Welcome to your MCI Wellbeing Blog for March!
This month we are talking about setting goals for the new year.
The start of each year tends to be filled with New Years Resolutions that are always set with the best intentions but are notoriously difficult to keep. Research has consistently shown us that people who set goals are likely to be more successful. On top of this, being able to achieve personal goals is a core part of protecting and improving mental health and wellbeing.
- So how can we set goals for the new year that we can actually stick to and develop our growth?
Reflect on the year that has been
- When setting goals for the new year, it’s important to reflect on the year that has been to determine where you are and where you want to go. What were some of your successes from last year? What were some of the failures, and what lessons did you take from them? What are some areas of your life that you would like to grow in? Reflection is the first step to figuring out what the best goals you can set for yourself are. It’s a good idea to write this down to help with setting goals, but also as a tool for reflection in the following year.
- Once you have reflected, it's time to set some goals! It’s important to create goals for different areas of your life, no matter how big or small they may be. If you set one of two goals in each area of your life, you will most likely start to see a ripple effect in every area. Example of goals in different areas of your life might include relationship goals, work goals and health and fitness goals.
Don’t forget to set goals that are realistic! While it might sound great to set a goals like going to the gym every day or buying a big mansion, it’s important to ensure that any goals you set are realistically able to be achieved within the next 12 months. You will also gain more satisfaction and encouragement from achieving several, smaller realistic goals rather than one big goal.
Visualization can be a really helpful tool to keep you motivated and hold you accountable to the goals your set for yourself. In a study led by professor Dr. Gail Matthews, respondents were 42% more likely to accomplish their goals when they were in writing. Write your goals down and put them where you can see them – computer screensaver, bathroom mirror, on the fridge! Seeing your goals regularly will keep them at the top of your mind, which will keep you more committed.
Break up your big goals!
- Breaking up your overall goal into smaller, achievable goals is an effective way to make progress towards your larger goal throughout the year.
- Here are some tips for setting goals and breaking them down into smaller, achievable steps:
• Start with a clear and specific overall goal: Before you start breaking your goal into smaller steps, it's important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
• Brainstorm smaller goals: Once you have your overall goal in mind, start brainstorming smaller goals that will help you achieve it. Think about the specific actions or milestones you need to reach along the way.
• Break goals down into smaller, manageable steps: Take each smaller goal and break it down into manageable steps. For example, if your overall goal is to run a marathon, your smaller goals might include running a certain distance each week, increasing your pace over time, and building up your endurance.
• Assign deadlines: Set deadlines for each of your smaller goals and steps. Having a deadline can help you stay focused and motivated.
• Track your progress: Keep track of your progress towards each of your smaller goals. This can help you stay motivated and identify areas where you might need to adjust your plan.
Breaking up your overall goal into smaller goals can help make it more manageable and achievable. By setting specific, measurable goals and breaking them down into manageable steps, you can make steady progress towards your larger goal throughout the year.
Reward yourself along the way!
- Absolutely! Reflecting on your progress and rewarding yourself for your achievements is an important part of the goal-setting process. It can help you stay motivated and maintain momentum as you work towards your goals.
- Here are some tips for reflecting on your progress and rewarding yourself along the way:
• Schedule regular check-ins: Set aside time on a regular basis (such as once a week or once a month) to reflect on your progress towards your goals. Use this time to assess your progress, identify any challenges you've encountered, and adjust your plan if needed.
• Celebrate your achievements: When you reach a milestone or achieve one of your smaller goals, take time to celebrate your achievement. This could be something as simple as treating yourself to a special meal or activity, or something more significant like taking a weekend trip.
• Use positive self-talk: Throughout the goal-setting process, make sure you're using positive self-talk to encourage and motivate yourself. Instead of focusing on what you haven't accomplished, focus on what you have accomplished and the progress you've made.
• Be flexible: Remember that goals and plans may need to change along the way. Stay flexible and willing to adjust your plan as needed.
• Keep a record of your progress: Use a journal or tracking app to keep a record of your progress towards your goals. This can help you stay motivated and see how far you've come.
- Remember, goal-setting is a journey, not a destination. Celebrate your achievements along the way, and don't forget to reflect on your progress and reward yourself for your hard work.
Need assistance as a student at MCI?
- We hope this helps you to create some goals for yourself this year for some meaningful growth. We also encourage you to extend these goal setting techniques to your studies with us at MCI. Please reach out to your mentor if you would like some help to set some study goals for 2023.
Do you require assistance with your studies at MCI? Do you need a role play partner? Be reminded, to please reach out to your mentor. Finally, you always have the option and are encouraged to interact with other students by joining the MCI Student Facebook page.
All the best!