Reading Clarissa’s blog earlier this week, got me to thinking about my own personal and professional goals for the coming year – and the dreaded new year resolutions.
As we all know New Year’s resolutions are a common tradition in which people reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. These goals can range from personal improvements, such as exercising more or quitting a bad habit, to professional aspirations, such as learning a new skill or getting a new job… or finishing that paper you’ve been working on for months!
Making New Year’s resolutions can be a helpful way to motivate oneself to make positive changes in one’s life. It can also be a fun and exciting way to start the new year with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that New Year’s resolutions are not always easy to stick to. It’s common to set unrealistic goals, or to become too focused on the resolutions and forget about the other aspects of their lives, or to focus in on the detail, and forget the big picture. This can lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment if the goals are not met (and we don’t want that).
To increase the chances of success with New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to set achievable goals that are specific and measurable. For example, instead of resolving to “exercise more,” try setting a specific goal such as “exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.” (you’re welcome to replace exercise with read, write or study more). This way, you can track your progress and see if you are meeting your goal.
It’s also helpful to have a plan in place to achieve your goals. This might involve setting aside specific times each week to work on your resolution, finding a workout buddy to motivate you, or seeking out resources and support, or maybe a mentor to help you achieve your goals.
Another key to sticking to New Year’s resolutions is to be patient and realistic. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important to be kind to yourself and not get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. It’s also important to remember that setbacks and failures are a normal part of the process. It’s okay to adjust your goals or take a break if you need to. The important thing is to keep trying and stay committed to your resolutions.
It can also be helpful to share your resolutions with others, such as your supervisor, colleagues, friends or even in the Dementia Researcher WhatsApp group. This can help you stay accountable and motivated, as well as provide a sense of support and encouragement.
Overall, New Year’s resolutions can be a helpful way to make positive changes in your life, but it’s important to be realistic, patient, and committed in order to achieve your goals. With a little planning and perseverance, you can start the new year off on the right foot and work towards a better and brighter future.
Bringing this back to me… well, I aim to write more blogs on topics that I hope will help you, exercise more and try to recalibrate my body clock – so that my writing can start at maybe 6am instead or 1am. In writing those, I immediately realise that I have not followed my own advice, so let’s start that again 1. Write one blog every 6 weeks 2. Run for 30 minutes three times each week 3. Reduce my bedtime by 15 minutes every week in January and February and add that 15 minutes to my morning alarm. I will keep you updated.
I would love to know what you have planned – reply below.
Adam Smith was born in the north, a long time ago. He wanted to write books, but ended up working in the NHS, and at the Department of Health. He is now Programme Director at University College London (which probably sounds more important than it is – his words). He has led a number of initiatives to improve dementia research (including this website, Join Dementia Research & ENRICH), as well as pursuing his own research interests. In his spare time, he grows vegetables, builds Lego, likes rockets & spends most of his time drinking too much coffee and squeezing technology into his house.
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