Published: Jan. 14, 2019

Welcome back, and Happy New Year! I hope you all had an opportunity to relax and recharge over winter break and that you’re ready for a new semester.

Dean of Students Sandy Jones

Dean of Students Sandy Jones

As we begin a new year, goals and resolutions have been on my mind recently. Whether our goals are related to our academic and career aspirations, our health and wellness or other important areas of our lives, most of us have things we’d like to accomplish in 2019. Working toward a goal often helps us grow, gain new experiences and develop better habits, but sometimes the goals we set for ourselves can be intimidating. Through personal experience, I’ve learned some things I’d like to share to help you achieve your goals this year.

Lofty goals are inspirational and exciting, but they usually also require a well-planned strategy to make them attainable. Breaking your goals down and having it make sense for your daily and weekly routines can help you stay on target. Last year, I had a personal goal to row 750,000 meters on a stationary rower. I started by breaking my goal down into smaller steps: If I wanted to reach 750,000 meters by the end of the year, I had to commit to rowing 4 kilometers, four days per week.

If you are unsure about whether or not your goal is sustainable, consider giving yourself a pilot period to test it out before you commit. For my rowing goal, I gave myself a trial period of six weeks to pilot these commitments and make sure this plan would be realistic with my schedule. Similarly, for your goals, give yourself permission to test out your plan and revise your goals as needed.

One of the best feelings in the world is accomplishing something you didn’t know was possible—it proves you can truly do anything! If you have not already done so, I encourage you to take some time this week and think about the goals you’d like to accomplish this semester.

As you are thinking of goals, here is some advice to help you accomplish them:

  • Create a goal that is personally meaningful to you and aligns with your values.
  • Don’t be afraid to set big goals, but make an action plan and break down the steps for how you can achieve them.
  • Be realistic with your action steps and regularly track your progress on them.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments—even small ones—to maintain momentum.
  • If life gets in the way or you find that it’s not working out, don’t give up, but consider revising your goal.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Share your goal with a trusted family member or friend you can lean on for advice, support or accountability, or take advantage of the many on-campus resources available to you.

We wish you the best with your goals this semester!

Sandy Jones
Dean of Students