My new year’s resolution was to make every day count. But how do you do that? What does it even mean? Is it simply not wasting away your day in front of the TV or Youtube?
Don’t count the days, make the days count – Muhammad Ali
Is it possible to make the days count without a goal or a passion to move towards? Surely not wasting a day means doing something that brings you closer to what you want. So, to make your days count you need to know what they should count towards.
There is no way around it – I need to set some goals. How else will I know if the day ‘has counted’.
I have decided to set goals based on what I like. I want some long-term goals and some short-term goals, but all of them should make me happy. (Perhaps the actual lead up to the goal might not be nice, but the end game should make me smile).
So often I hear people tell me a vague goal but have no plan or steps to get to their goal. I have decided to write my goals as SMART goals, explain why I want to have this goal, how I will achieve this goal and how it will make it happy. I have also written down how the goal will make me happy, because we know that motivation doesn’t last and we need a reason to be disciplined to reach a goal when it gets harder (and sometimes “because it’s good for you” just doesn’t cut it).
- Actual Smart Goal: Hold a 90-second plank with good form by April 1st, 2018.
- Why? Planks increase your core strength and core strength is vital for good running form. Also, at running group, we end with planks and I am constantly being called out by the coach for not being able to hold my form.
- How will it make me happy? I will have better running form and therefore better (faster?) running and maybe even fewer injuries. Running makes me happy
- How am I going to achieve this? Every day do 1-3 planks slowly increasing the duration of the hold. Add in side planks and other plank variations during gym sessions
- 2. Read more books.
- Actual Smart goal: Read one book a month (or more) for the year.
- Why? Reading has multiple benefits including increasing your I.Q, making you feel more relaxed and it makes you a better writer.
- How will it make me happy? Reading makes me happy. I like reading books that I like.
- How am I going to achieve this? Making a reading schedule that suits me and trying to form a habit of reading. I am thinking to start in the mornings for 20 mins and before I go to sleep for 20 mins. Also by taking a book on the tram to work. I was actually inspired for this by listening to this guy talk about how he read more books.
- Hang out with friends or family.
- Actual Smart goal: Speak to or spend time with friends/family once a week (or more).
- Why? Healthy relationships make you happy and can even make you live longer. Friends make me happy and I want my friends to know that I am thinking of them and ensure that they know that their friendship matters to me.
- How will it make me happy? See above
- How am I going to achieve this? While in Australia I will set up dinner dates and put time aside on my calendar. While overseas I will utilise Skype to chat with friends and family.
- Blog more.
- Actual Smart goal: write one blog (or more) a week about something I want to write about
- Why? I have been slacking with writing because I feel like I have to write certain things, when really this whole website was set up as a platform where I can put my ideas, thoughts and advice out in the world.
- How will it make me happy? Writing about what I like is more fun than writing about something I am not passionate about.
- How am I going to achieve this? I will write a blog for all the ideas I like even if I feel they are not worthy to write about. I will set time aside weekly to write.
Other random things to do that make me happy that I have been slacking with, but I don’t want to make a goal for (yet):
Ted talks, date nights, be good to my teeth, cook more, send letters, Saturday morning 30-second dance party, gratitude. (Side note: did you know that studies have shown that noting 3 things a day that you are grateful for can increase your happiness by 25% and even decrease stress levels and blood pressure).
Let’s face it, most New Years resolutions usually never last more than two weeks. I am hoping that four very different goals, which all focus on things that make me happy, will help me keep moving forward in the new year.
Everybody’s day and their goals will look different. So what are your goals that make you happy? How do you make the days count?