This article is written by BerkOp's English Columnist Kyu Park.
Common Sense Not So Common: Goals are Guides to Good Life
It is already the second month of 2016. We probably made our vows for the coming year on New Year’s Day. However, most of these goals are a mere repetition of those of the past. The reflection that there was insignificant progress in the past discourages us and arouses doubt whether there would be any difference this year. We nevertheless manage to set goals, with the aid of the atmosphere of 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year'. At the corner of our hearts, failed trials discourage us. These dispiriting thoughts quickly encroach our ambitions and abject laziness conquers our feeble minds. Yet, the setting of goals is pivotal to start the momentum for next year, and furthermore, our future.
There is an immense difference between none and some. The beginning of a year is the perfect opportunity to face delayed problems and make some improvements. Idleness not only deters growth, but also distorts resolvable problems into chronic setbacks of life. Awareness and consistency are the best shields from the attacks of laziness. It is the procedure of goal setting that makes us vigilant and steady with our efforts. The direction to which these goals lead us is the prominent issue of our lives.
Everyone is given a blank sheet of paper upon birth. The paper represents life itself. Every decision adds a stroke on it. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the effects of each stroke, and simply ends up scribbling all over without any clear purpose. Yet, there are people who draw masterpieces on the same piece of paper. The envisioning of the overall picture is what makes each stroke meaningful, and the compilation of numerous careful decisions can only be characterized as beautiful. That is why setting a distinct goal is important: knowing what one wants to do with one’s life.
Even if the attempt meets an unsuccessful end, there is nevertheless evident advancement. Each trial brings positive change in our lives. Throughout steady trials, numerous altercations of our thoughts and habits amass to become a foundation of development. Similar to working out, the attempts build stronger willpower that give way for the opportunity for a better shot on the next endeavor. Everyone falls, but to learn from these mistakes is the difference between those who are idle and those who grow. It is true that the best prevention of failure is to not even try. But this is also a definite prevention of success. Is it not the drama of interweaving successes and failures that makes our lives so fascinating? By setting goals, we plot the skits of our lives.
Such goals need to be realistic and achievable. Although there exists diverse mechanisms to effectively set goals, I would like to suggest one of a procedural manner. The first step is to decide what to accomplish. Prioritization is key, and only the most important goals should be elected. Having too many goals would only distract us and have subtle effects; too much is as bad as too little. Each goal should be specific and assessable, so that its success or failure is apparent. The next step is to break down the goal into smaller steps. For instance, I had a goal for this year to read 100 books. There are 52 weeks in a year, so reading two books a week would be a practical short term goal that I could constantly track. In the end, by putting together the manageable ‘two books a week’ plan, I have successfully read 100 books this year. The accumulation of small steps is what make bigger goals achievable. Attainment of goals takes us closer to our ideal selves. With the coming of Lunar New Year, let’s rethink about the ideal ‘me’ and set great goals.