Ever since I was accepted to OT school, I’ve kept a list of personal and professional goals that I hope to achieve during my time in school and afterward. Some of the goals are small, and I’ve already made them happen. Some of them will require help from others, and I’m still working on making them happen! Still others are somewhere in the middle, and it’s just a matter of me working up the courage to do what I want to do. 😀
My point in saying this is that I really believe that having these goals at hand and being able to cross them off as I complete them has really helped keep me going and heading for the light at the end of the tunnel during what has at times been a really rough year! I love being an OT student, but that doesn’t mean that every minute of it is great. And on days when I was really struggling to find the point in reading another 40 pages of neuroscience text or putting together yet another group project, I took solace in pulling my list of goals up on the computer and looking at the bigger picture.
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I believe in goal-setting for sure! Maybe it’s because I was always destined to be an OT, but I’ve always felt that setting specific long- and short-term goals is the best way to go about making permanent and meaningful change, as opposed to simply making huge, high-pressure resolutions. For example, for a person who was trying to quit smoking, making goals like “I will smoke only one pack of cigarettes per week” or “I will not smoke at family or social functions” seems much more doable than simply making a blanket resolution like “I will give up smoking in 2015.” The aforementioned goals have the advantage of being smaller, more manageable, and more measurable than the big, broad resolution. Additionally, once you accomplish several smaller goals, it can give you the motivation and momentum you need to accomplish your ultimate goal – for example, helping ensure that the profession’s Centennial Vision comes to pass and that “occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs” in 2017 and beyond!
As for me, I still have a ton of goals on my list that I hope to achieve in 2015. I created my current list on May 29, 2014, and I’ve been working at it ever since! Here are a few of the things I have yet to do and want to accomplish in 2015:
- Attend two extracurricular conferences
- Attend 2015 AOTA Conference in Nashville, TN
- Represent my program during the Assembly of Student Delegates
- Help update school SOTA web page
- Invite and host at least one speaker
- Reach 100 blog posts
- Bellydance in the AOTA National Conference talent show
Like I said, some are big and some are small and some will require me to make myself more than a little uncomfortable! However, whether I accomplish all of them or not, just seeing the progress I make – and the new goals I add – in the future is going to be a great adventure!
Happy New Year, and I hope 2015 brings you closer to achieving any goals or resolutions you’ve made!