Written by Tia Chen-Wong.

We’ve all heard it: “It’s 2020!” “Ring in the new decade!” “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” Personally, I usually never make one, but entering my final semester as a graduating senior has inspired me to make not just one resolution, but twelve—one for each month. On top of that (and because I like puns), I’ve also created a “2020 vision” for myself, which overall encapsulates what I want to accomplish and who I want to be by the end of the year. I’m going to break down what each of these looks like, as well as share some lessons I’ve learned about goal setting in general to hopefully help the other visionaries out there!

12 Resolutions

I got the idea to do this from YouTuber Matt D’Avella, who makes a lot of interesting content about habit-making and the minimalistic lifestyle. Instead of making one year-long promise to do something, you commit to twelve 30-day habits. I found this appealing because it gives you the freedom to build on multiple habits as the year goes on or drop something after a month if you don’t enjoy it, thus making the psychological commitment less daunting and encouraging more bold resolutions. For my 12 resolutions, I tried to create a mix of action-based habits, such as writing 30 minutes a day or making a daily to-do list, and psychological mindsets, such as not comparing myself to others and expressing gratitude. The monthly variety also keeps the practice engaging and fresh in my mind throughout the entire year, rather than starting super strong in January and fading out by midsummer. It’s only the beginning of February, but I feel much more confident in my ability to achieve every resolution on my list.

2020 Vision

This will look different for every person, since it is a reflection of how you see yourself and the areas you want to focus on in your life. For me, I want to focus my vision through 3 different lenses: my role as head managing editor of the Blog, the end of my undergrad experience, and the beginning of my full-time working life. In the first area, I see myself publishing some new Haas Undergraduate vlogs on our YouTube channel, celebrating my peers with new Humans of Haas interviews, and sharing the lessons I’ve learned at Cal through personal blog posts like this one. In the second area, I envision myself hitting everything on my restaurant bucket list (one day I’ll wait in line for Ippudo), planning my graduation trip to Europe, and most of all, cherishing the remaining time I have with my friends here. And in the third area, I see myself (hopefully) finding housing in SF, learning how to cook—as an RA I’ve always had a meal plan, so I need to catch up big time here—and learning more about personal finance. Unlike the 12 monthly resolutions, I will be working toward achieving these objectives over the course of the whole year.

Goal-Setting Tips

  • Perseverance above all: especially for the monthly habits, don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Last month my goal was to work out every day, and I was doing super well until the stomach flu knocked me on my back for three days. My initial reaction was that I had failed the entire challenge, but giving up that easily would be a cop out. Cultivating a more resilient mentality motivated me to get back on the treadmill and make up the missed days in February.
  • Go at your own pace: On the high school track team, my favorite events were the 100 and 200 meter sprints; when it comes to habits, I like applying the same short bursts of energy. That’s why 12 monthly habits work for me, but it isn’t the same for everyone. If the stamina game comes more easily to you, consider year-long resolutions or 2020 vision for the decade. It all comes down to personal preference.
  • Equal parts speech and action: I believe there is power in speaking something into existence, but at the end of the day, words mean nothing if you don’t put action behind it. Last year when I would bump into friends I hadn’t seen in a while, I would always say, “We should hang out!” without any conviction behind my words. It’s no one’s fault, but everyone’s schedule is so busy that we never feel like we have the time. Now with my 2020 vision, I am determined to make time for people, and I follow up through messaging and Google Calendar invites.

Big or small, setting and accomplishing goals is never easy. It takes constant dedication, and it can often feel more like a source of stress than motivation. But when you overcome the obstacles to achieve your aspirations, the feeling that you are getting closer and closer to the best version of yourself is totally worth it. I hope this inspires others to form habits and create a 2020 vision, and I wish you all the best of luck for the new year!

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