New Year, New Goals; New Accomplishments, New Lessons to Learn

Jan 05, 2016

Happy New Year from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation!

As we finish up 2015 and take a step into 2016, we can all take a moment to reflect. Were you able to accomplish all your goals, or reach all the milestones you set for yourself? If not, why not start now? New Year’s resolutions are a common theme of the new year, but these resolutions tend to be more of a wish then a want one consistently strives towards. Before you know it, your New Year’s resolution fades along with the holiday lights. It’s time that we take steps toward making these resolutions realities. That way, when we get ready to start 2017, we can feel a sense of accomplishment for breaking the New Year’s resolution drought and accomplishing new heights.

So, instead of falling to the 3-week slump that typically ends a New Year’s resolution before it’s even begun, follow these tips and give yourself a fighting chance for change.


  • Make your resolution REALISTIC; tackling world peace might be a far stretch. If you want to stay motivated, your goals can’t be impossible or so difficult that you can be easily discouraged and turned away.
  • Set a plan. Know what you need to do, how you need to do it, and the tools needed to get it done.
  • Timing is everything; make sure you set time aside each week or even each day to focus on your resolution. Prioritize and organize your time so you don’t procrastinate, get behind, and get overwhelmed.
  • Set milestones. LeBron James didn’t become great overnight. Set realistic milestones that you can reach throughout the year that will give you something to strive for. When you reach one you will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated and on the right track.
  • Reward yourself. It can’t be all work all the time. When you reach a milestone or stage in your plan, reward yourself. Eat that splurge meal, buy that special something you have had your eye on, take that getaway vacation. It’s all about balance.
  • A small break can be a beneficial thing. Don’t stop for too long, as you don’t want to stray too far from your plan. But a scheduled period of time to focus on other goals, plans, and people can help keep you from burning out and refresh you for the trek ahead.
  • Two is better than one. Find someone who shares in your ambition and has similar goals. A partner in crime can help motivate you, like a family member or friend. You can push each other and keep each other accountable.

While I hope the above pieces of advice can help you, these tips are just words on a page, suggestions that might make the new year and a new you a possibility. They aren’t all inclusive. Find what works for you. Dig deep and look for that source of motivation that can drive you.  If you don’t fully commit, you are going to fall short. Real change requires consistent hard work, proper preparation, and an unwavering desire to be #uncommon.

In 2015 I learned that it takes a lot to accomplish your goals. I wanted to graduate from American University and find a job that inspires me and molds me. I was able to do both. I was the first member of my family to graduate from college and found a place at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, an establishment that constantly teaches me and helps me strive for greatness. Unfortunately, there were some goals I was not able to see through. As a collegiate basketball player, I had a goal to help my team make it back to our conference championship game and head back to the NCAA tournament. While the goal was not entirely mine to accomplish, I did have a part to play. However, our team did not reach our benchmark. It was a learning process.

Which brings me to my last tip. Try as hard as you can to be the best you and reach for your goals. Because if you do end up falling short you can do so with pride knowing that you did all you could possibly do to make your dreams a reality. Turn it into a learning process: failures show you a better way to do something and make you a stronger individual. Growth and knowledge—that is what the new year is all about. So let’s all grow together in 2016. It’s time to learn from the mistakes of 2015 and push into the new year ready to tackle new challenges and break new limits.