It's one month into the new year! How are your resolutions coming along? If you are human, which I hope you are if you are reading this, the honest truth is that you have probably had some setbacks. Life happens, and I am here to reassure you, that is okay. Obstacles are actually opportunities in disguise. Our perspective on situations or the angle which we choose to view them, can paint drastically different pictures.
If given the chance, everyone could name obstacles in their life, but it is how we overcome them that puts together our story. Today’s blog will provide you strategies to view obstacles as opportunities and how to stay on track with your goals.
1. Ask yourself, is my goal SMART? Naturally, your answer may be yes since you thought of it. However, SMART is an acronym.
Specific- Is your goal vague? Make sure it is detailed.
Example: I want to save $50 per week for 20 weeks to pay off debt by June 1, 2018.
Measurable- How will you measure progress?
Example: You should be able to track your progress by counting your money sum weekly.
Attainable- Is this goal actually achievable? If not, you are already setting yourself up for failure.
Example: Base the amount that you save weekly on your current spending habits. If you are living paycheck to paycheck you may need to scale back your goal.
Realistic- With my available resources, can I achieve this goal?
Example: Will you be sacrificing your lifestyle or others around you to achieve this goal?
Time-Based- Am I giving myself enough time to achieve my goal?
Example: Have you calculated if $50 for 20 weeks will pay off all your debt? If it doesn’t, then adjust your goal.
2. Write down your goals. On physical paper, this makes them more concrete and tangible.
3. Keep yourself accountable. Tell your friends, family, or coworkers about your goal; they can help keep you on track. Post it on social media. What else is Instagram for?
4. Reward yourself for the small victories. Break down your goal into smaller ones and celebrate the wins. Worked out 3 times per week for a month? Treat yourself to a manicure.
5. Ask yourself, are you ready for it? Taylor Swift says it best. Is this the right time in your life to take on this goal? Are your surroundings conducive to your goal? Do you have the tools and resources to succeed?
Last, but not least:
6. Remember the bigger picture. If you are beating yourself up because of one slip up, remember the grand scheme of life. A year from now, are you going to remember that one day where you ate a piece a chocolate or are you going to remember how hard you worked to achieve your goal?
Failing is a part of success and it is what we learn from our failures that gives us the knowledge to succeed. Think, if you fell and broke your leg…you wouldn’t get up and walk on it, right? That is how you have to think about your goals. Falling once will not do you in, but continuously falling back into a cycle does.
In the end, an obstacle is just a hurdle on your road to success, and all you have to do is jump to stay on track. And if you fall? Get back up one more time than you fall down and you win the race.
By: Alicia Everette
A millennial wellness enthusiast trying to figure out life. Coupon Queen. Experimental Chef. Personal Trainer. Aspiring Health Coach.
Cheers to the new yearRead Now
Let me begin by saying that New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holidays each year. That of course along with my birthday, Christmas, and Independence Day. New Year’s for 2017 was different. I would like to rank it up there with one of the worst New Year’s but honestly it might have been my saving grace. New Year’s Eve itself was fine. I was enjoying the night with friends at a neighborhood house party but something inside of me felt off; I felt unbalanced if that makes sense. We watched the ball drop, Mariah Carey make a memorable performance, and called it a night. Now just like most people, I’ve had my fair share of peaks and valleys in life but I wouldn’t consider myself depressed. Ginger Zee says so poetically in her latest book Natural Disaster: I cover them. I am one that storms don’t last forever and the sun will always shine again. Often times, we don’t know what we are truly made of until we have nothing else to lose. That night I fell asleep and in my dream I had glimpses of suicidal thoughts; thoughts that have never even crossed my mind before. I woke up in a cold sweat, with feelings I can’t even describe. I do know one thing though; after a few minutes of thoughts and trying to make sense of everything I settled one final thought, goal, promise, resolution: “Not this year 2017; you will not win. I. Am. The. Storm.”
2016 was a year where I needed to figure out the next step was for me, both professionally and personally. I knew there could be a chance that a promotion would open at my current institution but I wasn’t so sure that’s what I necessarily wanted. The universe had been working its magic for me and I began getting calls from national and international companies discussing national director positions with me and if I was interested in them. Some even dangled carrots in front of me such as more than 3 times my current salary, company cars, private jets, tour buses, and a life of luxury. All of these positions were great but would have only been stepping stones to get me closer to my dream, becoming an entrepreneur. I thought I should take one of these and once I saved enough money for 2-3 years then I would open my own company. I remember one company discussing how they liked to “hire to retire;” my heart skipped a beat. I had a flashback to participating in a study that another university’s IO Psych graduate department was doing on my department. One of the questions they asked was “How likely are you to see yourself retiring from this department?” and my Likert Scale response was strongly disagree. It’s not that I disliked my job, department, university, career, or that I was a flight risk but it was more that I couldn’t imagine seeing myself anywhere for 30 years. I am in my low 30s and I want to see the world; I’ve got goals and ambitions which include having a larger impact by working with multiple locations not just one institution. This makes perfect sense when you look at all the external committees, contracts, and speaking engagements I was already doing. I remember what I told myself when I came back to my institution in 2014 “Steven, you are going back for 3 years, save money, get out of debt, then move back to the beach and open a business or gym.” I was in the middle of year 3 and wasn’t completely out of debt yet but knew that sometimes you just have to jump and you’ll learn how to fly or as we like to say in the south, “shit or get off the pot.”
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