Setting Realistic Goals

Posted January 10, 1999 at 1:49 am No Comments

The end of winter break is kind of a drag sometimes.  Forcing myself back into the daily grind isn’t so bad; what gets to me is the disappointment of the typical post-break assessment, a mental process that I go through after every vacation.   “Winter break has ended,” I find myself thinking, “and what do I have to show for it?”  The key to avoiding depression lies in realizing that although I may not have accomplished my original goals, I found and satisfied new goals of equal importance.  For example:

What I Planned To Do Over Winter Break What I Actually Did
cross-country ski go sledding
read The Grapes of Wrath read Maxim
learn to program in Java drink coffee
practice flute learn lyrics to Beastie Boys raps
work out at gym get really good at Taboo
cook dinner for my parents sleep
update sleep

As you can see, a little bit of creative spin goes a long way toward transforming three weeks of laziness into a highly productive winter break.  Naturally, it would have been better to have started out my break with the goals in the right-hand column, but it’s not easy to have that much foresight.  This semester, I’ve tried to modify my objectives so as to avoid the necessity of future goal reassessment:

Original Goal For New Semester Modified Goal
study statistics update
French homework meet chicks
write packet sniffer drink coffee
sleep update
Pittsburgh Marathon jello shots

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