A belated New Year’s resolution: how to set and achieve your goals

Peyton Lewis ‘23, Feature Editor

January 2021 has come to a close. Many choose to set resolutions at the beginning of the year, and have possibly already broken them, while some may still be clinging on to their ambitions. 

It is, though, never too late to set goals for yourself. But in order to be successful, it is important to know how to set realistic and attainable goals.

The first step is to actually set the goal for oneself. The most popular way to do this is to use the SMART goal method. The smart goal method stands for specific, attainable, measurable, and timely. Independence University said, “by utilizing SMART goals, you can simplify your goals and ensure that each goal you are setting is important to you and that there is value in achieving it.” This method is effective for setting specific long term and short term goals. It can help you manage the time frame in which you want to achieve your goals and how specific you want the goal to be.

Now that you have a goal in mind, you need to work to actually achieve it. Simply setting a goal and then walking away will not work. It can be challenging at first but with the right strategy, it can be done. One way to help you achieve your goals is to tell people about it. In an article about goal setting for Forbes.com, writer Molly Cain said, ”Making yourself accountable to your friends and family is one of the best ways to reach your goals.” Sharing your goal with friends and family assures that there is someone else holding you accountable for your actions. 

Another strategy is to read your goals out loud daily. Life can get a bit chaotic at times and it can be easy for your goals to get pushed to the back of your mind. By reading your goals to yourself daily, they can stay at the front of your mind no matter how busy life gets. So start or end the day looking at your goals in order to keep them fresh. 

If reading your goals out loud doesn’t work for you, consider keeping a journal or goal sheet. Writing your goals down can help you to remember them. You can also decorate your journal to make it more personalized to you and make you want to look at the journal every day.

Goal setting can be hard; saying you want to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. But, if you take the time needed to set your goals and follow a strategy to achieve them, you will find success easier than you would expect. Just believe in yourself and stay confident, and any goal can be achieved.

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