Setting Goals Helps to Achieve New Year’s Resolutions

Ask Dr. Mentor
Dr. Susan Weinberger, Career Stories

It is not about how big your goal is. It is how you approach it that matters!

Do you have a New Year’s resolution that was on your list last year? Every January, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Some achieve them; others put them on the shelf. This is a great month to resolve to keep your promises. Setting short- and long-term goals is the best way to achieve results.

In the CWEA Mentoring Program, goal setting is one of the most popular activities in which mentors and mentees engage. Why is this such a critical part of the mentor/mentee relationship? It’s because we all know how important it is to set goals in our personal and professional lives if we expect to be successful.

A helpful reminder this time of year never hurts. Goals must be S.M.A.R.T. These initials stand for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, relevant, and time-bound. They are defined as:

  • Specific: Being clear about your goals and expectations is the first step.
  • Measurable:  If you cannot measure something, you cannot tell if you are performing well  or are off track and in need of course correction.
  • Achievable: It is essential to look at your end objectives and design goals within your capabilities.
  • Realistic (and relevant): Goals are useful only when you can achieve them.
  • Time-bound: Goals need start and end points, as well as benchmarks.

Setting goals is the chance to choose where you want to go, decide what you want to achieve, know where to concentrate your efforts, spot the distractions that may lure you from your course, and build self-confidence.

Now is the perfect time to outline a plan. Determine the goal you want to achieve. Perhaps it is personal, such as exercising and getting in shape or spending more time with family and friends, focusing on a career change, reexamining how you budget, pursuing an advanced degree, or deciding to become a mentor.

Make sure that you write down your goal. State why you want to achieve it and what might prevent you from achieving results. Are there sacrifices involved? Will you need help to achieve the goal? This is where mentors can lend a hand to their mentees. They become an important support team. Mentors know that a mentee’s goal must always be their own and never the mentor’s. Mentors help to guide their mentees in achieving their goals.

List the activities you will conduct to reach your goal. Put your signature on the document you have prepared.  That makes it formal. When you achieve your goal, pat yourself on the back for a job well done and determine how and with whom you will celebrate.

Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions. Have a wonderful and productive 2024.

Now accepting Mentoring Program participants for 2024-25. Applications are due March 11.

Dr. Susan G. Weinberger, aka Dr. Mentor, is President, Mentor Consulting Group (MCG) in Norwalk, CT. MCG is assisting CWEA in designing and implementing a high-quality, effective, and sustainable mentoring program for its members.