Motivation and Goal Setting

This month’s topic couldn’t have come at a better time. Many people set New Year’s resolutions in hopes of improving aspects of their life. However, resolutions don’t start and end with ringing in the new year. They start with the realization that an individual must work on themselves.

Setting realistic goals is the key to achieving them. You should always be honest with yourself in regards to what your abilities are and what you can accomplish in given time frames. When you fail to achieve an unrealistic goal it could put you in a slump. Here are some ideas to help you set realistic goals.

My favorite strategy for avoiding burnouts and slumps is to create to-do lists. Usually, when creating one, I like to put easy tasks at the top. When I accomplish them, they motivate me for the harder ones. But remember, you should not get ahead of yourself when setting a goal. For instance, if you wish to run 2 miles by March and you have not run since 8th-grade gym class, it may not be tangible to achieve this goal within a short time frame. It may take months to train but eventually, you will be able to complete it with ease. Expecting major results quickly can be damaging to your mindset. 

Realistic goals help us stay motivated in maintaining personal timelines and achieving the desired result. Having motivation means that you have a will to challenge yourself. The people around us can play a crucial role in motivation. If you surround yourself with like-minded people, it will be easier to hold yourself accountable. 

 Whatever your goal is, maintain relationships with people who have already achieved it. For example, if you want to be confident, ask someone who knows how to present themselves, someone who is eloquent and is firm in who they are. Why are they that way? Perhaps they have succeeded in academics, volunteered, been a good friend, family member, or student and it is in these qualities that they find confidence. You simply cannot read about confidence or observe it. You have to take a proactive role in reaching the desired result. Nothing has been achieved by being comfortable and sticking to what you know. It is in your discomfort where you can find strength and motivation. 

Our environment plays a big role in who we are and is critical in shaping our personality. Young students such as myself are like molten glass out of a furnace; we can be bent and shaped in thousands of combinations. Thus we must be put in an environment that will not only help us hit personal milestones but also thrive. 

Setting goals gives us a vision of where we would like to see ourselves in a week, month, or year. Whatever you may be doing, make sure it inspires you and gets you excited for the day because, despite any adversity that may come your way, you will have the strength to persevere.