I tried to have New Year Resolution every year. Looking back at the 20 resolution from last year, I only managed to (partially) fulfill a few (start my blog, start Aaron on violin and Alvin on maths, travel no more than once a month, submit > 2 grants, seriously write > 4 papers, publish corresponding author papers total IF > 100), although it was still a decent year.
This year, I decided to have some theoretical rigor in the new year resolution process, so I read the book How to Set Goals. It is a very easy read, and the process is interesting:
1. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
2. First make 4 life goals: Wealth, Health, Social, Personal, (I added 2 more) Career, Family. For each, think of the ultimate long term goal, E.g. have $20M when retire, active living at 80 yo, etc.
3. For each of the life goal, think of ~3 process goals. E.g. to have active living at 80 yo, need to sleep 7 hours / day, exercise 30 min daily, keep weight below 110 pounds.
4. Sharing your goals, with friends or write it on a blog. Friends or blog followers will offer support and also help hold us accountable. I am not going to share all the goals, but want to mention some most important goals here: 7 hours sleep / day (H), read 1 hour of papers / day (C), improve course rating to 4 (S), have discipline to keep schedule (P), weekly family meetings (F).
5. Visualize your goals. This provide motivation why these goals are important.
6. Review progress weekly or monthly.
And most importantly, “everything you do takes you closer to or further away from your goals”, so stay on course.