By Mia Casey
Starting a new year is always a daunting prospect (although after 2016, many people might be happy for a bit of a change). Regardless, the start of a new year is usually when we start making some big plans. Whether it’s to go traveling, actually save money, or learn a language, the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is still going strong. Unfortunately, only 8% of people are actually successful in achieving their resolutions. So, to help you add some positive (and achievable) goals to your 2017 planning, here are a few tips to ensure you get stuck into 2017 the right way!
Start Loving Lists
So it’s time to start setting some goals and making some changes. These don’t have to be anything huge! When you’ve got a spare hour or so, sit down and make a list of what you would like to change in your life, from 2016. Did you find it difficult to manage the work-study balance? Did you struggle to find time to spend with your friends or family? Whatever it is you want to change, that’s the first place to start figuring out your New Year’s resolutions. It’s all well and good to have really big plans, but it’s important to start thinking of the day-to-day problems that you can turn around, which will really make a difference to your 2017 in the long run!
While you’re there, it’s also a great idea to make a list of what you want to achieve in 2017 (this can be a combination of change-based ideas from above, and your general aspirations). These are your overall solid goals, rather than a detailed plan of what you want to achieve. Try to think of a combination of small and large goals – ones that you can achieve with only a little effort, and others that might require a bit more time. Having a few that you can tick off throughout the year can give you that little rush of satisfaction that’ll help motivate you to achieve your bigger goals!
Just make sure you write your goals down – you’ve likely heard it before, but studies have shown that people who write their goals down ‘accomplished significantly more than those who did not’.
Pretty much everyone decides they want to get organised for the New Year, but what we’re talking about goes beyond simply buying a new diary and desk calendar (even though you totally should because they can be super helpful). We’re talking actual productive, looking-at-your-year-as-a-whole-and-making-decisions-now type of planning.
If you’re still studying, look up what subjects you’ll be doing this upcoming semester. If you don’t have access to the subject outline just yet, check out the details in the online subject handbook. Usually, each subject will list what assessments will be given, and some even mention what week they’ll likely be due in.
Make a list of all the assignments you’ll be doing for the next 3-6 months (if not the entire year), and start marking approximate dates down in your phone or diary. If you can, do the same for any travel dates, projects at work, or pre-planned events. This helps give you a rough estimate of what times of the year you’ll be busy, so you can make sure you don’t overbook yourself.
If you are planning to learn new skills, or take on a new project that might span a few months, plan it out now! What month do you want to get started? What will you need to do each month so that the project is complete, or skill learned, by the end of the year? By having a plan in place at the beginning of January, you’re much more likely to actually get things done. And besides, breaking a big task down into little smaller ones makes it sooo much easier to complete.
Do a skills recap
It’s easy to forget what you’ve achieved when looking back on your life. Make it easier for yourself by jotting down a quick recap of any skills you’ve developed this year, or experience you’ve gained. For this resolution, think back on the work and study you completed this past year and make a quick list of what you’ve achieved. Did you learn how to use new software? Organised an event? Completed a major project? Whatever it is you’ve done, make a note of your role, what tasks you completed, and what skills you utilised. Try to keep doing this throughout the year, and into the future. That way, when you go to apply for a job, you can really easily update your resume, and start practicing some interview responses!
Have fun with it
The New Year is basically here and it’s the holiday season, so why not have a little fun with it? Below are some quick quizzes from Buzzfeed to help you think back on your 2016, and discover how your 2017 is going to pan out (just remember: these quizzes are not to be taken seriously!):
So start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2017, and have a happy New Year!