A New Year with New Opportunities

Yes, New Year’s resolutions are bound to fail. I know this not only from studies but from experience.

I have failed many of my resolutions. My track record is spotty at best. But what’s more alarming is how in ineffective – even counterproductive – my goal-setting process was. That’s because I wasn’t setting a goal, I was setting a resolution, and resolutions don’t come with a plan of action, making them hard to achieve. For example, a resolution is to say “I will lose weight in 2017,” however a goal is to say “I will lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2017.” See the difference? For students, knowing the difference between goals and resolutions can lead to a greater success rate of achieving academic ambitions.

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

It’s reported that eighty percent of resolutions are nothing more than ropes of sand. Let’s squash that statistic by implementing some of these tips and strategies to keep your 2017 goals, resolutions, or commitments -whatever you call em,’ on track!

It doesn’t have to be hard to keep your New Year’s resolutions, as long as you pick goals that are at attainable AND realistic. And don’t forget, when creating your goals, make sure to be specific: “I want to get an A in Physics” or “By the end of second semester, I want to get a 3.0 GPA.” Specific goal setting will bring measurable success!

Here are some tips to help you set and achieve your goals in 2017.

  • Be realistic and optimistic about your goals. (Don’t set goals that are too lofty or too easy. Challenge yourself, yes, but don’t cripple yourself.)
  • Find ways to build on your successes.
  • Learn from past mistakes and stop regretting your failures.
  • Examine your old habits and search for ways to eliminate them.
  • Set a routine such as making your bed every morning or going for a run. (This is good practice for so many reasons!)
  • Keep a journal to jot down the things you have to do or notes to yourself.
  • Keep long term goals in mind. (If you lose track of WHY you set a goal, the goals becomes a burden.)
  • Look ahead in your month and try and anticipate what is going to happen so you can better schedule your time. (Time management is a hard skill to master, but it makes life SO MUCH EASIER once you do that it’s totally worth it.)
  • Reward yourself when you get things done as you had planned. (This is the best part of success – the rewards!)
  • Catch yourself when you get off track and stop as soon as you can.
  • Concentrate on one thing at a time. (Multitasking is not always a good thing!)
  • Push yourself and be persistent.
  • Ask for advice when needed. (If you find yourself struggling, ask for help and ask early.)

Whatever you set, goals or resolutions, the key to success is to be realistic and consistent. College is tough, we know that, and there’s no need need to add to your stress. But if you set goals – the right goals for you, and keep your eye on the prize, 2017 just might be your best year yet.


About Sarah Bass

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Sarah manages the editorial operations for Best Online Universities. Her responsibilities include proofing, editing, and developing content for the company’s Web sites. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from Drake University and an MA in Writing from DePaul University. When she isn't working on new and entertaining articles for BestOnlineUniversities.com you will most likely find her curled up with a good book, walking her dog, Roger, or breaking the sound barrier on the Nürburgring.