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Tips for setting meaningful New Years Resolutions

By Gillian 21 Jan 2021

New Year is often a time for reflection – but also for planning and possibility. The idea of a clean slate and a fresh start is appealing and New Year’s resolutions are a way to capture that feeling and turn it into something productive. This New Year has arrived with its own challenges as we head back into another Covid-19 driven lockdown – and for many it has taken the shine off the fresh springy newness of 2021. However, If you are looking for a way to keep the momentum going and maintain focus on what is possible, January 2021 is still a great time for self-reflection and goal setting for study, career planning and your life as a whole. Here are two techniques for setting New Year’s resolutions that you might find helpful:

1.STOP/START/CONTINUE – A three-stage process for looking back and looking forward, and for acknowledging what is working, what needs to stop and where new effort would be valuable. This is a useful self-reflection tool, but I’ve also seen it used by managers joining a new team or as a service review tool within a business. It’s pretty self-explanatory:

Stop – What are you currently doing which is unhelp, unproductive or slowing you down?

Start – What new, innovative, fresh and exciting things do you want to do this year?

Continue – What is working well? What do you want to grow, expand, nature, enhance or just keep on keeping on with?

2.SMART GOALS – It’s easy to make grand and ambitious plans – I’m going to ‘give up smoking/lose weight/get a fantastic graduate job’ but unless you quantify exactly what you want to achieve then they just stay as grand, ambitious plans. Make sure your goals are SMART:

Specific: Not grand and conceptual, describe exactly what you want to do

Measurable: You need to know that you are making progress, include how much, how often, how many

Achievable: Set challenging targets but make sure you are realistic about what you can achieve

Relevant: Do they align with something that is important to you? Will the goals you set help you progress with career planning, or life goals?

Time-Bound: When do you want to have achieved your goal? How will you know if you are on target?

If you want some support to review your goals and put together an action plan to get going, book an appointment with a Careers Adviser on Student Central. Bernie, Marion, Rebecca and Juan are available online for one to one and group career guidance and support.

Article written by Rebecca Clacy-Jones, Careers Advisor, QMU Careers Services.



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