If there is one thing best to accomplish in a new beginning, it is none other than setting goals. Last year, I had read Atomic Habits by James Clear. A book so life-changing and enlightening, filled with wisdom for people with desires to change. While reading the book, I learned about identity-based goals.  These are the goals that focus on developing habits that turn into identity.

In this blog post, I will be sharing 6 different identity-based goals that I have set for myself this year, 2021. Some of these goals are new, while some are pleading for another shot. Please note this as my own way of building accountability with you, my readers. And all throughout my entire walk, I promise to share with you the most relevant lessons as we go along through this year of self-development.

1. Be a Reader

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I am joyful to share with you that I read 20 amazing books last year. I know that for some people, the number may sound a lot, while some may deem few. However, this accomplishment lies in the middle ground. The reason that I set this goal once again (just like last year) was because of my inconsistencies when it comes to reading. I remember reading 4 books on a streak for an entire month then nothing at all for the next month. This year, I want to work with my consistency by starting small. I plan to read for at least 30 minutes a day. And hopefully, this may help me to read 30 books at the end of 2021. As of late, I have read 1 book about parenting entitled MOTIVATE by Dr. Peter Tan Chi and Deonna Tan Chi. Even I am yet to become a parent, I learned a lot of things in the book that I can apply to impact the lives of other people. Right now, I am reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker which is starting to change my view of sleep, especially as a medical laboratory science student.

2. Be a Blogger

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Despite the global pandemic, 2020, from a personal point of view, was a great year. As I had written in my latest blog post entitled 20 Things The Past Year (2020) Has Taught Me, life in quarantine changed my entire being. Not only did it transformed my perspective, but it was also a year of breakthrough because it was when I started to enter the world of blogging. Ever since I was a 12 years old child, I knew writing was my thing. I don’t exactly know why, but there is just something about it that turns my world upside down every time I enter a state of self willing to write. I remember when I was young, I wrote a few stories on Wattpad. And a decade later, here I am entering a new world of writing in the form of blogs. In the upcoming month of May, I am celebrating my first-anniversary in blogging, and I am filled with joy as to how my blog helped me to change for the better. Even so to the extent of satisfaction and self-reflection, its world has given me.

In retrospect, there were a lot of inconsistencies that I want to correct and restart from for the year 2021. Last year, I wrote 20 blog posts, and this time, I want to set a goal of becoming a blogger (in identity) by setting a goal of writing at least one blog post each week. Following this, at the end of the year, I expect to write 52 blogs for the year. I plan to start small by observing to write at least an hour per day.

3. Be a Learner

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As some of you may know, I am a third-year medical laboratory science student from the Philippines who also aspires to become a doctor of medicine. And just like normal students studying in a university, I want to become a better learner by expanding my knowledge and wisdom in line with the science that I am pursuing. Hence, for the year 2021, I want to start a habit of reading medical journals, at least 10 minutes every morning to learn new information regarding the field of medical laboratory science and medicine. The pandemic has opened my eyes to the importance of constant acquisition of knowledge. And by developing this identity-based habit, I am certain to learn more useful information that can help me and other people in the midst of these global health crises and hopefully, someday, as a health practitioner.

4. Be a Diarist

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Another habit I plan to continue is the practice of journaling. For certain, my most practised habit in the previous year is journaling. Every night, I sit on a chair to reminisce and reflect upon what happened to me all day. I actively engage my mind in the recall of the situations, either positive or negative, and write them to calm my mind and senses. What I love about the practice is its promotion of self-awareness. When writing in a diary, a person gets to become honest and lenient to oneself. In a haven without bias and judgement from other people, a person’s flow of emotions and thoughts are at peak. My journal is my safest place, but, this year, I want to try something different by starting a gratitude journal.

The practice is very simple. All I have to do is to write at least five things I am grateful for and another five (at least) for the things which I can do better tomorrow. Gratitude journals are not new, however, it is a practice promoting joy and appreciation. I first read about it from Tim Ferris and I have heard a lot of recommendations from other self-development personalities too. As how they say it, there’s no harm in trying. Nonetheless, I am hopeful as I engage myself in gratitude journaling, I am bound to become happier while developing myself too. Because at the end of the day, the happiest people are those who are grateful. #BoundaryBreakers!

5. Be a Trainer

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As the global pandemic took lives by storm, a lot of people had a life-changing realization relevant to the importance of health. All factors considered I grew up in a (not so much) healthy state of being. At a very young age, I was diagnosed with obesity. And when I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. Not only do I had a pancreatic problem, but, my grandparents’ health history of diabetes also contributes to putting me at a greater risk for diabetes. Hence, if I want to remain healthy, I must grind my way into the effort of choosing a diet and building a habit of exercise.

With the crisis I had witnessed, I learned that life is too short—a lesson that placed a desire in my heart to take good care of the totality of my health. This year, I want to train my physical body, and to do it, I for one, must set an identity-based goal. Honestly, I have no idea how I can practically measure this goal because I prefer not using any applications while doing exercises because I prefer to listen to podcasts or watch some Netflix shows to maximize my time. Nonetheless, I plan to measure my training by investing in a logbook where I can record the amount of time I had engaged in physical exercise. To start small, my goal is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, four times a week or a total of 108 hours for the whole year. This goal sounds hard, but, anyway, let’s do it.

6. Be a Meditator

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I remember the first time I heard of meditation in 2017, as a Christian, my first reaction was a huge “no” because I thought that it was only intended for people of a certain religion. However, as I studied the context (as well as benefits) of the practice, I recognized there is a lot more to meditation than religious activity. For the past two years since I started to meditate, mindfulness meditation has work wonders for balancing the state of chaos in terms of my mental and emotional health. As a person who is more inclined in introversion, I always find myself sweating (so hard) whenever I am in some crowded places, however, with the help of the practice of meditation, I started to become mindful of the things happening around me. Not only that, but I also found myself becoming more aware of my thought process because of the practice. However, like the other identity-based goals mentioned above, I was also inconsistent with the practice. This year, I plan to do better by setting a goal to meditate for at least ten minutes a day, five times a week or a total of 2,600 minutes of meditation for the entire year. Likey to the mode of measurement I used in training, I will also record my minutes of meditation every day in order to see how far I came at the end of the year.

Like any other goals in life, this list is nonsense apart from the action I put into it. My greatest hope is in the process, I learn discipline more than motivation because it is only when I am disciplined, I get to break my boundaries and develop myself for the greater. Wishi me luck, boundary breakers!


Q&A: Question and Action

What are your goals for 2021? How can you measure your success in reaching these goals?

I would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. And if you have any blog suggestions, feel free to let me now.


About the Writer:

Elijah Wayne Marin is a self-improvement blogger from the Philippines. He is a medical laboratory science student who began blogging in the midst of a pandemic. His goal is to empower young people in breaking their boundaries by providing tips, motivation and relevant information about personal development.

If you want to receive newsletters and remain updated on self-improvement, you can follow Go Develop Yourself here.

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