BHS Insight


Greta Shaughnessy, Staff Writer

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At the beginning of every new year, thousands of people take to social media to put out their intentions for the new year. While many set reasonable financial, health, and personal goals, there are some, however, who take their goal setting to the extreme.

To say that goal setting is a bad thing is wrong. Making small attainable goals for yourself is in our human nature. What isn’t normal, however, is trying to change every aspect of your being because that’s what you see other people doing.

“You shouldn’t want to change yourself because there’s a new year, or other people are doing it. You should have goals all the time,” said senior Henri Martinez.

All too often we as people create these large long term goals for the new year. Because of this, we often fall short of reaching our goals because they were too large to reach within a year.

“People just set too high of goals that they can never meet,” said  Martinez.

The concept of a “New Year’s resolution” puts pressure on a person to achieve everything they set out in 12 months. News flash: it is very hard to do that! It has been proven that setting small term goals allows a person to reach what they set out in a more attainable fashion.

“If you take it in small increments, then it becomes a habit,” said psychology teacher Amy McIsaac.

Let’s say a goal of yours is to exercise more (one of the most common resolutions for people). If you jump right into working out seven days a week, in high intensity workouts, you’re actually causing yourself more harm. According to “excessive exercise can easily result in overuse injuries and stress fractures which could be temporary or permanent…among the many other potential consequences, exercising too much can lead to decreased immunity and frequent colds or illnesses.” If you are overdoing it with your fitness goals, you are actually damaging your body’s natural healing processes, slowing your immunity, and causing self injury.

An easier way to reach your fitness goals (which actually helps with making the goal a part of your everyday lifestyle) is to start small and go from there. Try the gym maybe three days a week, spaced out every other day, and reach your goals that way. You’re more likely to have success with smaller goals leading up to the larger goals.

Another popular goal, especially for high school students is raising grades. After one term of struggling, or not having the motivation to do work, students, many seniors, find themselves struggling to fix the damage. For these students, they set this broad goal instead of creating smaller, attainable goals like: studying for 45 minutes everynight in a different subject, or doing homework right after school to make sure it is done.

As much as these teens don’t want to admit it, it is not the lack of motivation that keeps them from the grades they know they are capable of getting. It is the distractions, like phones, that are hindering them.

“If a student gets a bad grade I try to adjust their MO to make little steps like less time spent on the phone in order to reach those steps and habits to reach that goal. You can’t just want an A when you see your report card. The A starts everyday,” said McIsaac.

Resolutions don’t have to be something achieved in a year either. The idea of setting a long term goal is to take time to reach it. Trying to finish said long term goal in a period of 12 months may not be as enriching of an experience.

As a child, Martinez always found himself unable to reach the goals he set for the year because the time constraint was too pressuring.

“I give up because the goals are so high, and I am person who aims high, and they just become a let down,” said Martinez.

Perhaps putting a goal to a two or three year time limit will lessen the stress around trying to reach it so quickly. This however does not mean setting a goal to a one year time limit isn’t possible. It all depends on the goal and your determination.

“I set a financial savings goal for this year, and I stuck to it by being consistent, taking small steps towards it, and really focusing on my spending habits,” said McIsaac about one of her personal goals.

Whether it is your health, money, family, or job that you are making goals for, you must always be mindful of the size of your goals, and to not overdo it. Take the small steps, and in the end you will feel the victory of reaching your goals.



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