2 January, 2020
After a certain age, it is typical to be cynical of New Year resolutions; after all, we know, most people do not follow it through. But, it is also true that with the wisdom of experience, we should be able to make choices or better resolutions. This New Year 2020 (called Twenty Twenty as in a cricket match), let’s make a resolution to make simple New Year Resolutions that are easy to follow through and are also SMART!
What is SMART?
SMART stands for:
S – Specific (let’s change this to Simple if need be!)
M – Measurable (or Meaningful!)
R- Realistic or Relevant
T- Time-bound (Can be for the year, or shorter terms as seen fit)
What this means is that if we follow the SMART principle, while setting the goals (New Year resolutions), we will be able to stick to it and follow it through. The resolutions should be things that really matter to us (Relevant), and hence it may well be simple (Achievable) things. For example, if you love travelling, set a New Year resolution that says, I shall visit two domestic and one international destination this year. You can go even more Specific if you are sure about the destinations and put down the names as well.
It is important to plan for these also with respect to the travel period, companions to go with if any, the financial aspect, etc. You could cross-check your achievements against the goals every month on whether you are taking necessary steps for the planning, booking etc.
If your goal is to volunteer or contribute to society, then identify one or two issues close to your heart and follow it through by identifying NGOs or governmental organizations working in that area. In short, put down your wishes in writing, share it with your family and friends and make them hold you accountable to follow it through! However, here are a few simple New Year resolutions, which all can follow very easily.
Learn one new thing
Age is no barrier to learning, and learning happens life long. Also, when you indulge in a learning activity, the neurons become active, and the brain is kept busy. This means that your cognitive capabilities will remain strong for a longer time, and you can remain young mentally! This New Year makes a resolution to pick up at least one new skill – it could be anything that suits you and perhaps even something ambitious and adventurous, health permitting!
For example, you may learn to use some new apps that force you to go out of your comfort zone and pick up on tech. It could also be something like a Zumba dance, or for that matter, even traditional dances. You may learn baking, or go to Ikebana classes, or in fact, dabble with a bit a theatre or puppeteering! Think about all those things that you have been wanting to do and were holding back for various reasons, and pick up at least one new skill and flaunt it too, on social media for all to see, if you want to.
Contribute to society
The hectic lifestyles while working do not really allow us to contribute in any way to society, despite the fact that we see a lot of instances where we can. Once retired too, we may get caught in the family rigmaroles, of having to babysit, or some such compulsions. We may realize a bit too late, that we have lived our whole lives without really contributing to society, even when we wanted to.
Hence, it is important to make this as a SMART goal, identify specific areas and timelines to actively participate in nation-building activities. It could even be participating in awareness drives, volunteering in certain NGOs, teaching some skills to the neighbourhood underprivileged people to make them employable, etc. We should not make the mistake of thinking ‘what can one person do’; if whatever little we do, can make a world of difference to even a single life, it still matters. Many big differences have started in simple little ways, with good intentions, and before you know, you may well have started a movement!
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