It’s a New Year: Get Ready. Get Set. Goal.

Gin Schaffer is the Associate Director of the ERC. She makes the ERC run smoothly, mostly because she’s always goal-setting.

I believe that we get two chances a year to start over; learn something new and maybe, just maybe, achieve a goal that seemed impossible.

When December 31st becomes January 1st, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the entirety of the past year and all the possibility that the new year holds. That zealousness fades after a few weeks, but then September rolls around and with it, the promise of a new beginning. Again.

The start of a new school year signals another chance to revisit a goal that once eluded us or to try something new; like that elective you’ve been meaning to take even though it’s the opposite of your major. The challenge of starting anew is to set goals that are achievable, but not so many goals that you can’t possibly achieve them all.

University of North Carolina - Student Success

In order to keep track of your goals and where you are on the road to reaching them, you should revisit them occasionally and consider how close you are to achieving them, what it will take to get there or whether you want to re-think your goals entirely. The best way to make sure that your goals are achievable is to make them S.M.A.R.T.

Goals should fit into your personal, academic and professional interests. They should be realistic and achievable in a finite amount of time so that you’re constantly moving ahead, not spinning your wheels.

The staff at the Educational Resource Center can help support you when those S.M.A.R.T. goals seem more like challenges than motivators. Take a deep breath and appreciate how far you’ve come already without forgetting where you want to go. In this New Year, Part II, find a quiet space and write freely about what you want to accomplish this semester—in all areas of life. Try to get 3 to 5 goals on paper using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. You may feel overwhelmed; you may have lots of expectations. That’s okay. The way to any goal is to prioritize and follow through.

Happy New Year, Part II! Now, go set some goals.

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