This year is your opportunity for fresh start. As with any fresh start, it can be exciting, scary, hopeful, and overwhelming all at once. There are goals you want to accomplish, whether they are personal or professional, and we want to offer a few tips to help you start the year not just with distant, “I’ll do it someday,” goals in mind, but rather with a clear idea of what steps you’ll take to create and accomplish your plans.

1. Evaluate and reflect: how did the year go?

Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results

As cliché as this concept may be, if done right, its application can be a major game changer. Here’s one example of a practical approach to this concept: take the time to make two lists. Assess what went well last year, and what didn’t go well. Once you identify these, you have a solid foundation from which you can begin creating goals for the year.

2. Set SMART goals

According to the U.S. News and World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions are broken by February.

How can this be?

When setting goals, one must consider more than just the end result, as there are many components to planning goals that are often overlooked. One of the most effective ways to do this is to set a SMART goal, as it breaks down your long-term goals into steps that look realistic and doable.
Specific What does your goal look like? What are your practice materials(link)? How many times a week will you practice and for how long? Will you record yourself? What will it look like when I achieve that goal? What kinds of things am I NOT going to do, because I know they’ll distract me from my goal? These are the questions we encourage you to ask yourself when you start planning your course of action. In doing this, you will be able to define the specific actions you will take when working towards a goal.
Measurable Similar to weighing oneself on a weight-loss journey, it is important to measure your progress when working towards any goal. Every time you practice any interpreting mode, record yourself and make notes of anything you may have missed. It can be rewarding and encouraging to compare your notes from the beginning of the year to the notes you make later on, as you will be able to see your progress on paper.
Attainable One of the reasons that it’s so hard to keep a resolution is that we often try to do too much at once. This can become overwhelming and lead to burnout, so it is important to make the steps to reaching your goal as practical as possible. Set realistic timelines, decide how much time you can commit to practicing and studying, and keep in mind that the road to greatness can be long and may have a few bumps, but learning from those bumps and continuing onward is going to make your skillset even stronger.
Relevant Interpreters are generally people with an interest in language who value being of service to the people who need their expertise. Whatever your motivation is, keep it at the forefront of your mind, because your goal to become a better interpreter will help you better manifest your values, interests, and passions.
Time-Based Once you design your SMART goal, the final step is to stick it in your calendar! We recommend you schedule your deadlines and practice sessions ahead of time. You can be as specific as you’d like – the more specific, the better.

Every year, we have the pleasure of watching our students grow and learn with us. We are excited to have another fruitful year, in which our students accomplish their goals and lay the foundation to a successful career path. This is your year, and we’re here to help you along the way. That being said, we want to know – what will you do differently this year? Feel free to share your SMART goals with us in the comment section.