STUDENT WELLBEING COACH
Cht, Dip App Sci, Mas NLP
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When a new year clicks over it is not uncommon to be bubbling with new goals, dreams and desires, tinted with a good dose of optimistic enthusiasm that this will be the year!
Similarly, most of us have had the experience of setting new year goals and then sadly only a few weeks later the enthusiasm has fallen away completely.
If this has just described your January to a tee, maybe its time for a change.
Firstly, it helps to understand that real lasting changes do not happen overnight – they begin with tweaking small things like habits, routines. The biggest mistake most people make is trying to change too many things all at once! Instead, this year lets just start with just one…
Step one: Setting your goal
Start by setting yourself small realistic achievable goals that are specific and will help move towards the bigger outcomes you want to achieve.
EG / you want to finish your Certificate? How many hours a week do you need to study in order to achieve this? How does that look on an average day in your life?
Let’s imagine you have set yourself the small goal to begin by studying 1.5 – 2 hours a day.
Step two: What’s stopping you?
Next, look at what’s currently getting in the way of achieving this goal.
For example – you work fulltime and are tired every night. So honestly ask yourself, is this goal even realistic to begin with? If it is, what are the things that might need to change to allow you to make these small changes?
EG/ watch less tv / no time on social media on the nights you want to study. Instead use these things as a reward you get to enjoy once or twice a week on the weekend – but only after your study goals have been achieved.
Step three: Schedule it!
Get specific and make this a part of your daily / weekly routine by scheduling it in. Often we need to make time for the things we want to change, otherwise it is all too easy to fall back into how life was before you made this new goal.
It takes at-least 21 days to create a new habit, so if you can stick with your new program for 30 days there is a really good chance you can do this longer term.
This means your study goal could now look like –
To study 1.5 – 2 hours a day, five nights a week at 6pm once you are home from work after you’ve eaten dinner and had a shower.
Step four: Consider an accountability buddy
No-one is an island and most of us need some kind of support, reminders or positive encouragement to keep going on hard days. Your friends, a partner or a study colleague are often very willing to check in on your progress and help you stay inspired and focused.
Don’t be afraid to ask others to support you. Tell them your plan (to study 1.5-2 hours, 5 nights a week at 6pm) and have them help you to follow through on this.
If you have literally no one to keep you accountable let me help – book a call with me here*.
Step 5: Rinse and Repeat
Once you feel like you are successfully implementing this new plan 21-30 days later, if you wish it might be time to start adding a new habit on-top.
EG/ I want to improve my eating habits and have less coffee, sugar or treats.
So, recapping – there are many pitfalls to goal setting but choosing one thing to focus on until you make it a habit is the easiest way to start. Make your plan specific, realistic and create support to help yourself follow through.
Finally, when its feeling rock solid you can begin to add in another small change. Sure, it may seem like a slower path, yet for most of us the slow and steady path will always win over the hard, fast and erratic approach which is a great way to set ourselves up for burnout.
Think of the tortoise and the hair fable – can you be slow, steady and uber persistent, just like the tortoise?
As always, if you need support implementing any of these ideas please reach out to me for a wellbeing support call * and we can create a customised plan just for you.