Tips on how to follow through with your goals


Tired of making New Year’s resolutions on January 1, only to give up on them a week later? Here's how to make goals and stick to them

Ginny Wong |

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Are you already feeling the struggle to maintain your New Year’s resolutions? Long-term goals are easier to stick to if you break them down into short-term objectives. Here are five common New Year’s resolutions and how you can see them through until the end of 2019.

Exercise more

How many times have you said you would go to the gym and get that perfect #beachbod by the time summer rolls around – only to give up weeks into January because you don’t have the time, are too scared, or can’t afford a gym membership?

How to achieve it: Start slow and gentle. Set yourself smaller targets, like “I want to jog for three minutes non-stop by the end of two weeks”, or “I want to be able to complete a full circuit once by the end of the month”. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive; there are plenty of videos that you can follow on YouTube. And if you miss a session, don’t beat yourself up about it – simply make it your mission to attend the next one!

How stretching everyday can benefit your physical and mental health

Eat more healthily

Christmas and the New Year are literally the worst when it comes to trying to eat clean. There’s advent calendar chocolate, Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings), desserts that are too good to resist, and more. January 1 started with something green and clean … but by the end of the week you were reaching for the leftover Christmas treats.

How to achieve it: Like exercise, eating healthily doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Don’t immediately cut out everything that you consider bad for you, because that might make you crave it even more. If you normally have dessert three times a week, then try cutting it down to once or even twice a week.

Learn a new skill or hobby

2019 will be YOUR year, you tell yourself. You’re going to finally pass that grade in piano, or pick up a new sport, or learn a new language. You buy textbooks, find an online course, sign up for lessons … and you drop it when you realise that it’s too hard. “If I had started when I was little, I would be able to do this”, you tell yourself.

How to achieve it: Practise, sadly, makes perfect. Very few people are naturally talented in the hobby or skill of their choosing - it’s time, patience, and dedication to it that makes people masters of their craft. If you are struggling to pass a particular level of skill, don’t give up! Set yourself smaller goals, like knowing two chords off by heart after a week, rather than trying to memorise an entire song in two days.

Two HK student athletes and champions' tips for getting out of bed early in the morning

Save more money

Christmas is expensive. This month, you might have promised yourself that you will save one half of your weekly pocket money or all of your upcoming lai see money, only to find that you have spent every last cent as soon as you get it.

How to achieve it: Okay, we know that this one is easier said than done – especially when you need to keep your Octopus card topped-up, your school textbooks up-to-date, and your revision snack drawer full. There are little changes you can make to your lifestyle to minimise expenditure, though. Swap your Starbucks latte for flask of made-at-home coffee, or take your own lunch into school instead of buying something from the canteen.

All gifs via GIPHY

Get higher grades

You start the year out with the best of intentions to impress your parents and your mates by getting to the top of the class. Not even two weeks into your hard core study sessions, though, and you begin to feel the burnout; maintaining your grades is taking up too much time, and practically giving you an ulcer.

How to achieve it: Good grades don’t have to come at the cost of your health, and you shouldn’t expect overnight success.

Instead of trying to cram an extra two hours’ worth of studying each day, or signing up for another tutorial class and feeling disappointed that you’re not seeing an instant improvement, try making small changes to your existing study sessions. Put your phone away for an hour, study with a friend for motivation, or devise a reward system, e.g. for every 10 pages of notes you revise, you get to take a 10-minute break to do something fun.

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