Keeping Your New Year's Resolution
Year 9 is nearly over, and with the end of the year comes the beginning of another. One of the most popular New Year’s traditions is making resolutions – personal goals that symbolize how, like the year changing from old into new, you will turn over a new leaf and improve yourself. Unfortunately, the vast majority of resolutions are broken. This guide is meant to help you create and follow your yearly resolution.
Step 1: Decide on a goal
The first (and most important) step is deciding on a goal. Ideally, it would be something that you really want, so you would be motivated to accomplish it. However, it’s important to choose a goal that’s not too difficult. If the goal is so incredibly difficult that you will never accomplish it, you’ll feel as if it doesn’t matter if you try or not, so you won’t work towards it. You also want to have a goal that requires your input. If your goal is to win the lottery, you don’t really need any input other than buying lots of tickets – you just need luck. You want something where you’re almost guaranteed to succeed if you try, and guaranteed to fail if you don’t, so you will both have a reason to try and a way to feel good about yourself when (not if) you succeed.
-Buy a paintbrush for your pet
-Earn a shiny new trophy
-Get the world’s largest dung collection
-Learn a new skill
-Get the best trophy in a plot
-WORLD DOMINATION! (My personal goal. :P)
Step 2: Identify what you need to fulfill the goal
Obviously, you won’t be able to just magically achieve your goal. Therefore, you need to identify what steps you need to follow to reach your goal. What steps do you need to follow? I recommend working backwards from your goal. For example, if you want to buy a paintbrush, that means you need neopoints. If you want to win a trophy, you need to get a high score. If you want a huge collection, you need lots of neopoints to buy everything. If you want world domination, you need to come up with a good evil plot. These goals usually have two requirements: practice and perseverance. Practice means you actively try to improve your abilities, while perseverance means you keep trying. So if you need to get a high score, you will need to practice the game a lot, and keep trying to get a higher score even if you deem it “good enough”. If you want to get a lot of neopoints, you would need to practice different ways of getting neopoints and consistently make an effort to reach your goal. If you want a successful evil plot, you need to constantly come up with new ones until you get one that works.
Step 3: Make checkpoints on the way to your goal
You probably won’t achieve your goal overnight, so you’ll need to make smaller, more achievable goals, on your way to your ultimate goal. If you need to make 500,000 neopoints, you could tell yourself to make 5,000 neopoints a day – a goal that is definitely achievable and hopefully not too difficult. If you make 5,000 neopoints a day, you would be able to achieve your goal in roughly three months. If you’re playing a game and need a score of 1,000, you could make a goal to increase your score by 10 points a day. Assuming you start at 500 or so points, you would fulfill your goal in under two months. The more you practice, the better you’ll do, so you should never stop until you reach your checkpoint. With world domination, you could make a smaller evil plot to conquer just one land, such as Krawk Island. These smaller goals put your mission in perspective, so you can tell if you’re on the path to success.
Step 4: Exceed your expectations
Never settle for “good enough”. The higher you set your sights, the faster you’ll achieve your goal. For example, if you say you’ll make 5,000 neopoints a day, don’t quit at 4,900. If you’re in a good mood, you could even go on to 6,000 or 7,000 neopoints. If you double your smaller goal, you’ll achieve your larger goal twice as fast. If you seem to be doing really good in a game one day, don’t stop. Keep going for as long as you can – you might be able to win that shiny trophy you wanted. The harder you try, the better you’ll do. If you’ve already conquered Krawk Island, try going for Mystery Island next. If you practice a lot, you’ll become better at reaching your checkpoints, and it will become easier to exceed them.
Step 5: Repeat
One goal is never enough, so try combining your goals. For example, if you want to make a million neopoints, you could combine that with a goal to learn how to restock. Both goals work well together (Restocking makes lots of neopoints, and lots of neopoints lets you restock more.) If you want a new trophy, you could choose a game that gives an avatar for having a high score, so you would both get a trophy and an avatar. In addition to working towards two goals at once, you can also set a higher goal after you achieve your original goal. If your original resolution was to make 500,000 neopoints, and you did that in half the expected time, you could make another goal to get a million neopoints. With those neopoints, you could learn to restock, and with the items you restock, you could create an awesome gallery, and you could trade your gallery to Dr. Sloth for a heat ray to conquer Happy Valley... Keep creating new goals! One goal can lead you into another, and you’ll discover that the more goals you fulfill, the easier it is to achieve another.
Now you have no excuse to not keep your New Year’s resolution. Unless your goal was to not fulfill your resolution, in which case, congratulations on creating a paradox! Especially if your secondary goal was to create a bunch of paradoxes.
Author’s note: My goal isn’t really world domination. *shifty eyes* Happy New Year!