by Dr. Shokooh Miry, Sigma (U of California, Berkeley), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
Setting intentions for a new phase of life is tricky business. This is true of both personal New Year’s resolutions as well as resolutions for a new officer or for a chapter. In setting goals, we are really establishing expectations and committing to change— often in a public way that might bring up our own fears and insecurities. And in the excitement of a transition to a new year or a new role, we might select goals that are vague, difficult to measure or complicated to plan and execute. In our rush to identify our goals, we might not spend time thinking about the many necessary details: Why do we need this change? What would it mean for us or our chapter? Can others help support us and how? How would we know if we met the goal?
Every year, millions of people set resolutions for change. And, inevitably, weeks into the new year, they face disappointment. Motivation is a great ingredient for change, but it won’t get the job done.
So scrap the long lists of resolutions! All you need is one resolution, a single goal.
There is one resolution you can make for yourself, your role as an officer, or for your chapter that is scientifically proven to help you achieve your goals: Resolve to make a list.
Write down all the things you want to achieve. Be specific and be clear. Make sure anyone who views your list understands what each item means. For each goal on your list, include what you need to do to achieve the goal (who, what, when) and why it matters. Think about how it can be measured and what it would mean to yourself and your chapter for the goal to be realized. The more specific and measurable the details, the better. Extra credit for taking time to anticipate set-backs for each goal and getting comfortable with ideas for overcoming them!
Psychological research is clear— people who write down the “who, what, where and why” of their goal are nearly 75% more likely to meet their goal than people who can identify the same specifics, but don’t write them down. It may seem simple, but the act of thinking through and documenting your intentions is powerful both on a personal and chapter level. Allow your brain to identify what you want to do and how you can do it. Put down into words the change you want to see in your life and your chapter.
Our Ritual connects us with core values such as love. Self-care, self-compassion and self-kindness are all facets of love. We are more likely to meet our goals when our push for change is paired with these values, allowing us to balance a desire for change with kindness. Remember not to be too hard on yourself in the face of set-backs.
Plot and plan for the change you want, do the work with self-compassion and kindness. The rest will follow!
If you have questions or need ideas from the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J), please don’t hesitate to contact us at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.