The best way to achieve a goal is to set it. Easy? Far from it. Let’s go over some basics.
1. Stop Kidding Yourself.
You want a new boyfriend, that Michael Kors bag and a 4.0? That’s a lot of pressure. Stick to just a few things that you want to see happen in the new year. A lot of things will happen in between now and December. Don’t overextend yourself, and don’t try to conquer the world (though I’m sure you can).
Try writing down a list of everything you could possibly want to accomplish in 2013. Don’t hold back. Then, after you’ve written everything down, cross out anything that conflicts with another goal. Go back after that and think long and hard about the list. Is it doable? Is it realistic? Can you do this without sacrificing your social life/your academic record/your bank account? Pick only a few and only one big, major goal. This will help conserve your energy for your list.
2. Don’t Be Afraid.
Goal-setting isn’t about accomplishing things you would normally achieve in the coming year. You should certainly celebrate every achievement (because you’re a star), but set goals for 2013 that scare you a little. You should genuinely wonder if you can accomplish your goal. That way, not only are you doing something you deem important and worthwhile, but you’re also growing in the process. Don’t be afraid to take a little risk and step out of your comfort zone. Life is short. Play on that female rugby team or attempt a half-marathon. Unapologetically send your resume to a thousand different places (I’m actually not sure if this is good internship-seeking etiquette...check with a professional!).
3. If At First You Don’t Succeed...
Goals are hard. That’s why almost none of us actually accomplish our New Year’s Resolutions. So keep at it, and don’t give up if you miss a workout on your way to losing weight or mess up an interview on the way to getting that internship. Hannah Montana said it best: “Everybody makes mistakes/Everybody has those days.” (It’s stuck in your head now, isn’t it? No? Liar.) One great way to stay on track is to keep your list of goals somewhere prominent, so you see it every day. Post-it note them somewhere on your computer, put it at your desk (at work or at home), or even tape it to a mirror. Seeing your goals every day will remind you what you’re working for and help you stay focused.
4. Drop It Like It’s Hot.
If a goal isn’t making you happy, is stressing you out or is basically ruining your life (not to sound dramatic), drop it. Of course, sometimes going after something you want is stressful, but if you’re ending every day miserable and sad, that goal isn’t worth it. Goals are supposed to enrich your life and make you happier, better and well-rounded. If your goals aren’t doing that, trim the list. It’s not “giving up” either or “quitting.” It’s understanding just how important your well-being is, and anything that doesn’t serve your well-being in a positive way gets axed. You feel me? Word.
5. Life Happens.
Life is funny, isn’t it? Weird coincidences, unexpected complications, fantastic random opportunities … they’re all part of life. And all of them might interfere with your goal. Maybe you accidentally pull a muscle and can’t work out for a month, effectively putting your weight-loss plans on hold. Don’t see it as an obstacle to your goal; try and look at it as well-earned rest. Learn more about your body so you don’t pull another muscle. Let life happen, and enjoy it. Don’t worry too much about the goals you set and their successfulness. If you can get to the end of 2013 and love who you are, what you’ve done and learn from your mistakes, I’d say you’ve already gone above and beyond what’s expected of you.
Remember: Even if you don’t achieve all of your goals this year, you’re still fabulous! Happy New Year!
By: Alise Murawski | Image: Source