University students returned to campus two months ago now, and it has been a fast-paced and busy semester for many. It can be challenging to stay on top of assignments, extracurriculars, friends, and personal responsibilities. Still, I am here to share ways to stay encouraged and successful throughout the entire semester! Setting my intentions on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis helps add structure to my day, increasing my productivity.
Setting intentions seems daunting at first, but I like to think of it as creating a specific headspace and orientation for my day. For example, I refocus myself and foster productivity daily by creating new goals for the morning and the day. I will write a new list of what is most important for me to accomplish, and I allow myself grace on the things that cannot take precedence. In addition to recreating my productivity goals daily, I recite a mantra to myself. Reciting a mantra helps to remind me of my abilities and strengths. Pouring into myself out loud to start the day frames what I can accomplish. Positive self-talk could be the change necessary for starting a highly efficient, fulfilling day.
If neither daily goal-setting nor mantras assist in shaking off the mid-semester lull, there are still other ways to reclaim semester intentions! Creating a ritual often gives me something mundane and controlled to look forward to in the morning and throughout my week. My wake-up ritual includes a moment of gratitude when I first wake up, writing my most important goals for the day, making my bed, cleaning my room, saying my mantra, and then getting dressed for the day. Not all rituals are the same, but the idea is that it’s a controlled practice that can be done without too much thought regularly. Rituals are meant to take care of the person performing them through the appreciation of sacred time. In other words, routines often significantly improve the mental health of college students. Try practicing a routine consistently for a week, and see if there are any effects on your mind and productivity.
Lastly, setting intentions and reaffirming them means asking, “What do I want?” and working towards it. Academia requires that we “trust the process” quite a bit, so speak into existence the mindset necessary to get out of the funk. The funk doesn’t last forever! As the semester gets tough, set feasible goals and go after them!