Q: Happy New Year Jill. I’ve found over the years I make resolutions, keep them for a few months but then they’re gone. I’m interested in going back to school this year and maybe starting a small computer repair business. Any tips?
A: Happy New Year to you, too! First off, you are well ahead of most people if you are able to maintain your resolutions for a couple months. Research suggests that within weeks or by the end of the first couple months most people’s resolutions take a 10- to 11-month holiday only to resurface the following year. This happens when goals are too large, unrealistic for the time limit we give them, or are made without any support. We tend to take a “make-it-or-break-it” stance where at the first signs of setback, such as missing a few days of exercise, we give up and revert back to our old ways. This year try not to make any formal resolutions. So you’ve got a couple things you’d like to do: Start a business and go back to school. Ask yourself some basic questions: What will I need to do to make these possible? Where do I need to go for help? Who can help me along the way? Don’t get caught fantasizing about the million-dollar mansion your business or degree will get you just yet — try to start first. These are the pitfalls that make us think our hopes are beyond our reach. Start small: Set up some information interviews; visit college/university student centres; and take it from there. Celebrate the small gains and have a support system of both professional and personal contacts. Good luck and keep in touch.
Jill Andrew CYW, BA (Hons.), BEd, MA ‘08 is an award-winning journalist and educator with additional expertise in the performing arts, public speaking, PR, media literacy/awareness, fundraising and entrepreneurship.
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