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New year, new possibilities!

Submitted by jreid on

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. I know for myself, the chance to sleep in and then indulge in a second cup of coffee while easing into the day ahead was a welcome change of pace!

For many, the new calendar year brings an opportunity for change and reflection. It offers the potential for a fresh start and a renewed sense of optimism toward the future. In fact, many people resolve to make changes in their daily lives to better themselves, their attitudes or their prospects ahead. However, according to estimates, less than 8% of people end up sticking to their resolutions despite millions of people setting these yearly goals.

Admittedly, I am one of those millions who set New Year's resolutions only to then fall into the 92% category of not achieving them. This year, though, I resolve to not be a statistic!

While enjoying my second cup of coffee earlier this week and scrolling through the news, I came across this article by Megan De Laire, CTV News writer, titled “How to stick to your New Year's resolutions, according to experts.” I was intrigued – could this be the panacea needed to keep me on track? I was keen to find out. Here is what I learned:

  1. Be specific about what you want – Creating goals that are smart helps to eliminate any vagueness and keep the goal measurable, realistic, attainable and timely. It’s not simply about wanting to be a better person; one must define what that looks like.
  2. Know why you’re doing it – Putting in the effort is the hardest part of the commitment, so having a goal that is worth the effort is key!
  3. Know how you’re doing it – De Laire suggests that for each goal, an action plan should also be created. Adding “if-then” statements to your goal will help to bridge the gap between the goal and intention.
  4. Enjoy the process – It seems to go without saying, but having fun as you work towards your goal will help keep you motivated. Finding a buddy to accompany your journey may be the answer to keep the process gratifying, not gruelling.
  5. Have a plan for when you slip up – For me, this has been the most helpful. I can often go into a goal with an all-or-nothing mindset. Having a contingency plan in place for when you slip up (because you will!) that allows for self-compassion can help you get back on track.

If you are like me and have set some goals for yourself this year, I hope these strategies help keep you on track. As a Junior School, we will also be asking our students to set goals and will be sharing with them strategies such as these. Together, we can enjoy a 2023 full of possibilities and rewards. Let’s do this!