If you have ever abandoned your New Year’s resolution by the February mid-term break, know that you are not alone but there is a new chance to improve yourself and renew your commitment to being your best.
Although university is a stage in life for significant
self-improvement, it becomes easy to get caught up in managing a mountain of responsibilities in and outside of your academics. But fear not, the Sheaf is on your side to hold yourself accountable. Trust us, it is in your best interest.
Regardless of your feelings towards the University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson, rule number four in his book 12 Rules for Life: An Anecdote to Chaos is good advice for anyone to hear.
The rule is “compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today.”
It is human nature to compare yourself to others, especially with the social media feeds of your peers, but you have to remember that it is the highlight reel that shows off the apex moments of their lives.
We can use this rule in the context of the new year when mulling over our personal resolutions for the months ahead.
Ask yourself if you are happy with the progress you made, or lack thereof, in 2019. Dig into the reason why you were happy with certain aspects and unhappy with others. With a bit of critical appraisal you can discover the reasons behind the pleasant and not-so-pleasant parts of your life.
2. Make a plan
Now that you have identified the variables in your life that you’re able to control, it is time to make a plan to maintain your progress and dig yourself out of a hole.
Think about your weekly schedule and envision how it should be organized if you want to better yourself. If you know that you need to hit the gym three or four times per week in order to be your best self, plan for that. Or perhaps you know you need to go to talk therapy or need to spend time with a close friend at least once a week to maintain your mental health.
Maybe you know you need to put a stop to those self-inflicted bad habits that have been present in the past year. There is no better time than the start of a new year to be real with yourself.
Everyone’s plan will look different from each other and that’s perfectly okay. The key is to identify the priorities that will most effectively improve your life: mentally, physically, socially and even spiritually.
It is important to be realistic with your new weekly priority list. There are only so many waking hours in a day and good intentions often get swallowed up by an unrealistic plan.
3. Quarterly check-ups
Enter each week with your new goals on top of your mind and stay disciplined. We are more likely to stay committed to certain goals if we tell those close to us about them. That way, when we fall short and neglect our plan, a loved one can help keep us accountable.
You should evaluate your goals every three months, and do not feel ashamed if you need to adjust a few things. Personal success is achieved through hundreds and even thousands of good decisions made consistently over time. After all, Rome was not built in a day.
The whole point of New Year’s resolutions is to improve yourself, and if unrealistic goals are not close to being met, then it’s time to adjust your goal so it becomes more achievable.
You will feel great accomplishment when you reach a goal because that opens the door for you to aim even higher, something you maybe didn’t think was possible during the current year.
By checking in on yourself every three months, you are able to catch any slip ups, reassess and get back in the saddle again. You will be able to obtain your goals easier if you can monitor your progress in short intervals.