Setting Intentional Goals in the New Year

January 1st brings a new beginning. It is the start of a new year and is the perfect time to set new goals to achieve. Many people use January 1st as a time to plan out what they want to accomplish for the upcoming year, and they use it as a time to reflect on the year before. January 1st typically feels like a fresh start, and that anything is possible. The issue is that halfway through January, life tends to set in, and before many people know it, they are reverting to bad habits and putting their goals off for the next year. For most law students, goals for the new year typically include improving study habits, finding a summer or post-graduation job, working on work/life balance, or receiving specific grades in the upcoming semester. All of these goals are achievable, but it is important to understand that to achieve these goals, you have to go into goal setting with a plan. For a person to stand firm in your goals, and to work to achieve them, you must be intentional in setting their goals.    

Write Down your Goals:

The first step to being intentional in goal setting is to write them down. Writing down goals makes them more concrete, and you have something tangible to remind you of what your focus can be.

Be Realistic:

It is always best to reach for the stars when setting goals, but it is essential to remember to be practical. Practicality is especially important if you are setting a goal that you have not previously worked on or tried to attain. For instance, if your goal is to improve your study habits, but you honestly know that you do not have any good habits to build off of then it is important to set a study habit goal that develops over time. You should set this goal by including benchmarks for what is most important for you regarding study habits and when you expect to have this goal achieved. By adding benchmarks, you can easily break up the goal into more manageable pieces to ensure it is not overwhelming.

Check-in Periodically:

Make sure that you are holding yourself accountable by checking in to see if you have made in progress with your goals. Each month is a good place to start, but if you realize that you have not made much progress after each month, then it may be best to move to a system of checking in with yourself each week. Checking in is essential to the process, and it is also important to write down your check-in process so that you can see your progress over time.   

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