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Building a Positive Lifestyle

Hello TWNer’s! Welcome back for the spring semester!

After a long and restful break, I’m sure many of you made resolutions for the new year. Whether these are new goals, or things you’ve been trying to achieve for many years, I’m here to tell you that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to! Today I’m going to be giving some tips on how to make positive changes in your lifestyle.

The first thing you should do is to set small goals for yourself. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, then start small with a goal of exercising 3 times a week for an hour each time. It’s important to set goals that are attainable and make you feel good. If you’ve never worked out, and then you decided to work out for an hour a day every day of the week, you probably are overdoing it and won’t feel great. Small goals that are in proportion to your abilities will allow you to achieve more in the long run.

It’s also important to set small goals that are achievable because when you meet your goal you’ll feel happy and have a more positive outlook on the future. Small goals allow you to build on them. By this I mean that once you meet your goal of working out three times a week, it doesn’t seem that difficult to up this to 4 days a week. And once you consistently meet working out 4 days a week, it’ll be easier to add on the small goal of 5 days a week. Now imagine going from never working out to 5 days a week, that seems impossible right? But 3 days a week is much more achievable, so strive for a small goal that will make you healthier and will make you feel good.

Next, it’s important to be specific about your goals. There’s a big difference between saying “I’m going to be healthier this year” and “I’m going to run and play tennis this year.” When you’re more specific about what you want to do, it’s easier to build up your lifestyle. Being specific about your goals is especially helpful when you plan out the when and the where. Where are you going to run? When are the tennis courts available? Asking yourself these questions will help put you in the right mindset so that you can be prepared to actually participate in your goals. By saying that “you’ll run Monday and Wednesday mornings at the park,” you actually use less mental energy than by saying “you’ll run more this year,” as this requires further thinking. Being specific makes your goals more realistic and makes you more motivated to get started with them.

Always bring along a friend. I’ve always found it easier to achieve my goals when I have someone with me to hold me accountable. Whatever my goal may be, it’s a great idea to work with someone who has the same goal. For example, if my goal is to run 3 times a week, then having a friend run with me will encourage me to show up and actually do the workout. Working with a friend forces you to be accountable, however, it’s important that you and your friend actually work towards the goal and don’t let each other off the hook. It’s easy for you both to say “lets just take this day off,” but if this happens then it’ll be easy to take lots of days off. Working with a friend can also make your goals fun. If your goal is to run 3 days a week, then running and talking with a friend can be a great way to take your mind off of what you’re doing. If you’re having a rough day during the run, a friend can be a great motivator and help you finish your workout too. So no matter what your resolution is, working with a friend is a great way to make your goal more attainable.

It’s important to be flexible. Sometimes you’re going to set goals for yourself that you can’t seem to reach and that’s okay! It’s okay to readjust to make your goal more realistic. Like I said before, it’s important to start with small goals and to build up from there. So if it takes you a bit to find the right sized goal, that’s completely okay! By setting your goal to something challenging that you can still achieve, you’ll be able to build up a lifestyle that you can maintain for a long period of time. So it’s important to reevaluate your goals and make sure what you’re doing is right for you.

Choosing meaningful goals! It’s important to be realistic with yourself and to establish goals that are meaningful to you. The more you care about achieving your goal, the more motivated you will be to work towards it. Your resolutions should be things that you personally want to pursue rather than things you think you should. Don’t let society make you think you need to be a certain way. If your goal makes you happy and makes you feel good, then it’s something that you should pursue.

I hope these tips have been helpful and you feel more confident about your resolutions and goals for 2021. Just remember that the whole purpose of your goals should be to bring more happiness, health, and positivity into your life. This will allow you to be motivated and encouraged to achieve your goals. Good luck with any goals you may have! If you have any questions or other pieces of advice, please feel free to reach out and let me know!

Written By: Kara Lehner

Kara is the Communications Associate in The Women’s Network. She is a sophomore and is a part of the Communications Committee. Kara is also a member of Run Club, Net Impact, and CLD at IU. In her free time she loves to run, bike, kayak and go to the beach!

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