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How to Stay Consistent With Your New Year Goals


The New Year serves as a blank canvas for personal and professional growth.  Rachel Neal, SNU’s Director of Enrollment and Marketing for Professional and Graduate Studies, offers guidance and encourages readers to dream big while starting out with manageable steps. Whether you're considering your next career steps or have already jumped into your degree program, her words provide a roadmap to success—one grounded in practicality, consistency, and a deep understanding of the “why” behind our aspirations.

Join us in exploring Rachel's thoughtful musings on the beauty of the journey, the significance of small steps, and the power of consistency in pursuing our goals. As we step into a new year, may this serve as a source of inspiration and guidance, reminding us that the destination is all the more rewarding when embraced with intention and purpose.

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The New Year is always exciting and motivational for most! There’s something refreshing about starting a new chapter or focusing on a long-awaited dream. January feels like the perfect time to tackle some goals finally, or at the very least, write them down in your beautiful new journal. Honestly, journaling is a great place to start. Most realized goals start with a pen and paper, followed by a plan to get there. But that’s where most goals are lost. What’s the plan to get there now that the goal is acknowledged in writing? 

I really encourage you to dream big but start small. We often leap headfirst into a goal to get there quickly, but sometimes that means missing the beautiful process along the way. What is a realistic daily step forward? Fitness is a huge emphasis at the first of the year, so maybe your plan also involves a health or fitness goal. A lifestyle change like this won’t happen overnight, so perhaps your goal could start with a daily walk, then increasing water intake the next week, and trying a workout class. Slowly but surely, these small steps will equal a beneficial but manageable lifestyle change.

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My expertise is in the world of higher education, and this can also be a big dream and perhaps sometimes feel overwhelming. Again, I encourage you to start small with a realistic plan. Colleges and universities are filled with former and current students who have been right where you are and would love to share their experiences. Have a conversation with a knowledgeable employee, or even search for blogs and student testimonials online. There is something powerful in speaking with someone who has already walked the path to your intended destination.

With small steps headed in the right direction, the next step is to be consistent. Setbacks in life are absolutely inevitable, but it’s how we respond to these roadblocks that make the difference. Financial concerns, illness, family matters, and a host of other potential concerns will certainly show up at some point in your path to the desired goal. First and foremost, it is okay to pause in your journey and address immediate concerns. Your plan may take a little longer, but just remember this is not a race. It’s important to fully experience this journey entirely because it makes the destination that much more rewarding. While it is okay to pause, don’t let that thwart your plan entirely. Reroute your plan as needed, but make sure to keep your goal fully present in your daily intentions. 

The New Year might be a great time to set goals, but the goal really originated from a calling or purpose. I challenge you to remember the why behind this journey. What prompted this initial goal? For most, it is a needed or desired change that will ultimately better your life or fulfill a purpose. This is important to recognize at the very beginning of your journey because you will need it later. Write your purpose down, keep it in the forefront of your mind, and go back to it as often as needed. Enjoy the journey of goal setting and achieving purpose in life. It won’t always look like the intended path, but we are sure to experience growth, find fulfillment, and spark more goals for the future! 

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