Four steps to successful goal-setting in 2018

@Meagan Gardner

It’s the perfect time to reflect and refocus your goals.

A new year is a chance to hit the personal reset button and wipe the slate clean.  It’s the perfect time to reflect and refocus your goals.

But before sitting yourself down to make that never-ending list of pie-in-the-sky New Year’s resolutions, it’s a good idea to get some perspective. That’s why we’ve put together a list of hacks for setting achievable goals in 2018.  

 

  1. Be specific

Saying you’re going to get better grades and stop procrastinating won’t get you very far. Add specific details to your resolutions to make them seem less daunting and more achievable. For example, you’re going to spend an hour in the IE Foundation library every day and use a software program to block your social media accounts while you study. That gives you a whopping seven hours of uninterrupted study time every week.

And if that wasn’t enough, psychological research has found that people who make clear resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. That means the more specific you are, the more likely you are to succeed and stay on track.

 

  1. Baby steps

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most people overestimate what they can achieve in twelve months, so try to be realistic. Your best bet is to break your goals down into small, bite-sized pieces. If you’re a finalist hoping to snag your dream job by graduation day, don’t be tempted to dive into that heap of graduate program applications head first.

Check out the IE Careers Portal where you’ll find heaps of expert application and interview advice. These things can be intense and all that magical new year inspiration will only last so long. That’s why we recommend filling out one a week. You’ll have them done and dusted before you know it.

 

  1. Bend don’t break

You’re likely to hit a wall sooner or later. But that doesn’t have to mean total derailment. Give yourself some wiggle room and be open to changes. Try not to let rigid study schedules throw you off track. Just because you overslept and arrived five minutes late to the first class of the day doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail.

It may be difficult to keep up the pace when mid-term assignments are due, so be kind to yourself. Sometimes a break from the books is the best possible medicine.

By predicting the challenges you’re likely to face over the course of the semester and putting together contingency plans, you can also help to avert potential disasters.

 

  1. Celebrate successes

If you got excellent feedback on a tough assignment, that’s cause for celebration. If you dragged yourself to the library after a long, exhausting day of classes, that’s cause for celebration too. No matter how big or small, any concrete step made towards achieving your goals is worth celebrating.

This may involve meeting friends for dinner, binge-watching your favorite Netflix series, or simply giving yourself a pat on the back. Whatever it may be, you’ll find that savoring your achievements will boost your motivation and encourage you to keep moving forward.