Jan. 4, 2021

A New Year; A New You

An article by CalPac's ASB Student Council

Last year was a tough year for probably everyone. However, if there is one opportunity that 2020 has offered, it is the opportunity to become a new person. Everyone has been rejoicing as 2020 ends, and their hope for a return to their regular lives continues. However, just because 2020 has ended doesn’t mean that the next year will be better. Someone will have to make a change—and that someone is you. And one of the best ways to make that change happen, you need to set S.M.A.R.T goals and learn from your past mistakes.

The first step to improving life in the new year is to set-up some year-long goals. While that may seem like a cliche thing to say, it really does help! Just make sure that goal is S.M.A.R.T.—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. For example, let’s say that by the end of the year, you want to finish twenty books. Fine, but what type of books? Are they novels?  How long are these books? All of these factors do impact how you accomplish that goal. So a more specific goal would be “I want to finish ten novels, one long novel, and three philosophical books.” This way, your goal is specific as well as measurable. Creating a schedule will measure if something is attainable or not. For example, let’s say that you want to get an A or A+ in a class. To do this, you create a schedule of studying that particular class for 20 minutes in order to get high grades on your quizzes, tests, and exam for that class. This is also relevant and time-based, as doing your coursework is relevant to you and is time-based because you set a specific goal that has a start (the beginning of a unit) and an end (the exam).

Creating S.M.A.R.T goals evince the willingness to grow and improve, and it is a massive step forward and a great way to change yourself, but there is also something else to do, and that is to reflect on your past mistakes and learn from them.

Everyone makes mistakes at some point in their lives—it is part of human nature to make mistakes. However, what is rare is the ability to grow and learn from mistakes. This is known as the growth mindset. For example, that you rushed through your classes and didn’t do well and got bad grades on assignments because you rushed through them. This is a massive mistake, and it’s understandable that someone would feel an immense amount of stress and regret because of that. However, that someone has a very simple way to alleviate that stress and regret—learn and grow from that mistake. That someone knows that they should not rush through their classes and should actually take time to learn the material now. Therefore, they are learning from their mistake and growing as a person. 

Even though the path to improving and becoming a better person is paved with difficulty, it is a worthwhile path to cross. Your faults and difficulties, as bad as they may seem, are what make you an individual. By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, you can overcome those faults and difficulties to become a better and well-organized person. Remember, creating Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based goals leads to individual growth.