By Emily Williams, Assistant Features Editor
As much as I hate to admit it, I wouldn’t exactly pride myself on my ability to implement change in my life. As January draws to a close, most of us (if we’re being completely honest with ourselves) have already fallen short of that list of New Year’s resolutions we might have absentmindedly scrawled onto the back of a coffee-stained napkin on Dec. 31.
While resolutions are absolutely a wonderful notion and making them is an indication that we are willing to grow and challenge ourselves, are resolutions really the best approach to seeing tangible change in our lives? Honestly, how many times have you found that only half-heartedly acknowledging that growth needs to happen has caused any real change to come about in your life?
I’ve found that growth doesn’t come from hoping for change as much as it comes from setting goals in order to put change into action over time in our lives. We cannot expect to pick up a pen, write down an obscure idea of how we want our lives to look and then walk away with no plan or intention of taking any practical steps to get to that point.
While resolutions deal with hoping for change, goals deal with planning for change. While resolutions are abstract, goals are concrete. You can hope for that resolution of getting all A’s and B’s this semester, but unless you set the goal of meeting deadlines and put conscious effort into the work you produce, you won’t pull it off. Setting goals enables positive results while making resolutions have the potential to cause regret.
As we power on through a new year and a new semester, make it a point to develop the mindset of working for what you want. Try to avoid being stagnant. You are capable of setting goals and meeting them. You are capable of being better than you were yesterday. You are capable of doing big, beautiful and impactful things. Don’t buy into the lie that this opportunity to get better at something, to learn something new, to make a couple of new friends or whatever it is that you may have in mind for your life, can only happen at one specific time.
Change can take place in your heart and mind at any time of the year, not just Jan. 1. Every breath can be a second chance; it’s just a matter of understanding that and taking advantage of it.
As The Avett Brothers flawlessly said, “Decide what to be and go be it”. This is a statement that has carried me through many dark times and confusing circumstances. You may not know exactly where you are headed, but you can take practical steps in the direction you want to go.