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Perspectives, news, and announcements from the Center that will ignite your passion for wellbeing.

Set a Wellbeing Goal for this Academic Year

August 31, 2016

What are your goals for the upcoming academic year?

If you’re a student, maybe you want to ace a challenging chem lab or find a part-time job to help manage the expenses of your new off-campus apartment. If you’re a faculty or staff member, perhaps you’re hoping to develop a new course from your own research or successfully launch a new project at work.

But have you ever thought about making a wellbeing goal? Improving your personal wellbeing can actually help you achieve your academic and professional objectives by giving you the energy and health you need to manage stress, stay focused, and connect to what you find most meaningful.

Start By Paying Attention

Like many things in life, the key to wellbeing is often much simpler than you think. It’s all about the basic decisions we make each day: What will I eat? How much will I move my body? When will I sleep? How will I respond when stress arises?

Wellbeing starts with the simple act of paying attention to these decisions throughout your day. Our lives often run on habit energy, and sometimes we unconsciously make choices that have a negative impact on wellbeing (such as mindlessly reaching for junk food or snapping at a colleague during a stressful meeting). Setting an intention to pay more attention is a way to take control over your wellbeing and design a flourishing life.

Getting a good night’s sleep, for example, can keep your immune system functioning at a peak level so while your peers are coughing through final exams, you feel great. Packing a variety of fresh, whole foods for lunch each day can fill your afternoons with energy and enable you to nail that presentation you’ve been working on.

How to Set Your Personalized Wellbeing Goal

Our Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing website offers an overall wellbeing assessment to help you figure out which area of our wellbeing model—health, relationships, environment, security, purpose, or community—you might want to focus your attention on this upcoming year.
(You don’t need to overwhelm yourself with trying to make over your whole life at once. In fact, you’re more likely to have success if you choose one specific goal and focus your attention there. Wellbeing is like sprinkling seeds for new grass—once it takes root, your whole lawn will flourish.)

Then you can use our goal-setting tool to help you figure out what stage of readiness for change you are in and move through the process of identifying challenges and creating a plan of action that’s tailored to your life. You can print your plan and carry it in your wallet, or hang it in a prominent place where you’ll see it every day.

Next—let us know how it’s going! What kind of commitment are you making toward wellbeing this year? We’d love to hear from you!

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Mandala is a biannual magazine produced by Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. It captures the core aspects of the Center: reflection, transformation, spirituality, creation, and the ongoing journey that continues to shape what we are to become.

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu