Goal-setting contest encourages students to make positive change a habit

How many of your New Year’s Resolutions did you keep this year?

“Sadly, the vast majority of resolutions are not kept beyond the first month,” says Toms River Campus President Tim Rodgers. “Instead of making resolutions, we want to encourage students to set goals and make measurable efforts to achieve them.

In a letter to students in January, Mr Rodgers challenged American Institute students to choose a goal and work toward it for 66 days. Every student who does will win a prize.

It takes 66 days to turn a new goal into a habit. Once that happens, you no longer have to think about it. You just do it automatically,” said Mr Rodgers. “This contest is a little extra incentive for our students to make the positive changes they want to see in their lives.”

He shared some tips to help students in setting and achieving goals:

Choose goals that are specific and measurable. “Measurement lets you visualize your progress.”

Aim for incremental progress, rather than overnight change. “You want to take ‘successive approximations’ or small steps that get you progressively closer to the ultimate outcome.”

Write down your goals and track your progress daily.

Many American Institute students recorded their 2017 goals on poster boards hung on campus walls: “Find a new apartment.” “Improve my credit score.” “Get certified.” “Graduate and get a job.” Mr Rodgers pledged to “Start each day with a grateful heart, a positive attitude, and a one hour walk.” He adds a hash mark for every day that he achieves that goal.

On March 7th, 66 days into the new year, American Institute will award a prize to every student who can show consistent progress towards their New Year’s Resolution/Goal. But the real reward will be realizing that positive change has become a habit.

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