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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Oh, Hey, 2014

   Welcome to the new year. Some of you may have stayed up to watch the ball drop, some of you may have been like me and fell asleep at about 9 o'clock. Either way most of you are making New Year's resolutions. However, as is the cliché a lot of people will not keep their resolutions much past MLK day. Why is that? Well, resolutions are often vague or unattainable. Some people make "New Year's Goals" but if they're vague or unattainable you're in the same situation with a different name.
    What is helpful is if your New Year's goals/resolutions are SMART goals.
Specific
     Your goals need to be specific. Instead of saying "I will lose weight" or "I will exercise more" make the goal "I will go to the gym 2-3 times a week for a half hour." However you can be too specific. For some saying "I will do twenty jumping jacks, 3 miles of running, and 20 pushups when I go to the gym 2-3 times a week" is just too detailed. Do the amount of detail that is necessary for yourself. Outline exactly what you're doing but don't limit yourself to something that you'll get bored with since these goals are for a year.
Measurable
     Make a goal that you can tell whether or not you succeeded. Following the "Exercise more" example, it isn't measurable. If you go one time is that more? 20 times? If you don't set a certain amount you will automatically think you passed if you're lazy or optimistic and automatically think you failed if you're pessimistic. Having a benchmark to check off is important so that you keep with your goals and actually achieve your goals. When you hit a benchmark do something to treat yoself.


Manicures on Manicures on manicures
Attainable
    Pick a goal that is important to you and fits within your lifestyle. If being fit is not important to you, you probably won't stick to an exercising goal. If writing isn't a lifelong dream of yours then there's little reward in writing a blog or working on a novel. Just because everyone else is making a certain New Year's goal doesn't mean that you have to have that goal as well. Maybe your goal is to have a weekly goal. Whatever floats your boat.
Reasonable
    Make your goals reasonable. If you've never hit the pavement, running a marathon by March is probably not going to happen. If you are working full time and a student you might not finish your novel this year, or maybe any time you're in school. Think about what you love, how much time you have to dedicate to the goal, and how you're likely to progress. Also, remember things like physics, biology, and other things in the universe that you cannot change. For example, no matter how hard I work towards the goal of "fly by flapping my wings" it's not going to happen.
Timely
     Obviously your "New year's goals" are likely to be a year long goal, but you should either break it into monthly or weekly parts or have something that repeats weekly or monthly. While "read 12 fiction books a year" is pretty attainable, it probably means that I would try and read 12 books the week after Christmas. Goal achieved, but I didn't actually develop as a person, which is kind of the point.

So what are my New year's goals?
1. Blog twice a week
2. Pitch a Cracked article once a month
3. Read a Young Adult Fiction novel once a month (which I'll obviously blog a review of)
4. Read a nonfiction novel once a month (again reviews will be posted here)
5. Write 300 words a day working towards a short story or novel.
6. Turn in all my assignments on time for classwork (for some reason this is very difficult for me and will only apply August-December, but eh, it can be a year long goal)



Share your goals in the comments below!


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