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Setting Goals for Yourself

Have you made any resolutions for the new year? How are they coming along? Are you meeting them so far?

A common myth states that most people break their resolutions within the first two months. However, studies show that more than 60 percent of people who make New Year's resolutions stick to them after two months if they have confidence in themselves, set reasonable goals, and plan ahead. What a simple strategy for success! And yet, many people fail to take these simple steps, only to find themselves stuck in the same old rut of bad habits and reactive responses to problems in their lives.

How often do you set goals for yourself? When you arrived on campus in August, you probably had some goals you wanted to accomplish. Perhaps you wanted to get all A's, or maybe you wanted to make lots of friends. Let's evaluate:

  • How are you doing at achieving those goals?
  • Where have you fallen short?
  • Where have you been successful?
  • Maybe you didn't set any goals. If so, why not? Were you afraid of failure?

Here are some tips to remember for setting and achieving goals:

Have confidence in yourself. If you don't believe in your heart that you can accomplish your objectives, then how likely is it that you are going to achieve them? You must believe that you can do it!

Be prepared for times when problems arise. Encourage yourself so you don't lose confidence or motivation. Remember that everyone has moments of weakness, but don't let that fear of your weakness control your behavior. Fear of failure shouldn't stop you from setting and achieving your goals. Be proud of yourself for trying!

Set reasonable goals that are achievable. Realize that a couple of moments of slacking off do not define failure. Rather, it's a reminder of why you set the goal in the first place. Don't give up on a goal at the first sign of weakness or trouble.

The secret to achieving a goal is not just setting it, but in planning to achieve it. Someone once said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." If you have set a goal for yourself, then think about it for a second. Here are some good questions to consider as you set your goal:

  • Is this an attainable and reasonable goal, or is it too demanding of your abilities?
  • How do you plan to carry out this objective on a daily or weekly basis?
  • What do you plan to do if you break down and ignore the plan once or twice?
  • Do your close friends know about this goal so they can hold you accountable in moments of weakness?
  • How do you plan to evaluate your progress to make sure this goal is achieved in the long run?

Success is closer than you think! So make those New Year's resolutions, and enjoy watching the improvements in your daily habits and self-esteem.