The fall semester is one of my favorite because it’s time to reset the focus on meeting goals. Even if you spent your summer working or taking class comparable to your fall semester, as I did (although in Australia), everyone is back on campus together to take classes, work part-time jobs, participate in extracurriculars, and try to strike the work-life-school-friend-extracurricular balance that’s rare. So I take time every fall to set some concrete goals for myself. However, it is hard to set goals that are really meaningful, so I am willing to share my mine with you guys so we can all have a successful semester. If you’re already inspired, this Fast Company article is my favorite guide to create an attainable plan. I encourage you to write your goals down in a visible place that you will see daily to reconnect you with your vision.
But, if you need some examples or are just really nosy about my life below are my goals. This is not only helpful for you, but for me because now everyone knows them and will keep me on my toes. Enjoy!
- Read for enjoyment every day.
I don’t know about you but I grew up a reading fiend. I would read after my bedtime and risk being caught by my Mom. However, as I have gotten older reading has become something to stress over for class. Well, this semester I am determined to take back the fun in reading. Once a day, I am trying to set aside some time to read a thriller, a sci-fi mystery, or a romance novel. Even books I have to read for literature class can fall under this category if I find myself enjoying them. I can talk about the scientific studies that accompany reading novels every day, but really you just feel a little better after some good book time.
- Find fun ways to move my body daily.
As you will see a majority of my goals are taking things off my chore list and making them something I look forward to. Exercise is no different. We all know we should be doing it daily and making it a habit while we are young. But no rulebook says exercise is thirty minutes on the treadmill (it actually began as torture machine) and not dancing with your roommates or participating in an intramural league. I want to recommit myself to love the body I was given and all of its talents instead of using it for my next Netflix binge. (or Hulu, because I just started Handmaid’s Tale. Amazing.)
- Take personal relationships very seriously.
My friends mean the world to me. I can count on them to fulfill any role in my life, and I would do the same for them. Lately, I have been putting effort into my close relationships with my best friends, leaving acquaintances and new companions in the dust. This semester I am committing to be a better friend to those in my life. Whether that means grabbing lunch with someone in the GSU (when I’d rather watch Netflix) or just commenting something nice on new Instagram posts. We forget most people have their own lives with their own problems and can often use an extra dose of compassion from their fellow humans. And remember, when you put good in the universe, it comes back for you.
Just for fun, if I still have your attention, I’m going to list the rest of my goals that you can adapt to fit your own needs. What works for me, may not be what your focus is. Set a goal and commit to it.
- Figure out job plans for the next semester
- Tell people honestly how I feel
- Actively listen to everyone (including professors!)
- Have a conversation with one new person a day
- Shut my phone down for a while (not including class!)
- Learn to forgive my family, my friends, and myself