New Year, New Goals?

Did you begin the new year with a goal in mind? Or are you struggling to create a realistic goal that you can commit to? Setting goals can be a healthy way to create effective change. But unrealistic goals can lead to frustration, disappointment, and a lack of motivation. Here are a few tips on creating realistic and manageable goals as you start the new year.

  • Stop – Start – Continue: A great way to begin is by identifying one thing you’d like to stop doing, one thing you’d like to start doing, and one thing you’d like to continue doing. Were there any habits you wanted to break, or form? Is there something that’s worked well last year that you’d like to bring with you into the new year? Reflect on what type of change, or consistency, you’d like to see in 2022.
  • Prioritize: Three goals can be a lot to start with, so let’s narrow down the options to one. How important is it that you stop a certain behavior, or create a new and healthy habit? How would you feel if this change happened miraculously overnight? What would change? Would anything improve? Reflect on these questions to uncover which goal means the most to you.
  • Break it down: Now that you have your goal in mind, it’s time to break it down! For example, if I wanted to redecorate my kitchen, it’d probably be unrealistic for me to complete this task in one session. Instead, I could create a list with smaller and specific steps to manage this change over time. For example, I could make my first step to change my countertop. Reflect on how you can break this goal down and identify the first step.
  • Measurable and Timely: With this first step as our focus, it’s time to create a timeline for the goal. How long do you see yourself realistically completing this task? Are there ways that you could schedule this step or complete it over a period of time? Next, ask yourself how this goal can be measured. In other words, how will you know when it’s achieved?

Alex Vergara

Mental Health Student Intern

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