I recently wrote a post for my school’s health center blog and feel compelled to share it here. Since we’re a few weeks into 2014, I think a post about New Year’s Resolutions is quite apropos, no?
This year, the thought of setting intentions and goals has exhausted and overwhelmed me. I only have a vague idea of what I want to feel and do in 2014, and consequently feel frustrated by the influx of New Year’s Resolution-themed posts circulating in the blogosphere.
But here are a few tips that I gleaned from a few of my mentors about setting New Year’s Resolutions, tips that don’t make me feel guilty for not totally knowing how I want this new year to progress. Check it:
1. Refocus. Revise.
Think about all of the resolutions that you set for yourself at the start of 2014. How important is each one to you? If you could rate each one on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most important, where would each of your resolutions fall? Now that we’re a few weeks into January, some of your resolutions might not feel as pressing or important to you; that’s okay. Focus on the ones that get you really excited and motivated.
Maybe you need to revise your resolutions so that you feel more confident about accomplishing them. Try setting small, specific goals with a measurable outcome of success. Ex. Instead of improving your grades this semester, can you set the goal of making an A in two of your classes?
2. Focus on the feeling.
How do you want to feel after accomplishing your New Years resolution(s)?
Maybe getting an A in two of your classes will make you feel proud and smart. Great. Start feeling proud and smart NOW. We often make the mistake of thinking that we can’t feel the way we want to feel until we accomplish our goal. But what we don’t realize is that embodying those feelings in the present helps us accomplish our goal quickly. Think about it. If you want to feel smarter prouder, and you go to class every day feeling stupid, inferior, and intimidated, then you won’t be motivated to study or ask for help. Before you know it, the semester will end and you might not end up with your desired grades.
But if you start doing things today that help you cultivate feelings of pride and intelligence, then you’re much more likely to study, participate in class, talk to your professor, and get A’s.
Make a list of 3 things that will help you feel proud and smart TODAY, not just after you get two A’s. Maybe you can get up at the same time every morning. Maybe you can make a To Do list for school tasks every day.
3. Check your perspective.
Remember that January 1st is not the only time we’re allowed to set goals. We put so much pressure on ourselves to decide exactly what we want to change in our lives starting January 1st. What if we made monthly or weekly resolutions instead? Try viewing the end of the month or week as an opportunity to set resolutions.
4. Take action. Now.
List three tangible actions that you can take this week to move towards accomplishing your goals. Here are some links to inspire you to take action. Now: