UMUC has put together some tips to help you accomplish your resolutions using the SMART system. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. This way of thinking about New Year’s resolutions can be applied to your goals in many different areas of your life, whether those goals are personal, professional or related to your education.
Specific and Measurable: When resolutions are too broad, they can seem impossible to achieve. Create resolutions that are detailed and concrete. Instead of resolving to get better grades, resolve to stay ahead of your class schedule by one week, complete all required readings and submit assignments on time.
Attainable: Don’t set yourself up for failure; your resolutions should be realistic to achieve. If you’re working full time, it probably isn’t realistic to also enroll in college full time, so you’ll need to consider your time and commitments to decide how many classes you can accommodate in your schedule.
Relevant: If your goal relates to your values or has great personal meaning to you, you’ll be more likely to commit to it. Don’t just set a goal to find a new job; imagine a job where you will be challenged, fulfilled and enjoy personal satisfaction, then develop a plan to land that perfect opportunity.
Timely: By breaking your resolution into smaller steps, you can start to put your plan in motion and measure your progress over time. When creating your timeline, consider that you will likely have setbacks. Be sure to reward yourself as you meet those milestones along the way.
Sticking to your resolutions can be a challenge. But with determination and SMART goals, you can use the new year as a fresh start to improve your life.
UMUC is here to support you. Here are some common resolutions and ways we can help.
- I want to return to college or start a new bachelor’s or master’s degree. Start out by contacting a UMUC representative. Our advisors can help you compare academic programs and understand financial aid options. They can also answer questions about online learning and explain the UMUC advantage.
- I want to improve my writing. UMUC offers tutoring and other academic support, or take advantage of the Effective Writing Center.
- I want to find a new job. UMUC’s Career Services offers many resources for students and alumni. Attend a career fair, join CareerQuest to apply for jobs, or get help with resume/cover letter writing or interview preparations. The best place to start is to Talk to a Career Counselor.