Well, the holidays sure did fly by. Christmas always seems to come and go in no time at all. And I guess I’ve finally reached “Christmas Adulthood” this year.
I asked for a paper shredder and a filing cabinet, which I received. When telling my boyfriend what I got, I knew he would make fun of me for my two proudest presents. And what did he say, you ask? “You’re such an adult.” He then proceeded to laugh in my face. Go figure.
Anyway, it’s almost time for 2015 and those wonderful resolutions no one can ever seem to keep up with. To help you along, I’ve compiled a few ways that may help you stick to those pesky goals you’d love to achieve.
- Don’t compare your goals with those of others: Comparing yourself to others is a no-no, as is comparing your goals to those of others. You are living your own life and have your own hopes, dreams, and issues. Your life is not the same as someone else’s, so why would your goals need to be similar to someone else’s? You don’t need to try to out-do people either. Live your life and set goals that will improve your own life. In fact, make one of your resolutions to stop comparing yourself to others.
- Have someone hold you accountable: Have your significant other or friend or family member or whoever hold you accountable to your goals. Tell them your resolutions and have them check on your progress throughout the year. Having someone hold you accountable will most likely make you want to stick to your goals and should help your motivation when it seems like your goals are out of reach.
- Don’t let a minor setback sway you from your goals: Did you set a goal to only eat out once a month and end up going through the drive-thru twice in one week? These things happen. Remind yourself of your goals and get yourself back on track. Did you plan to lose forty pounds this year and you feel like you’ve stuck to your diet long enough and it just doesn’t seem to be helping? Just because you don’t see progress immediately doesn’t mean you aren’t making any. Stick to it. See the next step.
- Set goal milestones: You need to celebrate your little victories to help keep you motivated and on track. Break down your big goal for the year into smaller parts and set minor goals for each month or every other month or every six months—however you decide to divide it is up to you. Do you want to put $1,000 into a vacation fund? Set $100 minor goals and do something snazzy when you reach them.
- Make your goals specific: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Making your goals specific will help you measure your progress toward your goal. Do you want to save money and lose weight this year? Specify a specific amount of money you want to save and a specific amount of weight you want to lose. Simply stating, “I want to lose weight,” is not going to keep you motivated; you need to set a specific number.
- Do it for you: Most importantly, you need to set goals that you personally want to achieve. Don’t say you want to cook five times a week because your parents told you that you should. If you want to personally cook more homemade meals, then set that goal. Just like you shouldn’t compare your goals to those of others, you shouldn’t set goals that you don’t personally care about. Don’t set a goal because you “think you should.” Set a goal because it will make you feel better in the long run.
I’ll be setting my specific major and minor goals soon and I’ll share them with you when I get them planned out to help with my accountability. I hope you set awesome goals that you want to achieve and that you achieve them (and maybe even surpass them). Feel free to share your own tips in the comments! I wish y’all the best of luck in 2015 in everything you do and wish you all a “Happy New Year!”
Has your butt ever been adhered to the couch? Mind has. For like 12 hours. Last night. Until 4:30 in the morning. What is wrong with me?
I am a no-holds-barred procrastinator through and through. I always make plans to be better but never follow through. Why? I don’t know. I guess I like the challenge of trying to create something of quality in one night that my professors say is impossible. In fact, I wrote a 15-page midterm the day before it was due in less than six hours and I earned an A.
I guess you could say that I like a challenge.
Anywho, procrastination. I said I was going to better in graduate school, damn it. I even made plans to have a daily schedule like my professors suggested and I planned on reading all of the readings and I planned on completing my assignments in advance.
Did I? If I had would I have been glued to the same spot on my couch until 4:30 in the morning sucking down energy drinks and pecking away furiously at my poor computer’s keyboard?
I said I’d be better in graduate school. I was awful in undergrad. I even did my entire senior project the night before it was due.
Why am I telling you this? Because may you are a procrastinator and maybe you want to change that. Although they haven’t helped all that much, here’s what’s helped me somewhat anyhow.
- The dreaded to-do list: Yes, the awful to-do list actually helps. I often add way too many items to my list because I decide I need to clean and read for class and complete all of my upcoming assignments and complete some freelance projects all on the same day. But there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of crossing items off your to-do list. Make checking an item off your to-do list part of your to-do list. BOOM. You’re already on your way to productivity.
- The dreaded schedule: Why do I dread making a schedule? Because I feel like I have to stick to it 100% and something always comes along that messes up one of my time slots (some spur-of-the-moment meeting for an assistantship or group project or something). When one of my time slots gets messed up, I immediately throw the whole schedule out the window. Don’t be like me. Even if a time slot for productivity gets interrupted, keep to the rest of the schedule you’ve set and you’ll be on your way to productivity in no time.
- Try out some productivity apps: I have a couple apps on my phone centered on productivity. They allow me to plan out my schedule and set time limits for working on various tasks. An alarm goes off when a time limit is up and alerts me of the next task and starts counting down the time. Having little reminders like these really help out to get you moving on the next task you need to accomplish.
- Break up the tasks: Don’t sit down and crank out a 25 page paper in 12 hours straight like I did. Just don’t. Use apps or some other time limit and set each task you work on for about 30-45 minutes, take a break, and go on to the next task. Give your brain a break now and then and don’t fry it by working on one task for too long.
- Reward yourself: That’s right. Use that schedule you made and schedule in some time for a Netflix binge-watching session or to eat a whole pint of ice cream. Did you finish an assignment early? Bake yourself a cake. Or buy one from the store if you’re not a good cook. Did you clean your apartment (or at least pick your clothes up off your bedroom floor)? Go have a drink with friends or cuddle with your dog. Reward yourself for your accomplishments and you’ll be productive in no time.
I hope these five steps help you to not procrastinate and get stuff done. My supervisor for one of graduate assistantships has “G.S.D.” written on her wall to remind her to “Get S(tuff) Done.”
Just do it and get it over with so you don’t have to struggle to complete everything you need to accomplish.
What are you still doing here? Go get some stuff done! (Or watch Netflix. Either one.)
(Image Sources: Photographers in the order the photographs appear are Jonathan Velasquez, Jake Hills, and Patrik Goethe. Images retrieved from www.unsplash.com)