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The Lalagirl Writing In Notebook
The Lalagirl Writing In Notebook
Her Campus Media

To All the Goals I’ve Loved Before

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

I am a New Year’s resolution girl to my core. Recently, I looked back at the New Year’s resolutions that I created in December 2022. I realized that, while I had made progress toward some goals, a handful of them remained unfulfilled. Instead of being frustrated with myself, I used this as an opportunity for honest reflection. Why did I choose to work towards some of my goals and not work towards other goals? I contemplated this past year and came to some realizations that you might relate to.

I started by looking to see why I didn’t achieve my goals. There were three main reasons that I couldn’t cross certain goals off my to-do list. One reason that I didn’t achieve some goals is that they were too unattainable. I didn’t already have any prior progress towards that goal. For instance, I set a goal to read 25 books in a year without already having a consistent reading habit; this amount was unrealistic due to the sheer volume. Another reason that some goals fell by the wayside was that my life circumstances changed. Many people around me this year experienced health scares, financial stress or relationship issues. These circumstances have a way of shifting our focus to what is most important at the time, so don’t be hard on yourself for not whole-heartedly working towards a goal while you go through these situations.

Life is not solely about self-improvement and there are times when we need to simplify life in order to walk through circumstances. The last reason that I didn’t achieve some of my goals was because of a shift in my values. I realized that my life needed more balance, which caused me to realign my priorities. Therefore, some goals followed the path of my old values and didn’t connect with the life I currently want to live.

After reflecting on the goals I didn’t achieve, I thought about which goals I still want to achieve, which I want to alter and which I want to discard. First, I looked at the goals I still want to work towards. For example, I made a goal to run in a 5k this year. Though I did not achieve this goal, I did improve by having a solid fitness routine and buying a walking pad. I want to keep my 5k goal on the list for next year, for running is an area I still want to grow in. Then, I looked to see which goals I wanted to alter. Some of my resolutions were simply unrealistic, but the core of the goal was still meaningful to me. For the upcoming year, I will make small adjustments to these goals to make them more realistic to my lifestyle. Lastly, some of the unachieved goals got tossed out. To be honest, I’m not sure why I set some of the goals in the first place; they didn’t align with my core values, lifestyle or even wants.

After I took an honest look at my (overly ambitious) New Year’s resolutions, I began brainstorming the goals I want to set for 2024. However, instead of waiting until January to start working on these goals, I am putting the systems in place now to make achieving them more realistic. For instance, because I want to begin eating cleaner, I am going to start researching healthy recipes and meal prepping now. Because I want to read 25 books, I am beginning to read a chapter at bedtime now to set the system in motion. By doing so, my goals will not seem as daunting.

Goal-setting is a tricky activity. When we achieve a goal, we feel on top of the world and when we fall short, we feel like we failed. However, goals are not the end-all and be-all. Think of your goals as a map that simply guides you to where you want to be, not a stepping stone that you need to get there. If you take a wrong turn or two on your journey, acknowledge it and simply get back on the path. As you reflect on this past year, have an open and honest conversation with yourself as you prepare for the upcoming year.

Caroline Crews is a third-year public relations major at the University of Florida. As a PR major, she enjoys nerding out about consumer analytics and campaign design. Caroline has used her education to design social media plans for both non-profit and for-profit organizations, create targeted email campaigns, and construct the branding of several organizations. When Caroline is not immersed in the field of PR, you can find her going on a walk, spending time with friends and family, or making a pot of coffee.