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What are your resolutions?

| Thursday, August 24, 2017

We can all feel the excitement. It’s the official start of the Fall 2017-2018 academic year back at everyone’s favorite place, the University of Notre Dame. Whenever August comes around, and all of us have to come to grips with the fact that summer is over, a common thing to do is to mentally go through what our resolutions for the new academic year are.

Unlike New Year’s resolutions, losing weight or learning to play the guitar (after 10 years of telling yourself to get started) aren’t what most of us are going for. I already know what everyone’s are: get straight A’s, join that club your interested in, preserve flex points (good luck), make a million new friends, ask out our crush and, for seniors, not wait until a week before graduation to figure out what you’re going to do with your life once it’s all over here. All of these goals are wonderful. Coupled with our rejuvenated excitement we all have, it’s easy to believe that we are going to conquer the world and no one can stop us.

Unfortunately, by the time October rolls around, many (if not all) of those resolutions are a thing of the past and reality kicks in. The real issue is that people are shooting for the stars and can forget that the process of accomplishing those goals can be, well, a grind. You fell behind in class, missed the deadline for that club’s application submission process, and your crush just found someone else
(we’ve all been there).

My advice to everyone as we all get started is to set out your goals just as you normally would, but tackle them on a less-macro scale. For example, instead of just saying you are getting that A you want, set a goal to stay on top of your reading or devote a certain number of hours to studying every week. Create a process for yourself, and challenge yourself to have the self-discipline to stick to it. Give yourself small but achievable goals. As the semester and year go by, you’ll realize that the accumulation of these “mini goals” will lead to a slow but sustainable path for you to accomplish your macro goals. Dreaming big is great, and gives us the motivation to accomplish and gain the things we all want the most. But it’s important to be patient but perseverant. Always remind yourself that if it was easy, everybody would do it. Don’t just tell yourself you are going to build a big wall. Put one brick on top of another each day. Eventually, your wall will be just as big as you envisioned it would be.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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