New year, new goals, same us

Snowy Tulalip Bay photo by Niki Cleary, Tulalip News

By Shaelyn Hood, Tulalip News

Towards the end of every year, it becomes a time of reflection, what all we have accomplished, exciting events in our lives, and maybe some challenges we endured. The next day, the New Year reigns and brings opportunities for people to have a fresh start, to reinvent themselves, and create better and healthier habits. Historically, the most common trend is New Year’s resolutions.

About 4000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians were the first people to start New Year’s resolutions. During that time, it was a 12-day religious festival that incorporated promises to the gods to pay off debts, return things they had borrowed, etc. And in return if the Babylonians followed through on their promises, the gods would bless them with good crops, and bestow favors on them.

The modern-day version is less about praying to the gods, and more about setting up personal endeavors and a time to start over and pursue new habits. Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions include exercising more, saving money, paying off debt, losing weight, spending more time with family, traveling more, and reducing stress. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. However, only 8% of those people achieve their goals. 

So, if almost half of the country sets these resolutions, why do only 8% achieve them? In a 2021 article from Business Insider, psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert talked about three reasons why it may be hard for people to follow through on their goals; Your resolution isn’t specific enough. You must be able to mark your progress, or else it becomes hard to stay motivated. Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight, make milestones of weight you’d like to lose by certain dates and timeframes.

Secondly, you aren’t framing your goal in a positive manner. If you’re making a goal to stop doing something, it becomes a shameful message to yourself. It becomes something you’re avoiding rather than creating a positive focal point on what you’d like to accomplish. Lastly, your resolution isn’t about you. Alpert said, “So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society.” Rather than trying to fulfill expectations of others, remember that these goals are about you and your life. 

Setting resolutions/goals for ourselves are important because it is an essential tool that we can use on a personal and professional level. Setting goals are linked with higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, and autonomy. It gives meaning to our every-day lives and creates a vision for what we would like for our lives to look like. And though New Year’s is typically the time where people like to set goals, everyone is capable of setting goals at any point in their life. 

So where do we start? 

Imagine the results you want to see. Visualize the time and effort it will take to reach that result, and do you think it is worth it? 

Utilize the SMART method for creating your goals. S- Specifc, M- Measurable, A- Attainable, R-Realistic, T-Time-bound

Write down your goals. Statistics show that when you write down your goal, they become more tangible, rather than an indistinct thought. You can also place the written goal somewhere you can see it every day, as a daily reminder of what you are aiming for

Create a plan or a roadmap to your goal. Every goal has micro-steps and milestones that lead up to it. The more you understand what steps you need to take and the action route that you must follow, the more broken down your goal is and easier it is to digest and move towards. If you aren’t sure about how to create this, you can also utilize resources and experts to assist you

Create a timeline. Once you understand the steps and milestones your goals require, create a deadline for each of them. It creates a sense of urgency and keeps you moving in a forward direction

Pull the trigger. Now that you set yourself up for success, dive into the deep end. The sooner you start, the sooner you will reach your goal

Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate and assess your progress. Check in on your progress, throughout your timeline. If you’re falling behind, you’ll be able to assess where you need to catch up. If you’re moving in the right direction, you will feel re-motivated and work even harder to finish out your goal

Some Tulalip tribal departments and staff have already set out their goals for the new year. 

The Higher Education Department said their goals included increasing enrollment, seeking more internship opportunities with some of the tribal departments, reaching out to more tribal colleges, and creating more educational programs for the membership.

The Problem Gambling Program will work to increase knowledge on Gambling Disorder behavior and reach community members interested in addressing their own issues with gambling or a loved one’s issues related to gambling behavior. They hope to continue to partner and collaborate with other departments in effort to strengthen outreach to the community. They also would like to continue expanding and developing their expertise with Gaming and Social Media addiction to best support youth, parents and families experiencing negative consequences related to screen activity.

The Tulalip Tribal Court plans are to merge into in-person hearings for all case types, and resume jury trials.

The Youth & Family Enrichment Department plans to bring our youth and community together in a safe and productive manner. They would love to bring in more family-based programs, along with cultural, health & fitness programs. They plan on offering various sports conditioning, a variety of sporting competitions, the Get Drugs Off Our Rez car parade, the Autism Awareness car parade, monthly Coastal Jams, various sports leagues, Youth Awareness Talking Circles, different arts and crafts programs, in school and after school programs, and various other events within covid 19 guidelines.

With 2022, let’s make it our year. Share your goals, spread positivity, and motivate others to do the same.