Today's Update: Monday, February 1

February 1, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, I recently mentioned that I have adopted a hopeful theme for my year: peace. My goal is to find strength of my own convictions and beliefs so that I can find personal peacefulness in any situation. 

Today I want to elaborate on the idea of having a theme for the year.  Most of us are pretty good about keeping the promises we make to others. Keeping our promises to ourselves is often a different story. Yet those promises help guide us to realizing our goals and dreams.   

This is about more than just “New Year’s resolutions.” Those tend to be limiting. Author Gretchen Rubin describes it like “assigning yourself homework.”  

Instead, this is about focusing on a single word to guide your life. It can be what you need more of, what you want to accomplish and how you want to grow. It helps you make decisions and provides an anchor for your daily life.  

It’s also a great creative exercise. It forced me to think about my goals and express them in a single concept.  

For me, it’s finding peace, but your word and focus may be very different.  

Student Life Marketing Specialist Niki Prete recently introduced the concept to her colleagues, and Aisha Echols responded by offering five tips from The Time Management Ninja to help keep promises with yourself. Some deal more with resolution-type promises than following a theme word, but the concepts here may be helpful.  

  1. Write It Down – If there isn’t proof, did you really promise it? There is magic in writing down your promises. Be specific and be sincere about what you are promising yourself you are going to do. 

  1. Make it Visible – Visibility leads to action. Keep your promises where you can see them. It could be on a Post-It on your bathroom mirror that will remind you each morning and night. It could be on your cell phone background, so that you will see it each and every time your turn on your phone. It could be a bracelet or token that you carry with you. Do whatever it takes to ensure that your goals are always visible. 

  1. Chart Your Daily Actions – Daily is the best way to check on your promises. Keep a list to help you “check off” how you keep your promise and focus every day.  

  1. Keep a Progress Journal – A journal is a great way to review your progress. You can reflect on your wins and your shortcomings. What are you doing well, and what do you need to continue to improve? 

  1. Keep It Short – Keep your promises short term. Saying that you are going to do something for a year is tough. Even a month or two. Try thinking about this week? Could you stick to your workout plan for that long? 

Have a Scarlet and Great week,