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Column: Set new goals for yourself this semester

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The new year often ushers in enthusiasm; everyone is eager to set new goals to be accomplished by the year, but sometimes, as most of us probably know, it won’t always work out that way. 

The beginning of 2016 brought me nothing but optimism. I made it a resolution to go to the gym every weekday and hit the ground running on day one.

 I took up cross country in the beginning of my senior year of high school in hopes of improving my physical health and I had gotten accustomed to running around 3 miles daily. But that was before I developed an addiction to Dr. Pepper and gotten out of the habit of running. But having been exposed to extraneous work gave me hope that working out in the gym won’t be as bad. 

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 As 2016 began the first thing I did was hit the gym. I went for a few days and felt myself approaching some sort of goal. 

And then my friend lent me his Netflix account. I missed one day, two days and then I stopped going altogether.

I thought that since I missed those days, I failed my goal. But I also suppose that initial goal wasn’t too important to me in the first place, considering I let it go so easily. 

So with 2017 finally here, I suggest you use all of that enthusiasm to set new goals for yourselves. But most importantly, use that enthusiasm to set goals that are meaningful. If it’s not your heart’s desire to go to the gym, but rather a suggestion from outside sources to do so, then don’t set your eyes on that prize. More often than not, you’re going to lose interest with that goal and eventually give up. 

Resolutions that are important to you, such as getting a good job or receiving great grades, might seem daunting as well. It’s definitely going to take a lot of work, and it’s going to be easy to give up if things don’t happen well the very first time around. It’s vital to hang in there and be patient with yourself. The best things don’t always happen instantly.

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Know that most people who make New Year’s resolutions fail. Perhaps the main reason for this is people don’t understand that in order to make big change, an equal amount of sacrifice is necessary. It’s important to cut out habits that may take up too much of your free time—time that could be used to better improve yourself and work on your resolutions. If you really want to have a better sleep schedule, stay away from your phone before going to bed. 

It’s often easier to accomplish difficult goals by setting up smaller goals that will eventually lead up to the big picture. Take getting good grades, for example.  You can’t just state that goal and expect everything to magically fall into place. First, you have to set mini-goals of showing up to class, then taking notes more efficiently, followed by doing all the assigned work. Only by doing the mini-goals will you be able to achieve the larger ones and more fully reap the rewards of the big picture. 

So it’s a great time right now to set goals for yourself and develop new habits. It’s the beginning of the semester and everyone has a fresh start. If you received a C last semester, aim for a B this time around. If you found yourself drowsy almost all the time last semester, make it a necessity to get eight hours of sleep this semester. Never feel like it’s too late to start something, because at the end of the day, the one thing that you’ll regret the most will be choosing not to start something.


Follow Andrew Alamban on Twitter.



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