New Year, New You


It’s a new year, yet you wake up feeling the same as you always do. Same routine, same hobbies, nothing new or exciting in your life. But there’s a tradition that happens every year at the beginning of the year, new year’s resolutions.

Every January, people set a new year’s resolution they would like to complete. Common resolutions are eating healthier, losing weight, trying a new hobby or getting organized. Yet, as the year goes on, most people never complete their resolutions or only make it to week two before giving up. Luckily, there are methods you can use to persevere and complete your goals.

Most people attest to not completing their goals for multiple reasons, such as lack of time or being overwhelmed, but the problem also can be a lack of motivation and dedication. Don’t set a large goal right away that you know won’t happen unless you change yourself completely.

Start small, and as the year goes on, build on your goal so by the time the year ends, you’ll see a huge change in yourself and your mindset.

Faith Williams, a McDowell student teacher from Gannon University, said her goal for 2022 was to stay organized, but she ended up getting overwhelmed which led her to not complete her resolution last year.

“I play basketball in college. So I had that, and then I was in five different classes and a field placement, so I just got a little overwhelmed. I was still able to complete everything successfully, but it just caused a lot of anxiety,” Williams says.

Williams is hoping to be a teacher within the next year, so in order to be successful, she needs to keep her classes in check and stay organized. This year, Williams has given herself motivation to try to complete the lingering goal. To complete her goal, Williams bought a calendar and journal to write out her schedule for student teaching, basketball, and her classes so she won’t get overwhelmed.

Kelly Sennett, a sophomore in McDowell AFJROTC, completed multiple goals in 2022. Sennett’s first goal was to get her Presidential Gold Award before Dec. 25, 2022.

“This award is earned by getting 100 hours of community service before the age of 15,” Sennett says.

To complete this goal, Sennett would earn as many community service hours as possible. Sennett used every weekend to better the community by helping either with Toys for Tots or helping at elementary schools with bingo nights.

Sennett’s advice is to use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. When creating a goal, think about this. Make an end date and checkpoints to pass,” Sennett says. “I used this and it’s really helped me think and achieve my goals through my freshmen year and now my sophomore year, as well.”

Sennett’s second goal she accomplished was getting first place JV Color Guard Division at the McDowell drill competition. Sennett completed this by practicing with her team numerous times during the weeks leading up to the competition.

“I would have someone record every runthrough of our drill to see what we could work on,” Sennett says.

Sennett and her team practice after school, during tutorial and on Tuesday nights. Sennett would then ask her instructors what they needed to work on and took time to perfect every little detail.

“We would work as a team and do our very best on every runthrough until it was great,” she said.

Sennett also has resolutions she wants to accomplish this year. Sennett is now hoping to reach 500 community service hours by Dec. 25, 2023. She’ll once again get community service hours every chance she can to complete her goal.

Sennett wants to achieve bigger and better for her team as Drill Commander. “My second goal [for 2023] is to place first overall at the McDowell drill competition on Feb. 4. My third is to top in the overall five at the AFJROTC Drill Nationals on Mar. 18,” Sennett says.

Sennett’s final goal is to raise her GPA by the end of the school year. “I’m going to spend more time on studying and getting more organized about my school work. By working on my time management and studying abilities I’ll be able to test better, then raise my GPA.” Sennett says This is a goal many students can relate to.

Taking goals step-by-step is what will help them complete their resolutions. Sennett has dates she wants to complete her goal by, which allows her to stay dedicated and motivated to keep her progress in check.

Williams says she will write down her schedule to get on the path to become a teacher.

It takes time to complete resolutions so don’t feel discouraged. Take it one day at a time, so by the time the year ends, you’ll be one of the few people who pulled through and completed their resolution or at least steps towards it. So this year: have fun, be safe and be a better you- one step at a time.