Keep Your School Resolutions in 2022


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Sunday, January 9, 2022
Illustration of a college student climbing a mountain made of books.

Keep Your School Resolutions in 2022

This week we welcomed 2022, and you know what that means: it’s resolution season! The new year offers us a chance at reinvention and renewal, the tantalizing possibility of a clean slate. Keeping those resolutions can be challenging, though. Many of us feel that initial burst of motivational energy lag after just a few weeks into January. 

Keeping a resolution isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. And for this blog we’ve done the research to offer you some tips to stay in the race until you hit your finish line.

Set a concrete goal.

If you fell short on a resolution in the past, you’re not alone: one-third of people who make resolutions don’t make it past the end of January. One of the leading causes for this 31-day flameout? Vagueness. A vague goal lacking in specifics is much harder to achieve because it is harder to track your progress, recognize your successes, or have a meaningful end result to aspire to.

Make your academic goal a specific one. Instead of “take classes,” commit to taking specific courses, earning a degree, or taking a set amount of credits in a semester. Consider using the SMART framework developed in 1981 by the journal Management Review for setting goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

A good resolution covers all these bases. It’s something that is realistic for you to achieve. You can measure your results as you work toward achieving your goal. It is something that is important to you and can enhance the quality of your life, and it can be completed within a specific time-frame.

One suggestion for an academic, relevant and time-bound goal comes from Rio Salado Career Services Counselor Autumn Cardenez.

Specific: I want to improve my GPA so I can apply to Arizona State University at the end of this semester.

Measurable: I will earn a B or better on my MAT 092 final exam.

Achievable: I will meet with a math tutor and/or utilize Smarthinking to work on concepts I struggle with.

Small Numbers Lead To Big Results

One technique that can help you complete your goal is to break down your resolution into smaller pieces. If you want to earn a degree, think of it in terms of semesters. Each time you complete a smaller part of your resolution, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and spur you to keep working toward your end-game. Studies have shown that this “small number” approach can do wonders for keeping people focused on their goals. You can make big strides by taking baby steps.

Record And Share Your Goals

Writing down your resolutions can help make them happen. This Fast Company piece breaks down the value of visualization for setting and achieving goals. Another effective trick is to share your resolutions with friends, family, and/or colleagues. Letting people close to you know your intentions can create positive pressure to follow through on your goals and give you a support system to check in with when you need a boost of motivation.

We’re Here To Help

Need help setting a goal for 2022 or looking for guidance on resources that can help you move forward? Give our counselors a call at 480-517-8785 or fill out this form to schedule an appointment.


Is one of your resolutions to recareer this year? Read some advice from a Rio Salado Counselor on how to make that idea a reality.



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