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


With a new year and a new semester ahead of us, you might recently have been bit by the motivation bug. New linear beginnings often provide us with the opportunity to set new goals, better ourselves, and enact change in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes, though, this can feel overwhelming. So where do we start?


  1. Evaluate what you want and what you can plausibly achieve. If you want to completely uproot your old habits and way of living, it may seem enticing to do it all at once and switch your routines cold-turkey. As exciting as that sounds, doing this may lead to ultimate burnout. Instead, outline little goals and big goals. If you want to write a novel, but haven’t picked up your pen and paper in months, start with a smaller goal, keeping that big goal in sight. Start with a goal you know you can stick to. It could be writing a chapter of that book a week, or writing for an hour a day— it can even be just writing for fifteen minutes every other day. If you have a big goal like mastering an instrument, taking up a new art medium, going vegan, or something else that feels monumental, start working towards that goal in a small way, and increase your goals with time!

  2. Create micro-habits. Once you know what you want to achieve and how you want to get there, take your goals and tackle them one at a time. This year, I’ve decided I want to live a lifestyle that respects and honors me. To do this, I’ve focused on a new habit I want to build every week. This can look like spending one week on fixing your sleep schedule, going to bed, and waking up at the same time every day. Once you have a handle on this habit, you can tack on a new one! Spend the next week focused on meal prep, making sure you’re drinking enough water and getting enough nutrients throughout your day. The week after that, focus on stretching every morning and night. These, of course, are just examples of the habits you may want to build. And if you’d rather focus on one habit every two weeks or every month, that’s great too! Finding the pace that best works for you are just as important as the habits themselves.

  3. Write it down! Keeping track of all these goals set in motion is a difficult task in and of itself. Writing out your intentions, thoughts, and goals in some form or fashion will help you stay on top of what you want, prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed, and allow you to tangibly see your progress. Make a Google Calendar, buy a planner, journal daily, and track your habits to keep yourself leveled out.

  4. Tell your support system what’s up. Let your trusted friends and family know that there are things you want to change and grow in. Ask them for support and positive encouragement to help you stay on track. This also lets your loved ones know that if you hit a tough bump in the road, they can be there to lift you up again. And remember, this doesn’t mean share your goals with anyone and everyone you know— just because someone is nice to you, doesn’t mean they want what’s best for you. Be sure to surround yourself with people who want to support you in your new endeavors and who want to see you happy.

  5. Be kind to yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your new habits won’t be set in stone overnight. It’s important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge the progress you’re making without beating yourself up for any slip-ups. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a younger version of yourself— be patient and give yourself love every step of the way.

Samantha is currently a junior at UNT and is studying English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in philosophy. She enjoys poetry, creative non-fiction, and all things witchy. She can be found on instagram and twitter under @ghostgrimoire.