A big topic currently is New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to lose weight or spend more time studying for your classes there are a few ways to make your resolutions stick this year!
Make your goal measurable. A goal like, “I want to study more for school,” is not a measurable amount nor is it specific. How much more? What class specifically? Where and how will this happen? A longer, in depth goal like, “I will study an hour more for my math course on Tuesdays in Hicks,” has a measurable amount. It also holds you more accountable for what you want to accomplish. You know that on Tuesdays you will be in Hicks for an hour to study math. You will also be able to easily track your progress through homework, quizzes, and exams.
Set benchmark points on your way to your ultimate goal. “I want to lose 20 pounds by Spring Break. I will work out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week for one hour,” is a great, measurable goal. It is easy to become discouraged in the beginning if the results are slow or you have trouble keeping up with your goal. By setting benchmark points you will feel like you are able to accomplish things on your way and it will keep you going. Example benchmarks for the goal listed above: accomplishing a 10 minute mile on the treadmill, fitting in to those favorite pair of jeans that are just a bit too small, or when you reach the halfway mark allow yourself a reward.
Try not to get discouraged. Everyone has trouble sticking to a new process in their daily lives. It takes a few weeks for a change in lifestyle to become habit. Until you get in the hang of integrating your goal into your daily life try to stay positive and stick to it even when it gets hard. If you had the studying goal from above and you missed a Tuesday because of an exam, date, or you just forgot, don’t become discouraged. The best thing to do is to find a solution, for instance, “I missed my hour of studying on Tuesday so I will make up my hour on Wednesday,” or “I will stay next Tuesday for an extra hour.” By making up the missed hour of studying you will still feel like you are on track and it will help skipping future studying time.
These three suggestions can really help you take your goal from a New Year’s resolution to lifestyle change! Enjoy the rest of your break and happy goal setting!