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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DePauw chapter.

“New year, new me.”

To me, that saying feels so old. New Year’s Resolutions more often than not remind me of all the goals I have that I fail to reach. But this year, I found a way to set goals that actually resonate with me. Amidst all the to-do lists of school, I have actually found a way and a purpose to build habits that make me feel good about myself.

It started with an idea. I am the kind of person who does much better accomplishing small tasks, one at a time. So coming up with a New Year’s Resolution seemed really daunting. Especially in a year where I will be graduating and life will quickly be changing. My circumstances will be changing. So I wondered: how can I make my goals more manageable and adaptable? I decided that having monthly goals would allow me to build habits while also giving me space to grow and change patterns when I need to. Now, I feel like my goals are much more in reach and adjustable, if need be.

But what kind of goals do I want to set? I realized that certain areas of my life feel fuller than others. To me, setting personal goals is a way to fill in those gaps. And now that I’ve decided on monthly goals, I can respond to which parts of my life need more support in the moments when I reflect. How did I define these areas of my life? A little researching led me to find the eight dimensions of wellbeing that I would base my goals on:

  1. Emotional
  2. Spiritual
  3. Intellectual
  4. Physical
  5. Environmental
  6. Financial
  7. Occupational
  8. Social

Out of these eight dimensions, I picked three that I wanted to improve upon. For me, those were spiritual, physical, and financial. Taking all those into account, I came up with the following goals for 


  1. Listen to a faith-related podcast once a week.
  2. Finalize a workout plan for spring semester.
  3. Limit food/drink spending to $XXX.

Because I had written these specific but attainable goals down, I found them much easier to visualize. I knew that I wanted to come up with a physical goal for February, but because I was traveling, I felt like my goal would be disrupted. So instead, I took the month to think about what physical activity might look like for me. And by February, I was ready to put those goals into action! Focusing on physical, intellectual, and financial aspects of my life, I came up with the following:

  1. 1 cardio workout, 1 strength workout, 1 DIY
  2. 1 weekly podcast, daily duolingo, weekly French office hours
  3. Limit food/drink spending to $XXX.

From January to February, my goals shifted slightly while still maintaining a general theme. I knew that I wanted to build on the progress I had made while not abandoning the habits I had worked to create. I was already in the habit of digesting podcasts and keeping my duolingo streak, but naming them as goals helps me to keep them relevant.

If you’re considering monthly personal goals as a way to feel more satisfied with your life, I would highly recommend it. I feel more fulfilled and happier with myself for pursuing what matters to me. Turning my personal ambitions into specific, adaptable goals was incredibly helpful for me. Even though I started mine with the new year, it is never too late to begin the pattern. Any month of the year will do! I hope that however you set goals, you take time to evaluate what is important to you and how you’re going to make it happen. You deserve it.

Hello! My name is Madalyn. I am a senior at DePauw studying Philosophy, Law, and Public Policy. I am an Honor Scholar and a pre-law student. I aspire to be a combination of Taylor Swift and Elle Woods. <3