However, as the month’s worn on, I’ve actually had a much easier time sticking to my goals this year compared to previous years. It’s all hinged on two major changes in my mindset--I’ve gotten organized, and I’ve learned to accept failure as part of the process.
As my roommate can attest, I am… scattered. Which is putting it lightly. In reality, shortly into the semester my life usually resembles a dumpster fire in the middle of a much larger fire. Written schedules I keep disappear, my use of Google Calendar wanes, and assignments get done the night that they’re due. I’m definitely not alone in this, and in some ways I’ve gained the ability to think flexibly. (It’s not hard to adapt your schedule to change when your schedule never existed in the first place.)
However, when I live like this, things get forgotten. Tasks go undone, and my ideal life remains theoretical.
This semester, I’ve started doing two things that have helped me not only get organized, but stay organized. Firstly, I keep an Excel spreadsheet that describes my life--I plot my activities by the half-hour, keep a budget, and--topically enough--track my daily success of sticking to my resolutions. This spreadsheet has become my second brain, only smarter. It’s easier for me than a physical agenda because I can keep it on my laptop, which I use constantly anyway. Secondly, I’ve used post-it notes to write daily task lists. I stick the post-its, once again, on my laptop. The little adrenaline rush I get from crossing off a task combined with the shame of having a long list of undone daily resolutions keeps me motivated.
These strategies won’t work for everyone--the important thing is to work with your habits, and not against them. Starting a bullet journal when you have no interest in either art of journalling is likely a goal doomed to failure. But if you enjoy those activities, then it might be a great way to keep your goals in mind in a fun way.
A final thing to remember with resolutions--failure is not only alright, but part of the process. I’ve broken every single one of my resolutions, and broken some several times. But the point of the tradition isn’t to be perfect. The point is that you lay out what’s important to you, and what you plan to prioritize going forward. Taking care of your health is going to be a long journey if you (like me, sadly) are used to eating ramen for dinner every night getting your daily exercise by walking to class. Your whole life is basically going to be a period of adjustment, and failure is an integral part of that. Because if you could perfectly stick to your goals, then how much of a difference did your change really make? How much did it really mean?
-- Joanna Slusarewicz