Achieving your goals in the new year
Steps to make that resolution a reality
It’s a bright new 2014, and with the new year comes the inevitable batch of resolutions. When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, we have the chance to make something new out of ourselves, leave the old behind and finally achieve what we’ve wanted for so long. While a fresh beginning sounds simple, reaching a goal can be harder than it seems on paper. It takes hard work and determination.
Most people will make a New Year’s resolution: whether it be to lose weight, get better grades or get a better job. But often, by setting an unrealistic goal or taking on too much at once, the year’s resolution quickly becomes a distant, unattainable dream.
But don’t lose hope. Whatever your goal for this year may be, you can make it happen (as long as it’s realistic, of course). Susan Shores is a counsellor at the Calgary Counselling Centre and has five tips for anyone who wants to reach their goals this year.
1. Small, attainable goals.
It’s important to set goals that you will reach. Don’t, for example, give yourself one year to do something that would impossible to do in ten. Give yourself a certain time frame — a month or three — and start out small. That way, you won’t get discouraged and are more likely to get it done. Set yourself up for success, not failure.
2. Realize the goal.
Why do you want to achieve this goal? It is wishful thinking or it is actually something that you can reach in a certain timeframe? It this something that you really want for yourself or are others influencing you to make you think you want it? It’s important to ask yourself these questions before you start out. Really think about what you want in life and how this goal will help you with that.
3. Action plan.
Have a concrete plan to help you hit the mark. Figure out the steps you need to take to make it a reality and track your progress. Changing your life for the better takes work, and it often involves stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things differently. If you have had the same habits for many years, it’s going to take a lot more than a day to change that.
4. Stay positive.
Don’t get discouraged or be too hard on yourself if you stumble. Even with all the mental preparations and planning, there’s no guarantee that you will effortlessly see it through to the end—and that’s okay! If you fall, just get up and try again. If it’s really not working, consider re-visiting your goal and tweaking it so that you can achieve it.
5. Seek out support.
Don’t do it alone. Get support from those around you. Ask them to keep you on track and keep you motivated. When you tell the close people in your life about what you want to accomplish, you will see if your goal is realistic from people who know you best and get support when things get tough. Everyone needs support now and then: don’t be afraid to ask for it.
The new year can be a new start, a time when you can become the best you and finally do something you’ve always wanted. Realize that there is a difference between a wish and a goal. A goal takes time and effort, but is very worth it in the end. Keep working on it and don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time around!