By: Sydney Callahan ’15, University of Maryland Health Center, Peer Educator
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are unrealistic or too general and vague.
When you think about your New Year’s resolution for 2014, remember the acronym SMART, which stands for:
- Specific – make sure your resolution is focused and that you can answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.
- Measurable – determine how you will measure your progress.
- Attainable – ask yourself if you are really ready to commit to your resolution.
- Realistic – choose a resolution that is a challenge, but not impossible.
- Time-bound – set a deadline.
Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions relate to working out more or eating a more nutritious diet, but there are many other forms of self-improvement that contribute to our overall sense of personal well-being.
Here is some inspiration for possible New Year’s resolutions in all 6 dimensions of wellness.
- Get rid of negative self-talk. Negative self talk lead to feelings of failure and stress. Try talking to yourself as if you are talking to a close friend and you might see a boost in your self-esteem and overall mental health. Leave notes around your room or bathroom to remind yourself of your resolution that say sings such as “you are amazing”.
- Let go of worry. Many things that we worry about are out of our control and may never even happen. Try writing down your worries every day or week to help you let go of them.
- Try a new fruit or veggie each week. Check out this great listing of fruits and veggies by color and find a few that you have never tried before. You can even stock up on produce right on campus at The Farmers Market at Maryland which opens in February.
- Drink more water. A rough estimate of how many ounces of water your body needs every day is found by dividing your body weight in half. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you need about 75 ounces of water. This is not a perfect estimate because if you are an athlete, pregnant, or living in a hotter climate your body will need more water to stay properly hydrated. Here are 5 easy ways to increase your water intake >>
- Try a new sport or activity each month like yoga or rock climbing. Campus Recreation Services offers a diverse array of activity options, such as group fitness classes, a rock climbing wall, intramural sports, and even outdoor adventure trips throughout the year to mountains, rivers, and caves in the area.
- Join a new student organization. Pick 3 organizations you may want to join and attend the first meeting of each before deciding on one to continue being involved in. Check out Maryland’s OrgSync for a complete listing of the organizations on campus.
- Instead of texting all the time, call a friend or meet up with them face-to face-when you want to talk. Talking to someone on the phone or in person will help you build better communication skills and will also help connect on a deeper level with that person.
- Find a summer internship. Visit the Career Center for help with updating or creating your resume, practicing interview skills, and researching possible employers.
- Decide on your major if you haven’t already. If you need help deciding consider registering for EDCP108C: Choosing a Major or visit the Counseling Center for major walk-in hours.
- Read at least one book each month for fun! This is really where you can practice your SMART goal setting. Is one book a month realistic and attainable? Maybe it’s one book per semester.
- Pay more attention to the news. Many of us don’t realize what is happening in the world outside of our campus during the school year, so try watching the news every morning or just reading a few of the top news stories online.
- Go outside! It will help you connect with nature and the sunlight will also boost your mood. Try to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day or a couple of hours on the weekend to being outdoors. Spend a few quiet moments in the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance at Memorial Chapel or at any of these quiet spaces on campus, many of which are outdoors.
- Meditate. The University Health Center offers free individual and group meditation sessions and there are also podcasts on their website if you can’t make it to the sessions.
Share your ideas! What are your New Year’s resolutions?