COLUMN: Ask Ashley

This week an ad popped up on my computer reminding me to check in on my New Year’s resolutions. I started to panic when I saw this and had to pause to gather my thoughts. We’re already three months into the new year. Where did the time go? The more I started to reflect on the goals I set, I had to realize we are still living through a pandemic and it’s okay if I’m not crossing goals off my list as I typically would. 

So, since we’re already a fourth of the way done with 2021 let’s use this time as a reminder that it’s alright if we aren’t as far along on the goals we set for ourselves this year. But also let’s use this moment to look over our goals to see what we can do to align ourselves with what we want to accomplish but also being patient with ourselves. 

From the various leadership positions I’ve held I learned multiple things about setting attainable goals. It’s important to break your goals down into smaller steps. As you complete each step leading up to the larger goal you set, the feeling of accomplishment will leave you with the momentum to tackle the next step. Ultimately, this process will result in you fulfilling your end goal and doing so in a productive more relaxed manner. 

For example, let’s say you want to learn how to swim in the new year. Well that most likely won’t happen the first time you step into the pool. But if you break the larger goal down into smaller steps you’ll feel more confident as you accomplish each and by the end of the year you’ll stay on track for your main goal. In addition to breaking down your goals another way to stay on track is creating a timeline for yourself. To stick with the swimming example, you could break it down weekly and state what you want to accomplish as each week passes. 

Second, this may be obvious but I think it’s overlooked. Write your goal down, over and over again. This way you are constantly reminded of the goals you have set for yourself and I’m sure there is science behind writing your goal into existence that makes you stay on track. Or just take my word for it. But this is something you can do in a positive manner and it doesn’t need to be stressful whether it be in the notes app of your phone, a journal or creating a poster for your wall. It can be a creative way to express your goals for the year and keep you motivated and on track throughout the year. 

Third, this definitely isn’t a tip but I think it’s important to state. It’s completely fine if you don’t accomplish a goal you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. You’re not disappointing anyone, not even yourself because you change and evolve in one year more than you think or acknowledge. A goal you set at the top of the year may not even be applicable to your lifestyle anymore and I personally think realizing that means more than attaining a goal. 

I’ll leave you with this as we take on the following months of 2021: The success you have this year isn’t solely measured by the goals you achieve but it’s the personal and intellectual growth you acquire along the way. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch. 

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