Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year, A New You

Written by Laura McGehee, Marketing Intern

               Every year we make resolutions to get fit, make new friends, or even find a rewarding job. While our goals and aspirations for the year are motivation for success, many resolutions die out by February or March.
               Many of us find ourselves making the same resolutions every year and, after vowing to make "this year" different, fall short once again. After talking to many goal setters and searching through goal related articles here is some great advice to help you achieve everything you desire in 2012.
               Start by narrowing down your list of goals to the handful most important to you. If there was one thing you could accomplish this year, what would it be?  Next, determine if this goal is realistically obtainable. If your goal is to save enough money to purchase your dream car, do you have a job that will support such big dreams? Is your income greater than your current spending habits?
               Make sure your goal is measurable. By setting boundaries, you make it easier to gage your success and determine where you need to make changes. An example of a measurable goal would be, “I want to lose 10 pounds by May, 2012.” Losing 10 pounds can be broken down into mini goals and is easily measurable by a scale. Be specific in your goal setting. Simply saying, "I want to stop gossiping" is not specific enough to determine if you are making progress. If your goal would take a 5 minute conversation to explain, it is probably too broad.
               Write your resolutions down and put them in a spot that will be a constant reminder for you. Many experts also suggest that you share your goals with those close to you. By telling others your resolutions you have developed a support system that holds you accountable. If you are trying to save money for school, you may think twice about a wasteful purchase when you are with friends or family. Involving others in your goals can also give you someone to talk to when you feel you may be stuck in a rut. Those who genuinely care about you want to see you succeed and to be the best that you can be.
               Once you have assembled your support team, devise a plan of action. Break your goals down into smaller parts that will make them seem more obtainable and give you something to work towards every day. For example, if you are trying to curse less, take one of the words you would like to rid from your vocabulary and replace it with a more gentle word. Vow to use this word a specific amount of times or for a set number of days until it becomes your new habit.
               To help your resolutions make it past February, reevaluate every few weeks or at the end of each month. Determine your progress and devise ways to make even more progress in the weeks to come. Figure what has and has not been working and make adjustments to move forward.
               It is also crucial that you celebrate your achievements. Reaching big goals can be difficult and you have to pat yourself on the back every now and then. Even the smallest congratulations to yourself can send your motivation in the right direction and push you to keep going.
               Most importantly, you must believe in yourself.  If you believe in the goal and your ability to achieve it, you will continue to motivate yourself and make moves toward success. Good luck in all you set out to achieve in 2012!

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