Taking baby steps to achieve goals


A new year is nearly always met with hope and positivity.

Many lament setbacks due to virus but are cautiously making plans for 2021

I AM of the opinion that people in general should be less hard on themselves, given the year they just went through.

To put things into context, about a month ago, I was asked to share about the expectations of the average Joe for this year.

Last year might have fallen short for many people who had shared on social media about how their plans and goals had, through no fault of their own, taken a backseat because of the pandemic.

For months, I read posts online about people beating themselves up for underachieving throughout last year.

With the pandemic still a major setback, it is only normal for some to refuse setting themselves up for bigger and bolder things this year because the slightest mistake can lead to failure.

But hey, a new year is always naturally greeted with great enthusiasm and a positive outlook. After all, it’s the time for fresh beginnings, albeit there may be some who will still be cautions.

For most people, this means kickstarting the new year with a fresh set of resolutions or drawing up a set of expectations.

Personally, I do not really believe in the idea of making New Year resolutions.

As a ‘doer’, I always prefer to do things straightaway at any time of the year at all, instead of talking about what I was going to do at the beginning of the year.

Because I take pride in what I do and believe that the grass is greener where you water it.

I tend to hold myself accountable and will therefore set out to accomplish my goals, reflect and see how far I’ve come.

I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I look back to see that I’ve achieved all of my set goals year after year.

But I do enjoy listening to people when they speak about their resolutions and expectations.

Usually, we would always hear about the worldly things they hoped to accomplish for that year.

But no one ever really talks about wanting to achieve immeasurable personal growth as a goal.

Where do our moments of growth come from? Some say it’s from the process of making mistakes and learning from them. Others say it’s from being consistently 1% better every day.

It’s also about having a sense of purpose and fulfilment that is not defined by worldly pleasures.

A friend told me: “All that matters the most is to be healthy and safe, to have a happy family and great friends to share life’s wonderful moments.”

I could not agree more with her.

The 1% rule completely resonated with me because I love the process of seeing through my goals instead of focusing on the end result. The idea is, by being 1% better each day, we are able to stack the good habits we develop over time.

As such, the 1% rule centres on what we can expect of ourselves daily and these are the things we can control.

But on a macro level, what about expectations on things we don’t have control over, such as governance in times of a health crisis or the drafting of public policies?

Another friend said in such times, all she hoped for was a government that takes good care of its citizens.

“Because at the end of the day, their policies do affect us.

“Our healthcare system is one of the best and I hope that will last for generations to come, ” she added.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the rules of good governance apply now more than ever in times of crisis.

With economic and social repercussions at stake, good public governance is crucial to both recovery and building a ‘new normal’.

In Penang, I am confident that its people are in good hands under the administration of Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

Penangites can be assured that their welfare will be protected and quality of life improved, as stressed by Chow who announced last October that the state had underlined several strategies to empower its economic recovery under its 2021 Budget.

It’s no doubt that Covid-19 has derailed the state’s plans on several projects.

However, it is reassuring to hear that the Penang government remains optimistic.

Chow was quoted as saying in his Malaysia Day message in September last year that

the strategies and governance had to be revamped to be in line with the current situation.

He also said the state would continue to value the benefits of Industrial Revolution 4.0, and his brainchild, the Penang2030 vision.

Of course, no one could anticipate the full magnitude of Covid-19.

But one thing’s for sure – we can expect to be protected as evidenced by the millions spent by the state on various economic

stimulus packages for those affected by the pandemic.

We may not be out of the woods yet, pandemic-wise, so it helps to see our government making that 1% difference each day.

Here’s to our own personal growth, not taking things for granted and keeping what’s most important to our hearts.

Have a happy, merry and bright 2021!

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