Produced by Hannah
BA (Hons) Social Work
It’s the start of the year new and to go with it come the resolutions we all vow to make that have a 1-week expiry date. In this blog I’m going to talk through some of my New Years Resolutions and Goals for the past year and how I managed to achieve them.
First, I thought of how I wanted my year to go and how productive I wanted to be in all areas of my life. I recognised the need to set myself achievable goals, but also ones that would benefit my health, mentally and physically. When looking at my physical health, I opted to limit my coffee/caffeine intake, to drink a minimum of a litre of water a day and attend the gym and a home workout twice a week.
For the goals to benefit me psychologically, I was able to find more resolutions. I focused on, including a self-care evening once a week, using headspace daily for meditation and relaxation techniques, start a new hobby out in nature, and one day a week I’d focus on going phone or social media free, even for just half a day.
For my study/university goals, I was able to focus on not leaving assignments to the night and to push myself to do more research into areas I’m interested in to benefit my future career aspirations.
For lifestyle changes, I aimed to read a book a month for leisure, paint a new picture once a month, shop local more and recycle/upcycle and re-use items, and experience cooking new dishes once a month.
I found setting out resolutions in different areas of your life allows you to focus upon what is most important and continue a healthy balanced life. Resolutions are often created around losing weight, keeping up with fitness plans, but for me, I wanted to spend my year focusing more upon what makes me happy on the inside and what was good for my mental health. I would say when choosing resolutions, to do this, think of 1 word you’d like to describe your upcoming year goals and then work around this to achieve a more positive, healthier you.
I first ordered myself a habit tracker, in which I could write each goal down one side, and colour code the box if I achieved this. I found visually seeing how my weeks and months were aligning with
my resolutions and aspirations for the year helped me to keep on track and not beat myself up if I hadn’t achieved everything. It also enabled me to see if I hadn’t focused much on one area of my life and how this might be impacting me. For example, in March, on reflection, I recognised I had neglected headspace and meditation, which was causing me to feel disorganised, lose more sleep and then rush assignments close to my deadlines as I felt so overwhelmed. When you can see on paper things you have been neglecting, it’s easy to recognise and to make those healthier happier changes.
For other tools I used, I particularly liked the ‘Working on myself for myself’ check pad by Sighh Studio. The wording motivated me to continue working on these goals as they were for myself and would benefit me. I would use these daily if I had a list of things, I felt I should be focusing on, particularly if I wanted to break down one larger resolution, such as not leaving an assignment to the last minute. I would write down smaller tasks that needed completing for the assignment and set myself smaller goals and deadlines before the overall project needed to be completed.
I also found the On Paper Quarterly and Yearly view wall planners beneficial, although less colourful. The Quarterly View allowed me to fill in my first, second and third yearly intentions, reasons as to why I set these and then a month-by-month plan on my actions and thoughts/resolvers for each action per month. Seeing this on my wall and filling it out again, was super helpful to recognise what was, and wasn’t working for me, particularly around my studies.
As a student, it can become overwhelming balancing social life, your wellbeing, life at home, your studies and work, but I found by using these tools and materials, they allowed me to clarify my vision for the year, set my own goals that would benefit me and then take inspired action to achieve these.