By: Haiya Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader
2023 is just a few weeks away, and as the new year approaches, the biggest trend is to create new resolutions for the coming year. In the excitement of new beginnings, everyone often makes big goals, of which some are achievable, and others are too drastic of a transition that leads to disappointment. Some reasons that lead to failure and should be avoided are a lack of accountability, lack of a method to track the progress, and lack of planning. However, setting a goal with a plan that has been broken down along with timelines, as well as having the measures to track the progress oftentimes leads to successful outcomes.
To start, aim for the final outcome you would want to obtain at the end of the year. Write out the final goal in present tense as the first statement, as if you have already achieved that goal. Next, set a date of achievement – it can be at the end of the year, 6 months, or as you would prefer. However, oftentimes people make drastic timelines, and forget to account for the transition time. Hence, taking few extra months but having the progression as a constant increase rather than drastic change allows for the journey to be much more enjoyable, and pleasant. It also ensures that the feeling of being overwhelming is avoided because feeing overwhelming can eventually lead to burnout and lack of motivation for the journey ahead.
For the action phase of the goals, one tip is to have the big goal broken down into mini plans so that the big goal does not become too overwhelming for you to take a shot at. However, when there are realistic mini goals that are much more achievable, it is easier to continue progressing as you can see the mini achievements being accomplished. Lastly, having a tracking record of how your journey is progressing is crucial to visualize how far you have come since you started the journey. To track the progress as you go, you can either write out the mini goals in order and check them off as you progress, or you can step up the game and implement some rewards of your choice, so the journey becomes enjoyable as you collect all the rewards. You can have rewards such as $100 shopping spree, a new pair of shoes, a trip with your loved ones, or anything that will motivate you to continue working towards the goal.
As the new year approaches, everyone gets excited to create new goals and starting off the year strong. However, unplanned, and drastic goals can cause a decline in the motivation and the desire to achieve those goals when the big goals become overwhelming. In retrospect, if the goals are broken down into mini-achievable goals, are tracked, and you have a system to reward yourself for the mini achievements, it leads to the journey being much more enjoyable.