by Matthew McCutchen
Before we get too far in to this new semester and lose sight of our New Year’s resolutions, I simply challenge you as a Terry Scholar to lay out some goals for yourself so that you can look back at this year as the most successful and fulfilling yet.
Back in 2014 I had a life changing experience through setting realistic but challenging goals. I served this organization as a freshman mentor and asked my mentees to join in with me as we worked together to become the best versions of ourselves possible. In my personal life, that meant to grow academically, socially, and spiritually. I sought after help when the hardships of the semester came and went and was encouraged often. My first tip to you this semester is to create accountability with close friends. Allowing others to come into your life and walk alongside you in any aspect you are seeking to improve will be beneficial. Likewise, you will have new found opportunities to help others and grow deeper in friendships and relationships.
When considering the overwhelming cluster of goals to set, I suggest a short period of reflection. Ask yourself where you succeeded and what improvements should be made this semester. Make a list or take notes of these items, categorize, and prioritize them.
Consider the amount of time you will spend on your classes, your existing involvement or job, and then add or subtract when necessary. Be careful when adding more class hours or involvement, and be as realistic and honest with yourself as possible. Over commitment can add stress to your life and prevent you from being well-balanced. I also want you to consider setting goals that are SMART. SMART goals are Specific, Meaningful, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Timely.
The last thing I ask of you once you have written out your goals is to put it somewhere you can see it every day. Former Chancellor Kent Hance attributed his success in life by taking 5 minutes out of each day to plan or reflect on his days while focusing on the goals he’s set.
Whatever you decide to tackle this semester, I hope that setting goals forces you to be uncomfortable and stretches you as a person. If you continue to remember the great gift you have been given from the Terry Foundation and use it to pursue your passions and interests, you are sure to be successful this year!