I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t accomplish my New Year’s resolutions for 2019.
Last year, I did my research on how to stick to resolutions. I followed the SMART goal-setting method to make sure I wasn’t setting myself up for failure. I made a progress- tracking chart. I told my family to hold me accountable.
All I needed to do was drop a set amount of money every month into my savings account and forget about it. I even listed in my monthly budgets.
Yet, I still failed. And I’m not alone.
Over 70% of our TRP readers failed to realize their goals this year. Why does this happen to so many of us?
Shinee Wong, director of business school Wekah Academy, boils it down for us.
1. We don’t control our desires
Have reasonable expectations for yourself and your goals. Your goals must be doable and fitting of your current lifestyle.
Just because your New Year’s resolution is to be more active and lose weight doesn’t mean that you should spend all your money on branded athleisure clothes or expensive gym memberships.
Realistically, such things don’t actually help you reach your goal.
“If your goal is to be financially independent, even if you covet things like branded goods or a new car, it shouldn’t be what you spend your money on at this point in time. Your focus should be on your goal: these material goods are what you can get only after you’ve achieved your goal of being financially independent.”Shinee Wong to TRP
This applies to any other goal as well. If your goal is to lose weight, then you will need to control your desires for bubble tea everyday. If your goal is to travel, then you will need to control your desire to spend unwisely on daily purchases.
2. We aren’t focused enough
Know exactly what you want to do. When you split your focus across different interests and don’t commit to just a few key goals, you end up not achieving anything at all.
Shinee recounts how she started with an interest in marketing when she still held a full-time job as a designer. After years of research, learning, application, and an unwavering focus on marketing, she ended up as the director of a business school that now teaches other businesses marketing.
“Focus on just one interest and work on it until you’ve mastered it. Just one simple thing, once mastered, can be applied to so many different aspects and levels to everything else.”Shinee Wong to TRP
Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. Admittedly, for most people, a good part of that day is taken up by work. So what little time left must be spent wisely, and chasing after every different little interest will make you miss out on the true passion you really love.
3. We don’t invest in and prioritize ourselves
The best person to devote your time, energy, and attention to is yourself.
Your future or your education should be where the majority of your investment goes: whether monetary or mentally.
“You should be reminding yourself and working towards your goal daily. Many people review their New Year’s resolutions and goals only when it’s almost the end of the year.Shinee Wong to TRP
If you’re only reviewing your goals once a year, then you only improve yourself once a year.
Instead, take time to reflect on yourself daily. Even if you only improve yourself 1% each day, by the end of the year you will have a 365% improvement.”
A bad habit of Malaysians is busying themselves all day everyday to the point where they’re unable to take even 30 minutes to reflect on themselves and their lives.
Even in businesses, general meetings are held monthly, or weekly, to gauge the direction of the business, to review performances, and to pinpoint areas of improvement.
Why should we not hold ourselves, arguably the most important person in our lives, to that standard- or higher?
4. We’re too complacent with life
Malaysians also tend to be too complacent with their lives and become unwilling to step out of their comfort zones, which leads to stagnation in life.
Shinee urges people to tread the line between ‘satisfaction’ and ‘contentment’ carefully.
Contentment leads to gratitude and appreciation, whereas being satisfied with your life could lead to stagnation, because you are already appeased by where you are and aren’t looking to improve any further.Shinee Wong to TRP
Be contented, but always continue to improve yourself and move forward. Step out of your comfort zone.
And for the people who have burned out and are simply so tired that they’ve lost their motivation, Shinee encourages you to go for a class.
Everything you ever wanted to learn or are interested in has classes or courses you can take. This can be classes for management to help start your online business, or even a candle-making class to satisfy a hobby.
Not only do you learn a new skill, but it’s the best way to clear your mind, meet new people, and realign yourself. The most important thing is that you never stop learning to improve yourself.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.