New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year!!!!

It is a new year, which means a new semester and a new set of goals.  Before you begin to form your list of new goals, you must reflect on the goals from last semester. Take a look at the short and long term goals you created last semester. How did you do?  Did you accomplish everything on your list?  Did you surpass what you set out to do? Let’s take stock of what you have accomplished (and did not accomplish).  Look at what you were able to do! Congratulate and reward yourself for a job well done.  Look at the factors that affected why you were able to accomplish the goals.  What formula did you have in place that allowed you to succeed? How can you apply that formula to the new set of goals for yourself? 

 

At the same time, reflect on the goals you were unable to achieve, hold yourself accountable for the goals that you did not obtain.  Now is not the time to beat yourself for not achieving your goals. This is where you evaluate the goal(s) you did not accomplish and discover why they were not achieved.  Were there factors within your control? Were there uncontrollable factors? Did you almost meet the goal?  Look at all of the factors associated with each missed goal.  A missed goal does not mean the goal is lost forever.  It could just be bad timing or the lack of balance.  Pinpointing the reason why the goal was not accomplished will help to decipher if the goal is lost or should be revisited.  If it is salvageable, add the goal to the list of goals for the new semester. If the goal is not salvageable, evaluate all of the reasons why you were unable to accomplish the goal and try to prevent those factors from reoccurring.

After evaluating your goals, reflect on how you would do things differently.  Did your goals challenge you, did they push you to the next level of your (personal, professional, academic, financial) life, did you accomplish your goals to fast? Ask yourself these things and gear up for the new semester.  Make a list of the things you would like to accomplish this semester. Divide the list into short term and long term goals; indicating items you would like to accomplish at the beginning of the semester, items by the midpoint, and items to complete by the end of the semester. Ensure there is variety within your goals and you take a holistic approach to your goal setting.  Becoming stronger and more competent in one area of your life will not help you most in the long run.  You want to ensure you are developing and balancing all aspects of your life. Focus on your personal growth (spiritual, social, physical, financial), as well as, your professional growth (academics, experience, and skillsets).

Goal setting can be challenging especially if you are coming off a semester where you did not accomplish all you hoped.  Try to look at goals as small pictures that will come together to achieve one big picture. Accomplishing the small goals, step-by-step will help you to tackle the bigger goals piece-by-piece.  Instead of saying you want to lose 50lbs; try saying you want to lose 4lbs a month.  Instead of saying you want to earn an “A” in Molecular Biology, try focusing on earning an “A” one assignment at a time. Instead of saying you want to make new friends, try one new activity a month. Each of the smaller goals are a part of the bigger picture and as you accomplish the smaller goals they will propel you towards the bigger goal.

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