Every year when the calendar starts dwindling in the final days of December, we all start thinking of how we will challenge ourselves when January first rolls around. When we begin a year fresh, we are filled with goals and ambitions. Some of us have bullet-proof fitness plans to initiate; some of us have work or school goals that we want to achieve. We want to lose weight, quit smoking, stop eating sugar, learn a new skill or even save money. Here is the problem that I seem to find though, and I’m sure that I am not the only one: by the time January is over and either work, school, or university has begun, those goals we set seem to be nothing but a distant memory and motivation has become a resource sorely lacking. This is because, when the Christmas holiday comes to an end, and work or school becomes the priority again, it’s quite challenging to approach all those goals in the same way. This is why I think that the Chinese New Year is a better date to choose as the start of a year’s worth of goals and let me explain why …
For those who don’t know, the Chinese New Year has no set date because it is according to the Lunar Calendar and so the Chinese New Year ranges from January 21st to February 20th. This is very different from Western Holidays, which fall on a particular date. In 2019, this holiday happens to occur on February 5th so to those who celebrate the Chinese New Year, Happy New Year and all the best for the year to come. The Chinese New Year also happens to have some incredible traditions that go with it. For example, the most fireworks in the world are set off that night because of the Chinese myth about Nian. The myth says that a monster named Nian would come every New Year’s Eve and so most people would hide away in their homes. One brave boy, however, was brave enough to fight him off using firecrackers. The next day, the people celebrated their survival by setting off more firecrackers and so, the crackers are used to scare off any monsters and bad luck. People stay awake until midnight to set off firecrackers and use them again in the morning to welcome the new year and good luck. (facts taken from https://chinesenewyear.net/21-things-you-didn’t-know-about-chinese-new-year/ )
Now you might wonder, why does this version of a New Year’s celebration appeal to me more than the traditional Western one? The reason is quite simple actually – because it gives us the time to get into our year and the reality of our lives again post-holiday before we start imagining all the challenges we would like to tackle for the year. Once we are back in the swing of things and have our life on tracks in terms of schedules and deadlines, it becomes a lot easier to set goals that we can actually accomplish. This is because we are far more aware of our reality and what our time and dedication can actually allow. For example, it would be quite challenging to stick to a goal of doing at least an hour of exercise every day if you happen to be a university student who has classes for most of the day, a part-time job every other evening and happens to play a sport or instrument for your university. Your time is already limited and so setting yourself up to try and achieve a goal that requires more time than you have to offer is only going to dishearten you – that is the value of setting reasonable goals.
Now I love setting goals, but I also struggle to stick to them so if you find it challenging to stay committed to your New Year’s resolutions, maybe consider waiting until you get back into your routine before setting goals for yourself. Next, don’t be shy of breaking it down into small pieces. They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day and achieving goals is no different. It takes dedication, perseverance and doing that little extra bit every single day and from someone who considers herself a semi-expert in lists and organisation, there is no harm in writing it down and making it fun for yourself. Make daily, weekly or monthly lists; set yourself a small task to accomplish each day; make it a fun challenge for yourself and give yourself little rewards or even rope your friends into it and motivate each other along the way.
The truth is that there is no wrong way to set goals or keep track of them, but don’t make it hard for yourself! Make it as fun as possible and make sure that you are realistic when it comes to setting your deadlines etc. because there is nothing more satisfying than achieving your goal.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog post, and if you have any exciting goals that you’ve set for yourself this year or just want to share a part of your goal-achieving journey, please leave your story in the comments section (I really look forward to hearing them). My goal happens to be that I want to lose some weight and read 100 books before the end of the year. If you enjoyed this post, then please don’t forget to like it and follow the blog so that you don’t miss any future posts and join my little online community.
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx