Goals Not Resolutions

By: Jennifer M. Morrison

I like New Year’s Day. I feel like every year I get a clean slate to work with. The new year provides a great jumping off point for anything I want to accomplish. We’re just days away from the new year and almost forty percent of Americans will make resolutions but only eight percent of those that make resolutions will actually achieve them. I used to be one of the other ninety-two percent of people jumping and falling off the resolution bandwagon year after year.

A few years ago I decided to change the way I approached the New Year. Instead of just making a resolution, I decided to set a goal and a plan of action to reach that goal. It’s easy to say “I am going to get in shape” or “I am going to save money” but you need to ask yourself “how” you are going to do that. That’s why resolutions so often fail; you can have all the desire to make a change but if you don’t know what actions you need to take to make it happen you’re bound to fail.

So how do you decide on a goal and plan of action?

Evaluate what you have at your disposal to help attain your goal. If “going back to school” is your goal you need to ask yourself some questions.

First, “what do I want to do with an education?” Furthering your education can lead you to a new career, offer a stepping stone to the next level of your current career, or simply provide you with enrichment.

Next ask yourself “how much time can I dedicate to my goal?” If you work a full time job and have a family to take care of maybe one class per session is all you can fit in.

Finally, “how can I afford to go back to school?” You shouldn't go into needless debt. Research all your options before taking out loans. There are a multitude of scholarships and grants readily available to military families. If you’re not affiliated with the military there are still grants and employer subsidies out there.

Whatever your goal for the new year is, give it the time and attention it deserves to set yourself up for success.