Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet!

Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

Happy new year and welcome to 2018! It’s the perfect time to lock in your new year’s resolutions and set some goals for the year ahead. Take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished in 2017 and what you would like to do differently this year. By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to make concrete academic, professional and personal goals to help make 2018 your best year yet. We’re all guilty of making well intentioned resolutions but not actually following through with them. To start us off on the right foot I’d like to share some inspiration from a poem by American writer William Arthur Ward:

"This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!"

S.M.A.R.T. Goals
You’ve probably heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals before, that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. There’s a reason the method is so well known, and that’s because it works! Allow me to refresh your memory as you start thinking about your 2018 goals:

  • Specific - the who, what, why, where and how
  • Measurable - e.g. run a mile in under ten minutes
  • Attainable - will you realistically be able to achieve your goal?
  • Relevant - think about how your goal fits into the big picture
  • Time bound - set a timeframe for accomplishing your goal

Making sure your goals meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria will set you up for success. It’s important to write your goals down, preferably somewhere you can see them on a regular basis. Decide on a schedule for tracking your progress. Breaking your goal down into manageable pieces will also help to keep you motivated.

Opportunity Ahead
Thinking ahead, why not consider doing an internship this year? One of my goals while doing the MLIS program was to participate in an internship and I’m happy to report I will achieve this in Spring! Several great opportunities have popped up lately including one in North Carolina and another in Alaska. Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte is accepting applications for the Atkins Fellows summer program. Applications submitted by Friday, February 2 will receive first consideration. These fellowships are designed to give LIS students hands-on experience in an academic library. The Alaska State Library is accepting applications for three summer internships in public libraries. Interns will receive travel reimbursement, a $4,000 stipend and free housing during the eight-week internship. Don’t forget about study abroad opportunities too! Your studies could take you to a new and exciting place this year. Last summer, six iSchool students set off for Ireland. You can read more about their experience here.

As well as academic and professional goals, include a few personal goals that might focus on your health, family or a new hobby. Try to find a good balance of big and small, short term and long term goals too. Whatever goals you set for yourself this year, I hope you achieve them and remember to enjoy the journey!

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