Dear Students and Families: The first day of classes is now less than 40 days away. We are all excited by the prospect of a return to an academic and student experience that resembles our pre-pandemic campus environment. A critical…
New Year, Same You but With Attainable Goals
The year 2020 is just around the corner as Syracuse University employees prepare for Orange Appreciation Days. The New Year, paired with a time of rest, provides a rare and important time for pause and reflection. Thinking back on 2019 can provide perspective on your life as you set intentions for 2020.
Rather than encouraging New Year’s resolutions, which can be short-lived and unrealistic, Gail Grozalis, executive director of Wellness, recommends relishing in the opportunity to reflect. Still, resolutions can work for some; they can be fun and sometimes jump start positive health behavior, Grozalis says. Whether you’re a resolution setter or not, take a moment to reflect on the questions below Grozalis rounded up for you:
- What were your highlights of 2019? What were the moments worth remembering?
- What worked great for you this year that you would like to carry forward into 2020?
- What was a proud moment for you?
- What was your biggest challenge?
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What one word describes 2019 for you?
- Identify “your word” for 2020 (fun, peace, quiet, simple, strong, etc.).
- What do you want more of in the New Year?
- How will you simplify your life in the New Year?
For the resolution setters, or those looking to set new goals after reflecting on the previous year, below are some tips from your colleagues to help you along the way!
Professional Development and Goal Setting
Kyle Danzey, assistant director of career services in the Whitman School, provided Syracuse University News with tips on taking your professional life to the next level in 2020:
Goal-setting is an important component of the career development process. By setting clearly defined goals, you can measure your progress toward the vision you have for your professional future.
Establish S.M.A.R.T. Goals
A S.M.A.R.T. goal is used to help guide goal setting. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. The S.M.A.R.T. method is helpful because it sets a clear finish line and makes it easier to track progress.
- Specific: What will be accomplished? What actions will you take?
- Measurable: What data will measure the goal? (How much? How well?)
- Achievable: Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources?
- Relevant: How does the goal align with broader goals? Why is the result important?
- Timely: What is the time frame for accomplishing the goal?
Learn a New Skill
Reflect on your work performance. Is there a skill that would help you in the job that you’re doing? Online resources such as LinkedIn Learning can provide you with an array of skills-based courses. Additionally, you can plan to attend a professional development workshop or training offered through Human Resources at https://hr.syr.edu/professionaldevelopment/staff.
Consider Joining a Professional Association or Attending a Conference
There are professional associations for almost every career field. Joining an association provides members with an opportunity to become informed members of their industry. Many associations offer professional development conferences and workshops that you may find valuable as you define and refine your career goals.
MaryAnn Monforte, professor of accounting practice in the Whitman School, shared with Syracuse University News the key personal finance resolutions or goals you can set for yourself this year.
- Set up your 2020 budget…really this time. It is the best gift you can give yourself! We all say we are going to but before you know it…it’s March and no planning has taken place. A budget takes so much stress out of your life. Even if you know that you are overspending this holiday season, you can plan your budget to reduce your discretionary spending to make up for the holiday cheer you spread. A budget helps you with future spending decisions in the coming year–it takes out the guesswork. A budget is truly the gift that keeps giving.
- Budget saving for yourself. It is never too early to save for retirement. 401(k) contribution limits have increased to $19,500 for 2020; for those over 50, the catch-up limit increased to $6,500 for a total of $26,000.
- Consolidate high-interest credit card debt into lower-rate options. Shop around for the best offers.
- Resolve to take a hard look at recurring subscription charges (Spotify, Netflix, cable/internet service, etc.). Make sure you are really using what you are paying for and that you are receiving the best price available. Cancel those recurring charges that no longer offer any value.
Health and Wellness
When constructing your health and wellness goals for 2020, Grozalis recommends to do the following for each goal:
- Visualize yourself achieving the goal. Write it down in the form of a wellness vision; create a vision board.
- Identify your motivators—why is this wellness goal important to you?
- What are your strengths you can draw upon to realize the goal/vision?
- Think about the challenges that you might encounter along the way and develop some strategies to meet those challenges.