Last Words: Set realistic goals for yourself in 2019

It’s 2019 and we’ve now settled into the new semester. Around this time of the school year, people start to evaluate their lives and goals, whether they’re academic, social or personal. It’s time when a lot of us take stock and figure out what went wrong and what went right the year previous. You might be disappointed: your term one grades may not have been stellar and you didn’t get the chance to do everything you wanted. Or maybe you’re quite happy — you’re pleased with your grades and you finally reached that goal or overcame that hardship.

Whatever your 2018 was — good or bad — it’s now a good time to try to set a healthy pace and feel for 2019.

The typical move is the blast of New Year’s resolutions. A long list of things you want to do better, make more time for and do less of. While the first few weeks of January may follow these resolutions strictly, few resolutions make their way past March.

Just because it’s a new year and new semester doesn’t mean that you have re-imagine your lifestyle — and we suggest not doing so. The urge to fix and address every single aspect of your life is the exact reason why it’s so hard to stick to resolutions in the first place.

You can’t expect to spend more evenings with friends and study for two hours every day while trying to work out three times a week without one of them slipping. Sure there are people who do that, but it takes time to get there and few can jump head-first into that drastic lifestyle change and have it be successful. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who can, we all hate you.

This semester, try to slowly set up small things that help advance your goals, whatever they might be. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a complete life re-evaluation or beat yourself up for not meeting the unachievable expectations you’ve set for yourself.

If you want to make more time for studying, don’t promise yourself that you’ll spend four hours per night studying after previously doing zero. If you want to make more time for friends, don’t think you need to go out on the town every night. Look at your goals and ask yourself what you’d realistically be able to do. Maybe it’s 30 minutes a night studying, or promising your friends that you’ll go out once or twice a week.

If you take it slow and you’re honest with your time and abilities, it’s far less likely you’ll get burnt out, and far more likely you’ll come somewhere near completing your goals. Shooting for the moon to ensure you land among the stars isn’t just for astronauts!