Setting Realistic Goals for 2015

Goal Setting 2015 – How to Assess Yourself and Set Goals For The New Year

12 December 2014 By Emily Hohf

goal-settingThis time of year, it seems like everybody is thinking about their New Years resolutions. From getting fit or financially better off, to reaching a long standing goal or challenging themselves to reach a little further, these goals are all meant to improve the person who sets them. So, why is it so important to set goals and what’s the best approach to determining the right goals for you? At Pioneer Pacific, we see students setting goals, working toward them, and achieving (or exceeding) them each year. It’s inspiring. Most of these people go about the process in a similar way, we’ve outlined it below.

Evaluate – Take a step back from this week, this month or this year and look at the big picture. Where do you want to be in 5 years, ten years or twenty-five years? These are long-term goals. Long term goals can include:

  • Professional: Career goals are very common.  Think about what type of career you want but also where you want to end up.  Many careers can take you through a number of stages so consider what stage you’d like to end up in and what intermediary steps it may take to get you there.
  • Financial: From everyday expenses to student loans, everyone has money on the mind.  How well you manage your personal finances will contribute to many aspects of your life so addressing how you’d like to approach money in the long term is always a good idea.
  • Education: Enrolled in Pioneer Pacific?  You’re already moving in the right direction!  Considering a professional career in one of the programs we offer?  Take the leap!  Education is one of the distinguishing factors that can lead to financial stability, more job opportunities and overall happiness.
  • Health/wellness: Whether this means going to the gym 3 days per week, or simply walking to the store instead of driving, healthy lifestyle goals are always common but specifics can vary greatly.
  • Familial: Do you want children?  If so, how many?  You don’t have to begin planning for baby’s arrival today but knowing there is a possibility for future children, and accompanied expenses, can help to inform a number of other areas.
  • Outreach/Public Service: How do you want to impact your community?  Fundraising?  Running for public office?  Joining a nonprofit board?  Secular activities?
  • Enjoyment:  Do you want to travel?  Join a car club?  Go hiking?  Become an amateur sushi chef?  Hobbies and leisure activities contribute not only to happiness but also to overall well being.  Think about what brings you joy and how that can be manifested in every aspect of your life.

The long game is played out through smaller, shorter term goals and achievements but unless you have a long game idea, short term goals are less effective.

Disassemble – Now’s your chance to break down these long term goals into smaller, more attainable goals that can lead to long term achievement.  Breaking the goals down into 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year will allow you to build upon previous achievements in your journey.  The mnemonic SMART is often referenced when setting goals.

S – Specific: Setting specifics gives you a clear ending point and trackable data.

M – Measurable: As with ‘specific’, a goal that can be measured against itself can help to indicate progress and give you an idea about what adjustments you may need to make to achieve it.

A – Attainable: Becoming an astronaut in a year is impossible, just like running a marathon after a week of training is impossible.  Set goals that push the limits of attainable.

R – Relevant: Goals should contribute to the end game so be sure they are all “pointing” in that direction.

T – Time-bound: Setting an end date gives you a solid point in time to aim for.  Whether that be graduation day, race day or simply a weekday, due dates help to motivate as well as plan ahead for the next step in the process.


This process may seem a bit overwhelming to start, but you may actually find yourself enjoying all the possibilities your future holds.  Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to start taking action!  Our next blog will feature some tips for working toward achieving the goals you have set.



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