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New Year’s Resolutions

HAPPY 2021!

Happy New Year! The beginning of 2021 is the perfect time for setting personal goals and then trying your best to take the necessary steps toward achievement. At Advance LA, our Life Skills Coaches teach our clients the important skill of setting a goal using the S.M.A.R.T. format. This means our clients learn how to choose something they want to accomplish and then, with support, guidance and training, take the steps to make it happen.

Research shows that top-level athletes, successful business people, and achievers in all fields set goals. Setting a goal gives a person long-term vision and short-term motivation.

Fun Facts:

  • 90 % of successful people set goals.
  • By setting a goal, you can achieve more, improve performance, increase self-
    esteem, and increase self-confidence.
  • Setting a goal helps you organize your time and use your time efficiently.
  • By setting a goal, you may feel less stress, concentrate better, and feel happier.

A good strategy for setting goals is to use the S.M.A.R.T. goal format. Here you make your goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Specific: This means you define your goal as based on what is specifically important to you. Think about what you really want to accomplish and decide exactly what you want your goal to be. For example, instead of saying your goal is to “be more social” you can state your goal as, “I will introduce myself to one new person at each monthly club l.a. event that I attend.”

Measurable: This means you include precise amounts or specific dates when goal setting so that you know when you have met your goal. For example, instead of saying to yourself, “I will get my homework done” you can state your goal as, “I will spend at least one hour every week day working on my homework.”

Attainable: It is important to give your goal some real thought. Is it your true goal or is it someone else’s goal for you? Is it actually possible or too far out of reach? For example, instead of saying, “I am going to be a movie star” you can state your goal as, “I am going to sign up for acting lessons and attend each class.”

Relevant: Your goal should take you in the direction you want to go in. Review your goal once a month and think about if you are tying your behavior to your goal. For example, if your goal is to get a part-time job, is the fact that you are playing video games for much of the day helping you achieve your goal? It can be helpful to talk about your goal with a parent, teacher or life skills coach to get some feedback about your progress toward your goal.

And goals can be added or modified. You might decide to add a “fun” goal in addition to a more serious life skills goal, such as trying new foods, trying a new hair style, or trying the new Tik Tok dances. It’s great to have both fun goals and a life skills goal!

Timely: You want to give yourself a deadline so you know when you can celebrate your success. It feels so great to achieve a goal so choose an end time that is realistic. For example, “I will go for a brisk walk every day for four weeks.”

And the best part of goal setting? Choosing a reward for yourself when the goal is met. Enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of knowing you achieved what you set out to do – you did it! And if you did not achieve your goal, that is ok too. Take some time to reflect on what happened. Was the goal unrealistic? Did you try your best? You can always try again!

Goal setting is empowering because it provides a focus and a true sense of accomplishment when the goal is met. Setting a realistic goal is a skill of knowing how to make your dreams a reality!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services? She can be reached at jrochman@thehelpgroup.org.

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