The start of the 2014 spring semester is a perfect time to take stock of your New Year’s resolutions. Checking in now with the resolutions you set on January 1st can help you remember exactly what you want to do or change in the new year.
Here are a few tips that can help you follow through with your resolutions for 2014:
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? Now that we’re a few weeks into January, some of your resolutions might not feel as pressing or meaningful to you; that’s okay. Focus on the one or two that get you really excited and motivated to get started.
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 by studying each subject for 1-2 hours daily?
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. Start feeling proud and smart NOW. We often make the mistake of thinking that we can’t feel the way we want 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 and 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. By semester’s end, you most likely will 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 resources that can help:
Health Promotion: Support on fitness, nutrition, contraception, stress, relationships
Counseling Center: Support on personal, academic, career problems
University Recreation: Information on group fitness, personal fitness, intramural and club sports
Undergraduate Tutorial Services: Support on study skills, subject knowledge, writing/speaking skills
Career Development Center: Support on career exploration, finding jobs and internships, interview practice
Student Organizations: Database of student clubs and groups