My 2018 “Not to do” list

Ideally I would be sharing a list of “steps to make the most out of your 2018” but how many of you have tried this without a change in your life?

I am all about learning and trying new things. I also know that self-awareness and motivation are big keys in achieving any goal. This year I am taking a new approach. Instead of making a list of my 2018 goals, I will write down a “Not to do” list (with a few things I will do instead). This list will work as a reminder of my own goals and hopefully give you ideas for the new year.

Goal 1: Being more physically active.

This new year I am pledging to…

  1. NOT take the elevator in buildings. I will go up and down the stairs instead.
  2. NOT take the bus to UVic at least three times a week. I’ll bike or walk instead (unless it snows again or is below zero degrees!)
  3. NOT skip the aqua fitness class in the McKinnon pool more than 6 times this term!

To me the water is beautiful so I could not be more thankful for the indoor pool.

Tip: Check the Vikes aquatic fitness classes (some are already included in your recreation fees) and the SHAPE health challenge at UVic. If you exercise in the morning this will set you up for the day by releasing endorphins and waking you up for class!

Goal 2: Read at least 100 pages per month of a topic I am interested in.

I pledge to…

  1. NOT stay on my phone before going to bed and read 4 pages of one book before going to bed every night
  2. Set aside 20 minutes to read three days a week.

Tip: Schedule your reading time before going to bed. Not looking at a bright screen has been shown to aid with your sleep. Have you tried audiobooks as well?

Goal 3: Wake up earlier every morning.

I pledge to…

  1. NOT snooze my alarm clock when it sounds.
  2. NOT stay in bed for more than one minute after I stop my alarm.
  3. NOT stay awake after 11:00 p.m. more than five times this term.

Tips: Count from 5 down to 1. When you reach #1, jump out of bed!

Goal 4: Be more respectful and mindful of the places I visit and the people I meet. 

  1. NOT stop going to events organized by the Interfaith Chapel at UVic (even when the term gets busy).

Meditation, retreats, yoga, workshops, pet cafés and more

Tip: Read Student Health 101 to learn about mindfulness, cooking recipes and more! If you don’t have time to read then try audiobooks (e.g. Audible, iBooks, YouTube) or different podcasts. The idea is to be aware of what is happening around me (UVic) and in the world and not be completely centered in my studies.

These are my main goals for next year. My focus is around well being and mental health. If you want to make your own “not to do” list make sure to:

  • Make clear, attainable goals e.g. write how long you want to exercise each day instead of writing “I want to exercise more.” This will make it easier to visualize yourself attaining your goal.
  • Be real. If you want to wake up earlier, set your alarm clock one minute earlier (or a few) every morning. Drastic changes will throw your body off balance. Slow changes feel better.
  • Reflect on your past so it can help you build your future. I am visualizing which areas I want to expand on and what my priorities are for the year. Learning will always be one of my top priorities but I know that balance is what brings happiness, peace and allows me to grow.

I know that changing our habits is hard but one of the first steps in change is doing a self-check. Think about your routines, the food you eat, what places or people you surround yourself with.

A lot of your choices are influenced by your environment so that is one of the things you can look into. Ask yourself questions, write things down in a journal and plan for 2018, for now.

You don’t need a new year to start changing your life. 


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