Building resilience, creating wellness, and finding balance in life are all within your reach. Learn how to set realistic goals and boundaries that accommodate your personal, academic, and career needs, initiate a meaningful process of self-improvement, and develop greater resilience during your time at IU and beyond.
Think about why you’re establishing the personal goals and checkpoints you are. Maybe it’s because you want to make an idea you’re interested in more concrete. Maybe it’s because you want to make a significant impact through helping your peers. Or you might be setting one smaller goal as a platform for bigger aspirations you have in mind. Whatever it may be, it’s important that your goals resonate with you through and through, and that you can distinguish between what you want to achieve versus what you should achieve.
Once you have a particular aspiration in mind, use the SMART goal technique to clarify and focus your ideas. SMART allows you to create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Using this structure can help you clearly define your goal and if you are achieving it.
Specific – What exactly will you accomplish?
Measurable - How will you measure your accomplishment?
Achievable - Is this goal doable?
Relevant – Does it make sense with your life right now?
Time-bound - What is the time frame?
Example of a SMART Goal: I will eat one vegetable with lunch every day this week.
Need to focus your goal a bit more? Check out these pages about different dimensions of wellness to get ideas.
Big changes don’t happen overnight, but small steps in the right direction can. Some goals take a long time, and some can be achieved faster. You can use the SMART technique to gauge this more feasibly, see how realistic your time frame is for the goal in question, and create a mix of short term and long-term goals for yourself from there.
Suppose you have a big goal in mind. What can you do to reach it this week? This month? In three months? Six months? Rather than overfilling your plate and taking it all in at once, dividing your long-term goal into smaller, more short-term pieces can make it more manageable and less overwhelming.
What will help you stay motivated to reach your goal? When you have an answer ready, be sure to build that into your plan. This may start with you keeping your end goal in mind, checking small steps off a list, using an app to track progress, or providing yourself a reward when a benchmark is met. If accountability helps you, share your goals with a friend and ask them to check in with you, or join a group that has similar goals. Being honest with yourself about your motivation can help you find ways to stay engaged.
You know yourself and your strengths best. Carefully think about what you are good at and see if you can leverage that while accomplishing your goal(s). Everyone has room to grow, but everyone also has unique skills and assets to help them get there.
You don’t have to work towards goals alone. We can help.
The Student Health Center can provide support with goals related to physical, mental, social, and emotional health. Our trained Health Coaches can also help you develop tools to quit smoking, change your diet, develop coping skills, manage health issues, reduce your risks when participating in sexual activity, and so much more.
Concerned about the safety or wellbeing of an IU student (maybe even yourself)? Submit a Care Referral. Anyone who is concerned about the safety or well-being of an IU student — including themselves, parents, IU faculty and staff, community members, and other students — can submit one and help begin the support process for yourself or one of your peers.
MoneySmarts is a program available to IU students and includes consultations with experts, searchable resources, a one credit financial literacy course, and even a cost calculator to help you responsibly manage your finances.
Crimson Cupboard offers free healthy food to Indiana University Bloomington students who are struggling with food insecurity.