Siji Loto

Mind & Pen on Fire


We are in a new year and most likely many people will have created some new years resolutions. I’m not a fan of new year resolutions. Whenever I have something I want to work on in my life I just start it. But I do have some personal goals for this year. Here are some suggestions to help you to be more productive this year.

  • Write your goals down and reflect on them at the end of every day and every week to see how much progress you’re making. You’re less likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down and stash them where you can’t see them again or worse, not writing them at all. You need to be honest with yourself about your progress. Self-deception won’t help you in any way.
  • Develop a morning and evening routine (even an afternoon and weekend routine, if possible) and stick to it. At the end of the day, reflect on how you spent your day. You can create a criteria list for honestly judging your behaviour or character (I may touch on this in the future). Also plan out the next day: create your to-do list, making it as short as possible; pick out your clothes and shoes; prepare your food (breakfast and lunch). Don’t end your day on social media, watching the news or watching TV shows (I do this a lot). You can read or journal before you sleep. Find ways to manage your relationship with the digital world and embed it in your daily routine.
  • Define what success means to you by listening to what your life is saying to you. Most of us define our success by what is popular. We like to compare ourselves to others, which us arrogant when we’re doing better than others and make us depressed when people are doing better than others. There’s a high probability that what you’ve been called on earth to do will make you persecuted by people even your loved ones. Staying true to what you’ve been called to do is more difficult than it seems.
  • Learn to sit down by yourself in complete silence and listen to what God is saying to you and what your life is saying to you. The art of silence & solitude is a lost skill in our super-connected technological age. Many of us are scared of being alone by ourselves. Disconnecting from everything and connecting with God should be a priority in our lives. Many of us would take notes when someone is preaching or teaching us but we won’t take notes from what God is saying to us.
  • Journaling. It is advisable to write in your journal every single day. Write whatever is on your mind both good and bad. Don’t hold anything back. Always end your journaling experience with gratitude: by writing down at least 5 things that you’re grateful for. If you spend time ranting in your journal you’ll start to think that there’s nothing good happening in your life and you’ll be consumed with cynicism and negativity. Gratitude helps remind you that life isn’t utterly terrible and it fuels you healthy positivity.
  • Health. Take care of your body. It is a permanent temple that you can’t abandon. Don’t neglect it because you’re too busy doing more ‘important things’. Eat right, sleep properly and exercise. Ignoring your bodily needs in the short term will cause big problems in the long term which will affect your ability to do other important things in life. Take your health seriously. Don’t be casual about it. Will your future self be happy with the way you’re treating your body?
  • Spiritual life. Take your prayer life seriously. Spend your free pockets of time during the day praying and meditating on God’s beauty. Practice disciplines that help stay conscious of God’s presence in your life throughout the day starting from early in the morning when you wake up till when you sleep. This doesn’t come naturally you have to proactively pursue intimacy with God or else busyness and distractions will consume your time.
  • Practice kindness. Take time each day to show kindness to at least 5 people everyday. Starting with your family members to your fellow students at school to the mailman. Everyone needs kindness in their life. A small act of kindness can change the trajectory of someone’s day which in turn affects everyone else that meet throughout their day. Basic courtesy is common, kindness is rare.

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