorough plan? Fortunately, it is as simple as an acronym: SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive.

Understanding each part of SMART
S: Specific: When it comes to creating new goals and improving your way of life, being vague can often lead to poor follow-through. For example, quitting vaping is a much better goal than being healthy. Of course, “being healthy” is excellent, but the goal is broad and can be widely interpreted.

M: Measurable: How can you measure progress and know when you have successfully met your goal? Make your goal quantifiable. For example, I will drink 60oz of water a day. Or I will meet with my tutor every week to help me focus on my academic weak spots.

A: Attainable: Be realistic about the complications of your goal. Although striving for high achievements can be beneficial, it is good to start with a more feasible goal. For example, I will make 5 new friends. That is much more attainable than I will be the most popular person in my school.

R: Relevant: Keep your goal closely related to your aspirations and passions to stay motivated to follow through with your goal over an extended period of time.

T: Time-sensitive: Give yourself a time frame to complete your goal. By giving yourself a deadline, there will be a sense of urgency and a point in time to truly celebrate your success.

Review your Resolution Regularly
A crucial part of following through with your goals includes giving regular reviews of your progress and the effort that is being put forth. Reviewing your goal in smaller incremental steps often leads to massive changes over the course of your goal time frame.

If You Get off Track, Get Back on Quick
Lastly, when entering a new stage of change in your life, it is important to remember to leave some room for mistakes and setbacks. Setbacks can happen, but so long as they are handled correctly, they will not impact your overall goal. The key to progressing after hindrance is to avoid a defeatist attitude. For example, thinking, It is normal to make mistakes. Trial and error will help me complete this goal, rather than, Well I screwed up once, why should I even try to do this anymore.