I have been a college student for over a semester now, and I can say that living on your own — away from your family and closest friends, being forced to meet new people, and not to mention taking care of paying for things — has made me grow up a little. Since school started in August, I have had to be more cognizant of what my habits consisted of on a daily basis. Because there was nobody there to tell me what I should and should not do, I had to make sure I was doing productive things so I stayed on the path to success. This also meant that I had to set goals for myself and hold myself accountable to accomplish those particular goals. If I didn’t take these actions, I would probably be in the same spot I was in six months ago. Six months ago, I had the intention of only doing the bare minimum- getting good grades and surviving the change between high school and college. I soon realized that if I wanted to be successful, I had to set challenging goals for myself in order to change who I was for the better. As I was in the process of making a list of goals and expectations for myself a variety of thoughts came to mind that prohibited me from the process. Questions arose like: “What kind of goals would I even set for myself?”; “What’s the point of setting goals when it’s so easy to give up?”; “Will I even accomplish these goals?” After these questions rushed through my mind, I took a deep breath and asked myself another question, but this one had great value: “Where do you want to be in a year?” As I reflected on this question, I had a plethora of ideas for goals I wanted to accomplish in the near future. The next thing I did was make a list of all the things I wanted to achieve.
Goals are just words written on a piece of paper. It’s one thing to write them down with the intention of accomplishing them. But it’s another when we actually put forth the effort and have the continuous desire to mark those tasks off our list. There is a reason why we thought of the goals we have on our list: because we want to achieve them. But here is where everything gets lost in translation. After we write down our goals, we get caught up in the craziness of life and prioritize other things over the ideas we had to become better individuals. We put ourselves on the back burner when things start to seem more important. While life can be overwhelming at times, especially when it’s senior year of high school and you’re cramming in scholarship applications on top of studying for your FFA contest team, it’s the actions we make at that time that are most important. It’s those times where it’s critical that we focus on ourselves, because that’s where the progress starts. That’s where we make enormous strides down our road to success.
The other day, I came across this quote on Pinterest and it got me thinking. It stated, “You can’t do big things if you’re distracted by small things.” Meaning, if we are always focusing our attention on every little thing that’s happening around us, we tend to lose sight of ourselves and what we need to do for our own good. Our progress on being successful individuals gets put on pause when we become distracted from the minor details in life: social media, our peers, irrelevant issues, and many more. FFA members, in this new year, make sure you are putting yourself as a priority.
And remember, YOU are the only one in control of how successful you can be.
YOU are the one who sets the goals for yourself.
YOU decide how far you go down the road to success.