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New Year’s Resolutions & Setting Goals

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ringing in the new year means a fresh start, and making New Year’s resolutions is a great way to stay on track. When setting goals for the new year, make sure they are SMART: specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely. By creating SMART goals you are setting yourself up for success.

Making goals specific is important, because you need to know exactly what you’re working toward. If your goal is “improve my GPA,” that doesn’t give you an exact figure to achieve. Instead, try setting a goal with a specific figure in mind, such as “achieve a 3.5 GPA.”  

Often people set goals and forget to set a completion deadline. Setting an end date for goals gives you an exact time frame in which your goal needs to be completed. When setting the goal “achieve a 3.5 GPA,” does that mean achieve a 3.5 GPA by graduation? Or by junior year? Putting a time frame on your goal is necessary and helpful. Let’s revise the previous goal by adding an end date: “achieve a 3.5 GPA by the end of the spring semester.”

Sometimes when setting goals people go overboard and try to achieve impossible goals in a small amount of time. Making sure your goals are attainable and realistic will help you stay on track. For example, raising your GPA from a 2.0 to a 4.0 in a semester is unlikely. But achieving a 3.5 GPA for the semester is attainable and realistic if you are determined.

Measuring your progress when setting and working toward goals is crucial. If your goal is to have a 3.5 semester GPA, will you be able to assess your progress midway through the semester? Having check-ins with professors over the course of the semester can help you assess your progress and make changes to your current work ethic if necessary.

A completed SMART goal should look something like this: “I want to achieve a 3.5 GPA by the end of the spring semester. I will have three grade check-ups with professors to make sure I am on track to achieve my goal. My goal is realistic if I work hard and dedicate myself to my academics.”

Setting goals is a fantastic way to start off the semester. Chapter officers and councils are currently working hard to set goals for the upcoming calendar year. Sorority women who hold officer positions have transition meetings with incoming officers to help them prepare for the upcoming year as well as set goals. By using the SMART goal method, sorority women are setting themselves up for success.

Setting goals helps you succeed personally and academically. So what are you waiting for? Set some goals!

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