New routines and resolutions are fun to make, but they can be difficult to achieve. You can increase your chance of success by asking yourself questions that get at the heart of your motivation, your values, your expectations and your support.
Is my goal specific?
- If your goal is too broad, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. Break it down into small steps, and give yourself a timeline for achieving them.
- If your goal is to eat healthier, create stepping stones to move towards a healthier diet. For example, during the month of January your mini goal could be to have a fruit or vegetable at each meal, and then create an additional stepping stone for each month moving forward.
Is my goal realistic?
- Often times when we feel a burst of motivation making us want to make drastic lifestyle changes overnight, but give up after a short time.
- Create a goal that is fair. If your goal is to start running, what is the first step to increasing your physical activity? Start slow, such as 1-2 short runs per week, in order to create a lasting habit and avoid burnout.
Why do I care about it?
- Close your eyes, and envision your life exactly how you’d like it to be. Does your goal align with this vision?
- Did you chose to start meditating because your favorite celebrity does? Or is it because you enjoy the peacefulness you feel from it and how it impacts your mood? Focus on the latter, realizing how your goal can impact your life and improve your wellbeing, which can be a powerful motivator.
Who will support me?
- If you have roommates or live with family, it may be helpful to discuss your New Year’s resolution plans with them, asking for support and accountability. You can check in with each other weekly to see how your progress is going and encourage each other.
- Surround yourself with others who have already achieved the goal you have set for yourself.
Not sure where to start? Meet with a USF Success & Wellness Coach to help you set realistic goals that are important to you. Your coach will support you and provide accountability through this free service for students. Sign up at usf.edu/successwellnesscoaching.
Stacey Struhar, USF Success & Wellness Coach