Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021! What a year it has been! At the dawning of the then New Year, never would we have imagined how such a tiny virus could have taken the world by storm, forever changing the landscape of our lives. Now, 2020 is done and dusted, and with its departure, we herald in 2021. But before that, New Year's resolutions, anyone? Photo Credit: All Star ATA Martial Arts Resolutions 101 Traditionally, New Year's resolutions are made at the cusp of the changing year, seeing that it is the best time to review the past year, before charting a fresh course ahead. To help you plan ahead, and stay your course, these tips may prove helpful. Photo Credit: Pinterest Muse On It The best resolutions are those most ruminated on. To come up with some good ones, invest in some thinking time. Review the past year, take stock, then decide on the change you hope to achieve in the new year. Remember though, no pressure! Photo Credit: BBC Sieve It Through When you sit down to ruminate, do not be surprised to find your brain flooded with thoughts, and ideas which push and pull you every which way. That is perfectly normal. Just be sure to sieve through the noise, before committing to a decision. Once again, take your time. This does not have to be done in a day. Sometimes allowing ideas to stew a little helps you sieve through the mass before you settle on the best ones. Photo Credit: Dinner for a Dollar Pen It Down At the onset, feel free to jot down all the ideas floating in your head. This helps you have a bird's eye view of everything before you pare down your stack of ideas into more manageable choices. Plus, in the months ahead, it will be easier for you to touch base, review the progress of your resolutions, and, if necessary, to change them. Photo Credit: Counseling Space PC Resolutions the SMART Way Most resolutions fizzle out by the end of January, if not sooner. To help you make, and keep your resolutions, doing things the SMART way will hold you in good stead in the months ahead. Photo Credit: questus S Specific Resolutions ought to be as specific as possible. This helps you focus on your goal, both in the short, and long term. For instance, if you would like to lose weight, be sure to set a weight loss target with a timeline as your goal. If you hit your goal, feel free to either set a new target or maintain your new svelte frame. Photo Credit: hellofuture M Measurable Goals set should be measurable, and attainable. Using the Goldilocks Principle, your goal should not be too easy, or too hard. A challenge always brings out the best in us. If the challenge is insurmountable, it is easy to throw in the towel, and walk away. Alternatively, if the challenge is too easy, we may fail for lack of interest or motivation.\u00a0 For instance, if you resolve to learn bread making, challenge yourself to learn, and perfect a recipe every week, or so. Only allow yourself to move on to another recipe when you have perfected your technique. By the time the year rounds up, you will have quite a repertoire under your belt!. Photo Credit: Daily Nurse A Achievable Big dreams are not bad to have. They certainly motivate us to be better and rise higher to achieve life's goals. However, to make your resolutions stick, it may be necessary to resize your goals into more manageable portions, at least for the time being. If, for instance, you intend to save RM1M, you will have to break down your goals to more bite-sized projections on a yearly basis unless you are earning big Ringgit. Smaller amounts make goals achievable. This, in turn, bolsters confidence and enables us to aim and achieve higher goals. Remember, "sedikit-sedikit lama-lama menjadi bukit!"\u00a0 Photo Credit: Locusts & Honey R Reaslistic In addition to realistic, resolutions also need to be relevant to make your list. Working on something you would like to change in the foreseeable future is best.\u00a0 Travelling is a very popular resolution. However, with the uncertainty of Covid-19, and its far-reaching implications, staving off that resolution would be practical. Once the pandemic is on the wane, and vaccines are widely available, travelling makes a great resolution. Photo Credit: Forbes T Timely For resolutions to be relevant, and practical, they have to be achievable within a 12-month timeline. Resolving to change employment is another popular resolution. However, the economic uncertainly Covid-19 has brought in its wake, may need you to shelve that idea, at least for the time being. Once the danger passes, the market is yours for the taking. Photo Credit: Chiang Rai Times Resolutions represent our hope for the future. They are guideposts we use to steer ourselves ahead. But, they are not set in stone. Make them, and change them, if and when needed. If you have hit your targets, switch them up, or give yourself a well-deserved break on a job well done. If not, do not be discouraged. Resolutions are forgiving and flexible. Give yourself another chance to try again. Here's wishing (and hoping) for a better, brighter, and safer 2021! Happy New Year!