Wellness Wednesday: New Semester, New Goals

Hey Polar Bears!  Welcome back.  It’s a new semester, and many of us have set new resolutions for the year and new goals for the semester.  Yet, after lounging around for a month, finally reuniting with long distance friends, it suddenly seems like those goals aren’t as important to you as they originally were.

It takes three months to develop a new habit, these three months may seem like a long time.  Here are a few ways to break down your goals so you can achieve them in three months.

Set specific positive goals, rather than rigid or vague goals:

Resolving to “get better grades” is a vague goal, which may set you up for failure.  Halfway through the semester you decide a C is better than a D, so you’re still making your goal.  Is that what you really intended when you made your goal?  Yet, resolving to “get an A in every class” is too lofty.  When you remember you signed up for organic chemistry and multivariate calculus, you may just resign all together.  Instead, keep goals specific and manageable.  Break down your class schedule, strive for an A in your psych class and B in your chem class.  Or, set a goal to go to the gym Monday and Wednesday at 2:30pm when you get out of class, rather than just “go to the gym more.”

Measure incremental changes:

So you decide you want to get in bed by 11pm every night so you’ll have more energy and avoid sickness this semester, yet you’re used to going to bed at 2am.  For the first week you get to bed by 1:30am every night, and upon realizing you aren’t even close to getting to bed at 11pm, you simply toss your goal out the window.  Remind yourself that change doesn’t happen quickly.  Going to bed at 1:30am is a half hour earlier than before, which is a great beginning step for success.  You are on the way to reaching your goal, maybe next week you can get in bed at 1am or 1:15am.  Celebrate the small steps in order to notice that change is actually happening, no matter how gradual it is!

Plan for your success, schedule time for reaching your goals:

Between class, practice, dinner date at Thorne, study group after dinner, then a capella rehearsal, finding time to reach your goals is no easy feat.  If you truly desire to make a change in your life, you have to take responsibility and pride in reaching it, and make room for achieving your goals.  Don’t schedule a meeting with your advisor at 2:30pm on Monday when that’s your planned gym time.  Tell your lab partner, “sorry, I can’t meet at 10:30pm to work on our lab because I want to get to bed at 11pm.”  If your goal is to be less stressed this semester, schedule a half-hour break in the afternoon for “me time” and watch your favorite tv show, go for a walk, or call an old friend.  Make your goal time as mandatory as class time or a meeting; and if you have to forgo that time or change that time, try to fit it in somewhere else.

Good luck!

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