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New Actions for the New Year: A Guide for CFUF Alumni
With each new year comes an opportunity for each of us to set our sights on becoming the best person that we can be. Most of us have either heard of or participated in setting New Year’s Resolutions in the past, though the majority of us have fallen short of our aim to lose weight, get a promotion, start a new hobby, go back to school, and follow a budget. A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman found that nearly 88% of those of us that set New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful in following through with our intended life changes.

So, why do we continue to make these resolutions year after year?

Perhaps it’s the excitement that we get when we envision our “future-selves” showing off our washboard abs at the beach or using our newly acquired degree to finally put an end to the “chicken or the egg” debate. Personally, I believe that each one of us knows that we are capable of achieving remarkable things but somewhere along the line we get distracted by life’s obstacles.

So, what can we do to improve our chances of being successful?

A significant amount of research suggests that the triumphant ones employ 2 basic strategies: Goal Setting and Peer Support. These are both excellent tactics that will likely help us stick to our commitments and
realize our true potential if we take the time to do them right. Here are a few tips that might help...

Goal Setting: The trick to goal setting is being specific. Rather than saying, “I want to save money,” decide how much money you would like to save by the end of the year. Write this number down and feel confident that this is an obtainable goal. Now that you know what your exact goal is for the end of the year, you need to break it down into smaller monthly goals. Think to yourself, “in order for me to save $X by the end of the year, how much will I need to save each month?” Continue this process until you figure out how much you will need to save each week or even each day. At the end of each week you can look at the goal you’d written down and decide if you were successful or not. If you were not, you will have an easier time figuring out which obstacles got in your way and how to negotiate them next time.

Peer Support: Getting others involved in your goal setting is a great way to add a level of accountability to the process. Sharing these plans with those close to you helps, but surrounding yourself with other motivated and committed individuals can be one of the best ways to keep you focused and determined. By remaining a member of a supportive network, you open yourself up to new perspectives and opportunities that can help you obtain your personal and professional goals. Also, the satisfaction of helping others can do amazing things for our self-esteem.

The Alumni Services Department exists to support both of these strategies. By remaining connected to CFUF and your fellow alumni, you are linked to a network of unwavering and like-minded people that want to see you succeed. Each one of us is needed to make this network the strongest in the city and I am certain that our collective efforts will continue to help improve the lives of many.

My resolution for 2014 is to create a valuable and worthwhile program that utilizes the strengths of its members to support our mission for Family Stability and Economic Success- one day at a time.
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