So it’s 2017 and you’re ready to leave your old self behind for a newer, better version of you. You’re ready to become the person that you’ve always wanted to be. Whether it’s regularly going to the gym, eating more of those greens, or simply managing your time better, you name it, you’ve got that one thing on your mind that you are finally going to conquer this year.

But, let’s face it; you said this last year (and the year before that). In past years you’ve only ever able to stick to your goals for about three days – or maybe three weeks. Even months if you’ve been exceptionally determined. If you always manage to keep your resolutions until the end of the year, I applaud you. The rest of this article might all be common sense to you. However, if you’re anything like the vast majority of people who don’t quite seem to follow through with their resolutions, don’t despair – there is hope for us yet.

So what is the secret to making attainable goals? Figure out your ‘top’ New Year’s Resolution, grab a pen and paper, and let’s go through these few simple questions to map out how you’re finally going to overcome that hurdle in your life.

Answer the following questions about your New Year’s Resolution in as much or as little detail as you wish – the more detail you include in your answers, the more likely you are to follow through with the steps to reach your goal.

  • What is your goal?
  • When do you want to have achieved this by? Give an exact date ideally.
  • How are you going to measure/quantify if you’ve achieved your goal? How will you know if you’re making progress and steps towards it?
  • How achievable is your goal on a scale of 1-10? (If you rated your answer 6 or below you should probably go back and re-evaluate your previous answers to make your goal more realistic and attainable.)
  • Why do you want to do this? What is motivating you to reach this goal in the first place? The more details the better!
  • What are some potential obstacles that you might face when trying to reach your goal? Anything from surfing the web, to your friends distracting you, to snacks being too tempting in certain grocery aisles; list them all!
  • How are you going to overcome these obstacles when and if they face you? For example: download website blocking apps to keep you on track in the library (ie: Strict Workflow), ensure that you dedicate enough time for socializing so that you can keep work and play separate, and don’t even look at those risky aisles when doing your food shop!
  • How often and when are you going to check up on yourself to see that you’re on track with your goal? Set exact dates ideally. If you fall off the wagon these will be the perfect times to pick yourself back up again.
  • Pretend for a moment that you are an expert in this area that you’ve set your goal in. What is your expert advice to yourself to help you achieve your goal and to reach your target?
  • How confident are you in achieving your goal on a scale of 1-10? (Ideally this should be above 5. If it’s 5 or below go back and re-evaluate and adjust your previous answers to make your goal more realistic and attainable.)
  • What’s the first action that you’re going to take towards your goal and when are you going to do it? Is there anything you can do today?
  • Finally – how are you going to celebrate when you’ve reached your goal?

Best of luck in 2017!

(Notes modified and compiled from information given in Leicester Unis careers service workshops)


Katja Kaurinkoski

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