January, a great month to set goals via screen or paper

By Najmi Mamat

Setting goals has always been an anticipated event when it comes to every New Year. As you keep struggling to have a better year than previous, you might keep asking what is still inadequate and what is wrong with your daily management.

Sometimes, having raw goals is quite hard to think as you feel that every year is just the same as before. Either doing chores or picking up a son at school, choosing colour of necktie before stepping into small compartment of your office room, trying to understand the lecturers’ opinion in front of the lecture hall while thinking on the next plan with your friends after class.

These kinds of situations might be stressful to handle even though it is only you yourself who makes the decision. However, at the end, you might forget about your own role and responsibilities.

You might want to serve delicious meal for your husband and children for dinner. You might also want to improve your potential while attending the pleasure in front of your employer among colleagues. Similarly, you might have to plan well ahead on your activities between friends in school as a student. Whatever you do, you need to have a good plan.

So, January has become the most chosen month to start with. Here are a few things that you can do to start planning and working on your New Year resolutions.

1.Buy a paper calendar
This is the simplest thing that you can do and mostly done among us when it comes to New Year. The paper calendars can be easily received for free which usually are being distributed as a gift by companies, shopping malls and other business for promotional purposes. Then, everyone would love to hang them on walls or put it on your desk. Crossing the date numbers on calendar somehow would be the best tension released before going to bed as it marks our success to call it a day and also for you to see the whole week’s progress.

Purchasing a paper calendar might be irrelevant to some as we are already living in the age of digital. Nevertheless, some just love to mark the dates in a traditional way. It is actually up to your preferences whether you would fine stare it on screen or paper. Interestingly, it is important to mention that paper calendar still survived nowadays. In fact, the number of sales has shown an increaseed pattern, as reported by The New York Times.

Therefore, we should try to own the paper calendars at least one as it simply reminds us about today’s date.

2.Checking on To-do-list

Our daily activities might always hit the fan. You suddenly get mess up with those tones of upcoming projects, unfinished event planning and also your final assignment submissions. With to-do-list (regardless on screen or paper), it assists you to be a well-structured and an organised good planner. In other words, you prioritise and arrange them according to the nearest due dates. Once you’ve done it, kindly check or tick the checkboxes right away.

3.Write daily, weekly or monthly planner on paper
Daily, weekly and monthly planner equals to having a paper calendar. The only different is you can write something in the boxes in the blank space provided. It also works as your reminder notes or to-do-list. The blank templates are provided in the Internet for you to print them out. However, it would be great if you can draw and customise the planner nicely on a piece of paper where you can express creativity using beautiful calligraphy fonts, colour pens and paper. Then, you unintentionally have decorated your bulletin boards. In addition, the planner also comes in book form where you can have those three types of inserts. Similarly, datebook helps you track your daily activities too.

The good thing is to have a paper planner as it doesn’t distract you with notification bar. Unlike smartphones apps, it doesn’t make noise (unless you put it on mute mode) and it doesn’t consume battery life.

4.Having handy digital planner on your mobile phones
The technologies of mobile applications have slightly revolved our old-fashioned pen and paper planner to record things. Today, everything has been compressed in your small handy smartphones. Everyone could have a reminder note, a calendar with infinite years, a fancy diary apps as well as an electronic to-do-list that can alert you with sound.

“In Google Calendar, I can jot down an event’s start and end times, its location, the names of everyone else involved (along with their contact information), and just about any other details that come to mind,” said Bertel King, the author of makeuseof.com, who believes that both (paper and digital planner) could help people to stay organised.

Evernote, Sunrise, Google Calendar, Todoist would be the best examples of available applications that you can try them out. Not to mention, there are abundance of apps that suit your favourites.

5.Journaling works as your mental health therapy
From fancy ‘Dear Diary’ stuff until organised daily journal, they are still being practised by some young millennials. Instead of telling your experiences and sharing your feeling with someone, jotting them down on paper or hitting the keyboards would substitute that ways.

Most psychologists and experts have confirmed that journaling could be one of the best mental therapies as it could release the emotional and mental stress. Moreover, recent research found that writing by hands would lead people to a better memorisation and comprehension. Therefore, journaling habits come in handy.

Take bullet journal template as an example where the arranged printed dots help you to have variety kinds of records. Imagine, a single page would be loaded with to-do-list, goals list, reminders as well as monthly planner. It depends on your own drawing creativity as you join the dots or bullets to form a simple small box or a colourful habit schedule.

As mentioned earlier, the paper and printed planner books, dates books, and diaries are still endured despite living in digital age. However, the business of selling these planners has shown soaring and positive competitions. Furthermore, not only it’s available on store shelves, thanks to Internet that gives a chance for those related companies to sell them via online. For Malaysians, you are kindly suggested to check out these online stores and outlets if you plan to have one Malaysian book planner product for this year;
a) B’nottee.com
b) Paperdorable
c) Stickerrific.com
d) Mossery Stationery
e) Typo Malaysia

Now, for organising your life, these simple tools stated above have been your realistic guidelines. Your goals, life objectives, and short and long term missions would not be complete if you do not put them on paper or screen.

Here’s a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”. This would be the best reminder for one’s life. ***

Najmi Mamat

Najmi Mamat, or Najmi Syahiran Mamat is a Journalism student, who is working as Senior Journalist at IIUMToday (university news portal) and currently being in the position of Managing Editor. Besides having a position as a news anchor at its bulletin production, he is actively participating in theater performances and in love with photography as well as travelling and vlogging. He works as a part-timer of event emcee too. Travel. Student. Notebook.

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