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Setting realistic goals: start small, take your time

The first full week of the semester is here once again. A big chapter or milestone comes along in life and most people make certain goals for these starting points. Starting to work out more, eat healthier; do better in school or work. I am certainly guilty of making these goals or end results of a new time in my life. But I was thinking this morning what is it that makes us find these new chapters as moments to start bettering ourselves. And what is our society's constant need to better ourselves and where does it stem from?

I feel that it is something that we got started in as children. With a new school year or new sports season we were always asked to do bigger and better things. If you got an A- you really should be trying to get an A, and if you scored two points you should be scoring five. And the new goals weren't set mid season or middle of the semester or trimester but always at the beginning. So as we age the tasks asked of us only get more difficult.

Get a higher GPA, get a promotion at work, fix relationships with friends, family, or significant others. All of these things usually naturally come into our brains at the start of something new whether it be the start of the new year, semester, or job. But as most of us know, not soon after all of these resolutions are made they fall to the side from time constraints, laziness or loss of will power.

Here's my advice to those wishing to make these goals, and how to make them turn into something realistically achievable. Are you ready? Start small. Take the little victories everyday and grow on them. Take something small you can do every day and slowly build upon it until you reach your goal. Think of these goals like a work out. If you just go straight out into a heavy work out without a warm up or being in shape you could seriously hurt your body.

Also don't pick too many goals. Choose one that you know you can achieve, don't over load yourself. But pick one...just one, that is a challenge. Something that you are willing to work towards, and work for. Because even thought it was embedded in us at birth, I still feel that we should all strive to be the healthiest we can be in all aspects of our lives, and truly be, as corny as it sounds, the best that we can be.

Caitlin Cunningham is a junior interactive advertising art major from Dayton, Maine. She can be reached at


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