What a Way to Start 2007

How did you celebrate 2006 and welcome 2007?

While we had great dinners with clients and friends over the past two weeks, celebrating our friendships and having plentiful conversations for Christmas and New Year’s, it was also a little bit dampened by the Taiwan quake.

Yes, the damaged cables did nothing but slow down our lives a bit too…and the last few days of 2006 made me realise that our world depends so much on technology that it’s scary!

As we could not surf or work much (as it is, many clients and friends were off on holidays, clearing leave and doing the necessary such as buying school supplies for their children), we did spend more time reading, thinking and talking.

Anyway, I was a bit amused to read about New Year resolutions in the newspapers recently.

I know two types of people – one group swears by resolutions and they make them without fail each year. The other group swears by NOT creating any resolutions as they feel this is just stupid and no one achieves or meets them anyway. They believe that by 20th of January, most resolution-makers would have forgotten most of what they promised themselves anyway.

Which is true.

Now I am of neither type. I don’t make resolutions – I set objectives. You might be thinking, OK, that’s euphemism right? It’s like calling a cow a four-legged animal which gives milk and moos.

No….. and here’s why.

Most people are gungho about resolutions and setting them with the intention to change for the better. But people get excited for all of five minutes before Life takes over. They have kids to fetch, errands to run, work to complete, and etc. And in no time, they would have forgotten what they promised themselves.

Now objectives are different. Objectives mean you have a purpose to meet. And objectives (or goals if you prefer) should have an expiry date and methods of meeting that objective.

Say you want to lose weight. You’re keen to shave off the 10 kilos because your friends think you’re way too rolly polly for your own good. Plus you know, obesity does bring a host of other health problems too. So you mentally tell yourself that you will lose weight this year. Yes, all of those 10 unsightly kilos.

The better way to do this is to set it as an objective. You write down an objective of losing 10 kilos by 31st March 2007 by jogging for 30 minutes twice a week, swimming 20 laps twice a week and cutting down on taking supper for the entire 3 months. This is more concrete. You know how you want to do what you need to do. And you write this down and paste this note to yourself everywhere – on your PC, in your car, in your wallet, on your bathroom mirror etc.

It’s crucial to see it and read it and remind ourselves daily because we, homo sapiens thrive on reminders – that’s why we have so many PDAs, organizers, to-do lists, calendars, etc. We always need to jog our memory to remember this and that.

It’s also good to set a specific date to do something – it gives us a sense of urgency due to the deadline effect. Objectives should never be vague or flimsy; if they are, you will never achieve them.

Better still, give yourself a reward when you reach your objective(s). That’s more fun too!

* You can remind yourself via your mobile phone too. Set it on your phone as a weekly reminder. When your phone beeps, you will remember your objective.

** Or you can use this free reminder service which I use called http://www.memotome.com   Just sign up, key in your reminders and it will send you reminders regularly!

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