January 3, 2018
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the gym is filled to the brim on January 1 but disappointingly empty on January 2. The time when you promise yourself that you will read that book that’s been on the shelf for two years, or learn to play the guitar that has collected dust in your closet.
The New Year brings a sense of renewal that lasts for months and even years. However, the challenge that many people face is a well thought-out list that may get stuck in a drawer for the better part of the year.
This common theme of not reaching goals only seems to increase as the years go on. So here are 4 simple ways to help you make your goals last.
1. Be SMART about your goal planning
When making resolutions, it’s important to think SMART.
Specific: Make a specific goal. Instead of saying “I want to be better at reading the scriptures,” try saying “I will read 1 chapter of the Book of Mormon everyday.”
Measurable: Your goal should be something that you can assess and measure. Perhaps this will include a visual chart that you can use to see your progress.
Attainable: Be sure that your goals aren’t too far-fetched. Make goals that you know you can honestly reach or afford in that year.
Relevant: While long-term goals are great and even necessary to our eternal potential, it’s important to make goals that are relevant to your life right now.
Time-bound: Setting a deadline and holding yourself to that deadline will help you reach your goal in a more realistic amount of time
By considering these SMART steps in your goal-planning, you will find that your resolutions are more rewarding.
2. Include God in your New Year’s resolutions
Elder Larry R. Lawrence reminds us of the important question “what lack I yet?”1 By sincerely praying and pondering what you can improve, the Lord will bring to light those things in your life.
This could include being more charitable, getting an education, striving to be more punctual, learning to paint, etc. These small and simple steps can help you become more Christ-like and make your goals more meaningful.
3. Challenge yourself, but be realistic
Goals should stretch you, but not overwhelm you. When deciding what goals to consider for the coming year, think about what you can physically, financially, and emotionally afford when obtaining these goals.
For example, if getting straight A’s in your courses seems too much to consider, perhaps the goal should be get mostly A’s and one or two B’s. It is important to keep your goals attainable, but remember to keep them challenging.
4. Make yourself accountable by relying on friends and family
When you make your list of goals, consider sharing them with a spouse, parent, coworker, fellow student or close friend. By sharing your goals with others, you become accountable for the things you do and do not accomplish.
Having someone to follow-up, support and encourage you in your goals could be just the push you need to complete your resolutions for the new year.
Give your resolutions some thought
Take a moment to consider New Year’s resolutions and give yourself an opportunity to grow in a SMART and realistic way. As you check off these goals throughout the year, you will experience an increase of self-esteem and a greater appreciation for making and finishing goals.
Is obtaining an affordable, gospel-centered education one of your new year’s resolutions? Visit byupathway.lds.org to learn how you can get started!