setting up for success

Come January, journals and social media alike will be flooded with resolutions to become a better you: hitting the gym, eating right, calling your grandma more often. Yet, despite this annual ritual and it’s popularity, we continue to exist as humans with needs and mess-ups that rage on past the faded weeks of the new year, often times ignoring those needs in the wake of the mess-ups. In order to truly set yourself up for success, it’s important to maintain norms as an individual for how you are going to live your day to day life. Check out these tips on how to set goals for yourself, form healthy habits and learn to make time for yourself. 

Positive Affirmations

At first, it feels a little silly looking yourself in the mirror and declaring what a great day you’ll have, but you just gotta trust me on this one: affirmations are healing, productive and will help you to create a routine that revolves around knowing yourself. This can be done in a few different ways, so experiment with styles and find what feels good for you. Popular methods include telling yourself affirmations in the mirror, placing sticky notes with affirmations on them in places you’ll notice or even writing them down the night before so you can reference them throughout the next day. 

Maintain A Calendar (of some kind)

This can be a hard habit to form, but once you do it successfully, I promise that everything will become just a little bit easier. It’s been proven that having an organizational structure to your plans not only helps you with time management, but alleviates stress and other anxieties too. Find a calendar format that works for your style (digital, planners, wall or desk calendars) and then start small: include doctor appointments, work schedules, and major holidays. As you adjust, try slowly incorporating other items that might weigh on your mind like due dates, birthdays or even fun events you want to check out. 

Mental Health Check-Ins

College is stressful, and it’s easy to let yourself become bogged down with stress, fatigue of the mind and body and even the emotions of the people around you. Make a routine with yourself of allowing time to breathe, relax in whatever way works for you and provide your brain space to detoxify the rest of the world once in a while. Ask yourself how you’ve been feeling, where those emotions might come from, and how you can best provide for your body and mind; comfort food, a warm shower or bath and indulging in a hobby is a great place to start. If you are able, it’s also great to see a therapist or isolated party you can talk to on a semi-regular basis; normalize therapy and talking about how you feel!

Set Norms with Yourself 

You may have heard of setting norms or standards with family, roommates or social groups, but it’s also a handy trick in keeping yourself happy and satisfied with your day to day life. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and write down what makes you feel good and not good: you prefer to shower in the evening, eating dinner before 9pm and maybe you like to read for leisure. Cementing these norms for yourself will allow you to not only adhere to them more often, but also gives you a certain peace of mind that you understand how to listen to those needs.

Take Care of Your Body and It’s Space 

It might seem like a no-brainer, but I know that we take our bodies and environments for granted more often than we might think. Nurture your daily hygiene routine (creating one is a great start if you’re not there yet) and allow space for luxuries; soak your face with a warm, wet rag before going to bed every night and indulge in a longer shower or bath when you can. Along with this, do your best to keep the space around you in a way that you like it, both aesthetically and organizationally. If you find time to upkeep your body and it’s space, it will reward you with happier energy, boosted productivity and lessened stress or anxiety.