Goal-Getting Gaiters

A new decade marks a great time to realign yourself and set some goals for improvement. January is known as Free Trial month, where we often get caught up in a mess of resolutions. As we launch into February, give yourself some motivation to make realistic and achievable goals, because achievement is one of the best forms of happiness we can give ourselves. Here is some inspiration for different goals to set as a student.

Self: development and mental support of yourself

  • Start a journal or use a planner. Getting your thoughts down and getting organized is a great way to ease your minds and stay on track, especially with a busy university schedule!
  • Make a daily routine for yourself. Take the time to write down all the essential things you do in a day, and see how you can make them optimal for you (i.e., if you’re a night owl, getting up at 5 am like your favourite YouTube lifestyle guru might not be the right choice for you. Focus instead on giving yourself enough time in the morning to eat and get to class.) Having a routine can be beneficial to your well-being by helping to improve stress levels and better your quality of sleep.
  • Set aside some “me” time. What are some of your favourite things to do? Maybe it’s watercolour painting, reading Harry Potter for the 8th time, or taking 20 minutes to meditate. Take some time to recharge your batteries. 
  • Set aside some “no electronics” time. Although it can be hard to look away from our phones, laptops, and even TV screens, taking some time apart and saying bye (bye, bye) to technology for a bit can lead to greater mindfulness, improved sleep, deeper connections, and better productivity.
  • Be more open to new experiences. Take that friend up on an invite to go skiing; sign up for that drawing class you’ve been thinking about since first year; agree to try a new food you’ve never had before. However, do NOT emulate Yes Man: you always have the freedom and the right to say no to anything you are not comfortable with or do not consider a priority. Your physical and mental health always come first.

Relationships: fostering healthy interpersonal connections with anyone and everyone

  • Call your family. As social creatures, when we feel better connected, we tend to feel better physically and mentally. Family members, whether it be a grandparent, sibling, parent or 3rd cousin, can provide a variety of support: emotional, esteem, and informational, to name a few.
  • Do an activity with your friends once a week. Investing in friendship is important, being associated with better health, happiness and well-being. Explore Sherbrooke and all it offers while spending time with those you cherish most!
  • Make 3 new friends. This can seem daunting, but branching out from your close circle of friends can be done through mutual friends, joining a new club, pairing up with new classmates for a project, or taking part in a social event on campus – there are tons of options at BU!
  • Compliment someone once a week. Not only will it make them feel good, you’ll feel good too, just like the joy that comes with giving someone a gift you know they’ll love. Just remember to keep your compliments genuine and sincere.

Academics: school and career-related things to strive for

  • Set a specific GPA goal for the end of the semester. Base yourself on your average from last semester and decide on a reasonable increase to aim for.
  • Get to know a professor better. One of the beauties of Bishop’s is the small student-to-faculty ratio, making it easy to drop in during office hours to discuss class topics or simply participate and interact more in classes you love.
  • Complete all your assignments on time. The planner mentioned in the first section will be a huge help with this. Not only will you professors be happier, your grades will be too!
  • Update your resume and cover letter. Writing them can be a headache, but by periodically updating them, the task becomes easier and less time consuming come job-hunting time.

Health: components that feed into a healthy body

  • Minimize eating out or ordering in. Not only will this save you money in the long run, cooking is a valuable life skill to learn (hello, YouTube) and one that will allow you to incorporate healthier and fresher ingredients into your diet. Plus, it’s always fun to have a potluck with friends!
  • Workout once a week. Attending Bishop’s means having full access to a state-of-the-art Sports Complex. Not sure what to do with yourself in a gym? There are tons of recreational classes you can register for, from yoga to swimming or kickboxing!

New & Old: introduce new things into your life and chuck out old ones that no longer serve you

  • Break a bad habit. Whether it’s procrastinating on social media, biting your nails, or slouching; we all have them. Choose a substitute for your bad habit and slowly work on it.
  • Learn a new skill. Take a new class out of you field of study, like sculpting or music lessons, or learn a new language with Duolingo.
  • Join a club. Bishop’s has TONS of student clubs; there’s something for everyone!

Fun: things that fulfill your life and bring you enjoyment

  • Volunteer. There are tons of options to volunteer your time and make a difference on campus! Check out the “Get Involved” section of The Dish.
  • Travel. This could be near, like taking a bike ride to North Haley, or far. Look into getting informed about the Bishop’s study abroad program.
  • Read, write or draw daily. Get your creative juices flowing!
  • Spend more time outdoors. We have four beautiful seasons to enjoy in an amazing area, get out there and make the most of it!

A key guideline to remember

When setting goals, you can follow the acronym SMARTER:

S-pecific M-easurable A-chievable R-ealistic T-ime bound E-valuate R-eadjust

If something isn’t working, you can always modify it. For instance, if you realize that working out every day will never happen for you, then switch the time frame. Remember: everyone is different. What isn’t difficult for you might be something big to someone else, so tailoring things to yourself and avoiding comparison is key. And don’t forget to celebrate the goals you achieve and reward yourself!

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