Time is a funny being. No one has seen time, but yet it can fly, it can lie, it can run out, and be up. It can be spent, killed, and passed. [Ameen Misran – The Other Side Of The Coin]
AAAAAAAAAANNNDDD here we are entering the 5th month of the year. How fast time flies, right?
It feels like the new year was only yesterday, and today I’m already counting down to my final and summer break. One more month before I’m done with my last language preparation and next semester insyaAllah, I’ll finally be starting my first year of university.
MasyaAllah, we are reaching May already. It’s really so unbelievable.
Since it’s almost already May, don’t you think it’s a good time for us to review how we are progressing so far?
How many of your new year resolutions have you crossed out? How are you progressing?
And me. Hmm.
Warah’s 2016 Analysis [as of April 2016]
- One Little Word : Rise.
- Build a website. [checked, but I is no pro so a mere upgrade to a dot com is fine I guess]
- Book Challenge : 2 books per month in the first 6 months, 3 books per month for the rest of the year. [Progress : 5/30]
- Produce 1 cerpen/month. [Progress : 0/12]
- Blogging : 2o posts [Progress : 7/20]
I’ve actually sensed that I’m not progressing much during the middle of this month as one day I was having a willpower slump after being too preoccupied with other things. So that day I decided to look back and reflect what went wrong and where it went wrong. I did some research and found some techniques that may be utilised to maximise the outcome.
- Keep track consistently.
Keeping track is the one of the ways, if not the only way to be effective in reaching our goals. Record what you want to achieve on any suitable tool. I highly prefer writing down in my planner, and for certain checklists I put it on Google Drive.You might also want to try using apps or simply using your phone, whichever you prefer. Keep track of your progress in your preferred tools so you can have the overview how what you have done and what needs to be done.
I burn out easily despite of keeping track of things because I was not doing it in an ideal and consistent time space, so sometimes, when I let it for a long period of time I lost it. Having a regular interval between recordings is also crucial so you can keep up or even race against the time
2. Make time to record.
Complementing the first point, this forces you to see your progress. This doesn’t have to be everyday if you feel like you can’t make it. As much as possible, I try to set aside 30-45 min every day analysing, recording, and doing self-reflection, but I allow myself a maximum of 3 days between recordings because sometimes when I have so much to do (mostly due to procrastinating) I need to hit the sack as soon as I’m finished because I’m very particular with sleep. But honestly, it’s best if done everyday.
3. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you are this type of person (like me), having a physical tool like paper or book is better so you won’t forget. Keep them where you can see them easily, so it reminds you when it’s time to cross out the check list and feel like a boss. Like my checklists I have on my Google Drive, I print them out so I don’t have to get on my laptop every day and update them once every one or two weeks.
4. Eat an elephant.
How do you eat an elephant? You don’t eat them .
Okay serious.You eat one bite at a time. Which means, from one big goal, you break it down into smaller goals. For instance, I’m planning to finish 2 books per month, so how can I do it?
Using some maths :
2 books = 1 month
2 books = 30 days
1 book = 15 days.
So I can focus on finishing the current book in my hands in 15 days. Now that I already have the book I can break the book again into smaller parts to fit in the 15 days. For example :
1 book = 15 days
30 chapters = 15 days
2 chapters = 1 day.
5. Be sensible.
How do you eat an elephant in one day?
Well, unless you have a stomach with the size of a average hand luggage and a metabolism as fast as lightning, you can’t eat an elephant in one day, even though one bite at a time.
Knowing yourself and having a common sense is crucial as well.
Taking the book again as an example, if the book happens to be 1000 pages and I’m the Minister at the Ministry of Education (dream, believe, make it happen), I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it in 15 days. So it’s fine, maybe for that month I can skip the other book and make it up in the coming months, if possible.
So keeping the goal according to our ability is equally important to avoid harms and disappointments. Keep it mind that this is not the same as not dreaming big enough. This actually means being wise. There’s a difference between pushing the limit and pushing over the limit.
6. Discipline, discipline, discipline.
All points mentioned above will never, ever be effective without having discipline. Behind every success is the perseverance to keep going until we reach the top. More often than not we will have that one point when we are lazy and all we want to do is sleep. This is a great battle within us that we have to fight. As much as possible, don’t give in to the evil whisper. Defeat it, and keep on winning.
7. Seek for Allah’s help.
Last, but not least. In fact, this is the first thing we should do as Muslims. Allah can build the Universe, He can help us build our dream. With His great power He can make everything possible. Our fate, after all, is in His hands. Build a good and strong relationship with Him through acts of worship especially solat. Ask from Him anything you want, because He will definitely grant you. Remember Him, and He will remember you.
Hope we can benefit from this together 🙂