by Kathryn Bennett
Student at Loyola University Chicago
January is no longer new, but 2020 still comes across as a shock when spoken out loud. As life gets ahead of us, how can we take control of our own experiences?
We tend to wait for changes in life to be designated for us, spelled out by road signs, deadlines, and calendars. The novelty of New Year’s Eve passes quickly, however, and then our schedules and habits return to normal. Soon the spring semester begins, and classes take up so much time and energy we forget what month it actually is.
Even those of us who recognize this pattern might refuse to break it for a number of reasons. Change is intimidating, uncertain, and challenging. So we postpone our efforts until Monday, until the first day of the month, until we get that opportunity or that job. Soon a year has passed and the only update to our resolutions is changing the last digit of the year.
The truth of new year’s resolutions is that, in the big picture, singling out one day as the time to change is arbitrary. Take the focus off of the label, and it becomes easy to see that today is the best day to create change.
How to Tackle a New Personal Goal
Take it One Step at a Time
Tackling a new personal goal can be intimidating for anyone, and that’s because it’s easy to get caught up on how far it is to the finish line. In order to avoid this roadblock, focus on the minute, daily changes first. No matter the project, small steps are vital to significant progress.
Keep it up
As cliché as it sounds, consistency is actually key. Even if you can’t complete the entire goal, some piece of it is possible to do right now. The truth is, nothing gets finished in a day. People achieve goals through small habits repeated ad infinitum, practices which become normal parts of the day.
For me, progress began with a wall calendar. I simply wanted to run a certain number of days in the month. The use of a tangible object to visually display my everyday habits worked for me, and each time I practiced my intended goal I marked off the date. This small habit became a daily practice, and it was encouraging to see the calendar boxes gradually fill up with little X’s every time I hung my keys on the wall hook next to it.
Some goals require more organization. The LifeSpace student success app is a great way to break your schedule down from something complicated into something manageable.
I like to begin a project in the LifeSpace app by creating a “Space” for the topic of my work. The space can be the platform you use for class notes, an internship, exercise, resumé content, or anything else you can think of. Then, I categorize the space depending on if it is personal, work-related, or a public topic. Once this is established, I have a place to write down the short- and long-term steps of the project, save hyperlinks, and add external apps which will help me accomplish the task. (I can even work on external apps through LifeSpace’s portal.)
LifeSpace is ideal because it is built to be worked on, changed, edited, and completed in steps. With the help of the LifeSpace app, it’s easy to get organized. LifeSpace is intuitive for students who have a plan and want to start making progress on their goals now.
What will you put energy towards today?
Join Kathryn and Other LifeSpace Contributors and Members
- Download LifeSpace
- Watch this Student Success Quickstart Video
- Join our Facebook Student Success Group
- Contribute Articles for LifeSpace Student Success