by Jennifer Ward
New Year’s resolutions have been around for ages. According to history.com, about 4,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first group of people to make New Year’s resolutions. I’m sure, though, back then, it didn’t look the way it does today. The ancient Babylonians weren’t promising themselves to lose that last ten pounds they gained over the holidays. It probably had more to do with basic survival, like harvesting crops and building their civilization. And here we are, thousands of years later, carrying out an ancient tradition, always trying to better ourselves.
I am someone who has almost always made New Year’s resolutions for myself. Many people aren’t fans of the New Year’s resolution tradition for obvious reasons (which I can understand). Nearly every year, some of us make them, and more often than not, we break them.
In the past, I’ve made long lists with no specific target date or plan in mind. Recently, I’ve been working on goal setting with my students. We’ve been using SMART goals as a strategy. If you aren’t familiar with this acronym, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. That means that identifying a goal you want to work toward is only part of it; the other part is figuring out how you will get there.
This time round, I’m doing things a little differently. So, this year, I thought of some very realistic goals that I’m working on. I’ve separated my goals into two lists: my personal and career-oriented goals. If you are wondering what goals are on my lists, here they are:
- Meet new people
- Take breaks from working
- Travel more
- Take care of my health
- Start exercising again
Career-Oriented / Education Goals
- Work on getting published again
- Continue to build and update my website
- Start working on my thesis
- Finish my MFA degree
- Establish a routine for writing
I know that I need to make some changes in my life and be aware of my goals. I will continually remind myself what I want in my life and ask myself what I will do to get it. Even if we don’t fulfill every single goal by the end of the year, it isn’t bad to write them down and at least try to work on them. It gives us something else to get up for every day.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?