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Picture this.

You’re laying in your bed, staring at the cluttered mess that is your laptop home screen. You decide to clear out some of the mess and come across some old documents. You find one you wrote about this time last year and open it. You are met with a list, filled with everything you had hoped to accomplish by this very moment. Back then, you did not foresee the global pandemic that cost you your job, or the unexpected loss in your family that left you bedridden for weeks, or the closure of your neighborhood gym which caused your fitness progress to come to a grinding halt. 

How could you have?

The global pandemic has had tangible effects in all our lives; it would be unfair to hold ourselves to the same standards and measures of progress that we did earlier this year. However, setting realistic goals is something that really helps me fight the feelings of stagnation that come up ever so often. As we begin to anticipate the new year, its really important to make sure the goals we do set are made in light of our current circumstances.

Here are some ways I am hoping to do that.

Keep it short and sweet.

I’m someone who typically writes a list of at least 20 things I want to do in the new year; it’s excessive but it’s all I’ve known for most of my life. This time around I want to trim out the excess and make my list no longer than 5 main goals.

Clarity is key.

Setting vague goals often does more harm than good. With no way to measure your progress, it’s easy to slip into habits that stop you from making any progress at all. Try to make your goals easy to follow; break each one down into actionable and clear steps

Make room for unexpected changes.

There is so much uncertainty across the board right now, and it can be difficult to make plans for precisely this reason. Consider adding contingencies to your goals, like “If ____ happens then I will do ______” or “I hope to do ______ if _______”. 

To make it a bit more personal, one goal of mine is to take a solo trip somewhere next year, but there are a few factors I have to consider that will determine if I can do it. So my goal is currently “I hope to take a solo trip next year if  I have the opportunity to work enough hours to save up for it”

Ver-Se Denga

U Alberta '21

Ver-Se is in her 4th year of uni, studying Biology and Psychology and serving as Senior Editor of the UAlberta Chapter. She loves to read and can't imagine a world without Chimamanda Adichie in it.
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