Last year I basically had an existential crisis because I was in a major that I hated and could not see myself having a career in. I had a long-time friendship become very one-sided and emotionally manipulative. My grades suffered, my mood suffered, and suddenly I hated everything and just wanted to quit and hide under a blanket for all of eternity.
This summer, I realized that by allowing all of that drama/nonsense to continue, I was hurting myself, and by association, I was negatively affecting my friends and family. At some point, it hit me that trying to always push through, ignore my own feelings, and take the high road wasn’t sustainable. Eventually, I would burn out and break down. Why was I doing things that didn’t make me happy?
My philosophy is this: If it’s not adding value to your life, then why are you doing it?
Since then, I’ve been on a constant journey towards self-improvement. I switched majors into something I actually enjoy. I’ve distanced myself from people around whom I feel guilty or sad more often than happy or grateful. I’ve pinpointed ways to improve in every aspect of my life, and I’m actively making a plan to get there.
One of those ways is goal setting, an endeavor that, admittedly, hasn’t worked well for me in the past.
I used to set yearly goals, like New Year’s Resolutions, and I’d write them into my phone’s notes and rarely look at them throughout the year. I never actually stuck to them. I’d accomplish the easy ones that I’d probably do anyway, but I’d never even start to work on the more challenging goals, which kinds of defeats the purpose, don’t you think?
This summer I stumbled across a post from Dani at Dani Dearest in which she hadoutlined her goals for the semester—”15 goals for 15 weeks”. She mentioned how much more likely we are to accomplish goals if we share them with others. It’s a system of accountability, and it works.
I truly believe that the key to accomplishing your goals are making them challenging, but manageable and measureable. This is why you’ll see numbers in most of my goals. It provides me with an actual benchmark against which I can measure progress. I’ve started small as a way to encourage myself to continue setting goals next semester as well.
So, here are my goals for the semester:
- Work out at least once a week: working out is entirely new to me since I’ve always played soccer and/or waterpolo year round, which usually provided me with enough exercise. But university is different. I have yet to discover what works best for me (home workouts vs the gym vs gym classes), so this goal is super ambiguous and small for now.
- Create a budget and stick to it: Again, a newer concept for me, but I’m really trying to manage my money better to start out on the right foot after I graduate.
- Get at least a 75% in all my courses: My grades suffered a lot last year, and there was a huge disparity in my grades between classes. I’d like to make sure I’m putting the appropriate amount of work into ALL of my courses.
- Get a 80% average overall: I just really want to get back onto the Dean’s Honour List. Losing that was a huge blow for someone who has been on the honour roll every year since kindergarten 😛
- Run 5km in under 30min: I used to play soccer, so I could do this with no trouble. Now? Not so much.
- Reach 1000 pageviews on Hope and Mascara: I’m incredibly excited to grow this blog!
- Use my planner consistently: Because working on these goals, school, blogging, exercise, volunteering, clubs, and social commitments is a lot to remember!
- Join 2 clubs that I actually enjoy and GO TO THE MEETINGS: In line with my motto above, I’m a firm believer that you’ll only go to club meetings if you actually enjoy the club. As such, I’m straying away from the pre-med, pre-law, pre-etc, investment club type things that I don’t really enjoy, and instead focusing on my hobbies.
- Find a volunteer position: I’d really like to find a continuous volunteer position, rather than just events every so often, which are harder for me to schedule other commitments around.
- Keep up with schoolwork: Again, something that really screwed me over last year, and I’d like to work on improving at.
- Write at least 10 times on Hope and Mascara: Part of my action plan to grow this blog!
So those are my goals for now. I will update with progress later on in the semester!
What are your goals for the semester or year? Have you tried goal-setting before, and how has it worked out for you? Comment below!