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  • Writer's pictureAbbey Orr

What's So Important About Goal Setting Anyways?

It's the beginning of a new year, so I'm sure we are all making our New Years Resolutions. But, how many times have we made resolutions that we didn't stick to?

Goal making can sometimes seem overwhelming because of the fear of not completing the goals; this leads to shame because we didn't achieve what we set out to do. However, goals don't have to be so overwhelming, especially when you make the right ones. We found some tips and tricks to make sure the goals you make STICK!

#1 Execution is essential

When we approach a goal, something we want to accomplish, or a change we want to make, we typically approach it holistically

"I want to make all A's this semester"

While this is a great goal, approaching it holistically can be overwhelming, stressful, and feel out of reach. When we don't have a plan to execute and possibly don't achieve this goal, we naturally start to associate goals with fatigue, stress, strain, and disappointment. This results in avoiding goals altogether. Luckily, there is a simple fix for this: create smaller goals along the way, otherwise Semester goals and/or Daily Goals. When you create small and attainable daily goals along the way, you start to experience daily success! Trying this practice will leave you feeling productive, successful, fulfilled, and satisfied with your goal. Next time, try this:

"In order to make all A's semester, my goal today is to study for an hour to get above a 90% on my HIST 202 exam this week"

That seems much more attainable and less overwhelming! Creating daily, attainable goals will aid in completing larger, semester goals which will leave you feeling successful and more confident in yourself! Execution of your plan is what matters the most.

#2 Establish your WHY

Too often, we cannot pinpoint why we are setting a goal or making a change. In goal setting, truly taking a moment to write down your why is so important. Better yet, place your written down 'whys' somewhere visible as a reminder; your phone or computer background, mirror, desk, fridge, or even a nightstand are great places for reminders. Until your why is established, your goals are in danger of becoming obsolete.

For example, my semester goal might be to get all A's, but for what purpose? To raise my GPA? More fully challenge myself? Attain personal satisfaction? Without a clear purpose, your goal can become vague, and there will be little to no reasoning to remain accountable. If your daily goal is to serve one person a day, an example of a why could be:

I want to serve someone every day because it is Christlike and makes me feel better about myself! I know I always appreciate it when someone does an act of service for me.

Without a purpose, it is easier to abandon your goals because they seem less important. Establishing a purpose in goal setting may seem trivial, but it is very important as you try to build the habit of keeping to the goals you set. It becomes more personal and you take ownership of it, so establish your goals and always establish your why.

#3 Reward Yourself

In terms of associations, it is important to associate goals with, not only productivity and success but also rewards! Be as intentional with your rewards as you are with your productivity. You may decide beforehand what your reward will be for completing both small and big goals you make/complete. Rewards can even be used as motivation while you are studying or working!

Here is an example:

If your goal is to complete a chapter of reading, set a timer, and periodically give yourself a break to do something you want to do as a reward. However, for these reward breaks, make sure they don't distract you from going back to doing your work. These breaks can be things like a walk, a snack, or talking to a friend. Sometimes social media or Netflix aren't the best breaks because then our attention focuses on those things rather than what we are trying to get done.

Remember to give yourself time for reward breaks doing what you want to do so you can finish the things you need to do.

To end, these are just a few tips that might help you, but always do whatever it takes to help you maintain the habit of goal-making! No matter how big or small your goals are, take them seriously and believe in yourself.

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