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I began to set goals about six months ago. The best part about setting these goals was that there were no expectations! These goals were simply meant to be used as a guide to improving different aspects of the circle of life. The Circle of Life is a holistic and comprehensive healthy lifestyle coaching method for stress mastery, integrative medicine, and personal effectiveness that engages each person on all levels — physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The Circle of Life contains 12 categories which are spirituality, creativity, finances, career, education, health, physical activity, home cooking, home environment, relationships, social life, and joy. Each category gets a number between 1 and 10, where 1 means it’s not going so great, while 10 means everything is perfect. I chose to work on the categories that had the lowest numbers, which were relationships, career, health, physical activity, and social life.  [bf_image id="q5yft8-c34lxc-3ltf1i"]

So what exactly is a goal? A goal is an attainable idea that is envisioned by an individual or group of people. For someone like me, having goals or something to work towards is imperative because it fuels my motivation to be productive. It often sets me off track when there are no goals to work towards because there is no clarity about what should take priority. The most effective way to set a goal is to think short-term. These are called S.M.A.R.T goals which stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

An example of one goal that I set was to increase my intake of water. This goal was broken up into a one-month plan, three-month plan, and six-month plan. I achieved this goal because I didn’t specifically think about my goal for six months, I only thought about what I could change at that moment in order to drink more water. Now, six months later, drinking water seems like a habitual activity. I found that drinking more water increased my energy level and helped me to focus better. 

It would not have been possible for me to accomplish such a simple goal six months ago because the mindset was simply not there. Rather than thinking positively and thinking about growth, it was more about thinking negatively and not thinking about self-improvement. Setting these goals led to thinking about improving my own wellness and lifestyle. It was time for a change.  [bf_image id="q7k32h-74d600-9upokg"]

It is difficult to imagine going about life without setting goals now that it has had such a drastic impact on my life. I have begun to set goals for pretty much everything: Schoolwork, organization, career, and nutrition. With this, my time is managed in a more effective manner and my stress levels have decreased by a substantial amount. 

Not every category in the circle of life can have a ten, but the goal is not to be perfect in every category: It is to realize that all categories are intertwined and will affect one another. So, what does your circle of life look like?

Harneet Kaur

U Mass Amherst '24

Harneet Kaur is a Junior at UMass Amherst majoring in marketing in the Isenberg school of management. She is extremely excited to be writing for Her Campus and thinks it's a great way to kick off her time at UMass. Along with writing, she enjoys listening to music, walking her dog, and playing the guitar in her free time.
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