Positive thinking, affirmations crucial to self improvement

A dark brown student with brown hair wearing a graduation cap and gown. They have a check-list with various goals to the left of them.

Len Duenas/The Cougar

We’re officially one month into 2024! As we continue to step into the new year and everything it has to offer, now might be a good time to think about how we can meet our goals this year. Making life changes is never easy, but you might just find your goals slightly easier to approach with these tips shared by students and experts alike.

Many people try to change themselves completely in the New Year, but this approach often backfires for one reason or another. At the end of the day, there’s no way to completely guarantee success when it comes to self-improvement.  However, many have found success in fixing old habits by using a method known as “The Law of Attraction.” 

According to psychologist and author Dr. Elizabeth Scott,  the “Law of Attraction” suggests that your mindset fundamentally affects the quality of your life. In other words, focusing on positive thoughts and taking positive actions would eventually result in positive changes in your life. 

These positive actions don’t have to be anything drastic; even small actions can make a big difference. For example, you could start doing daily affirmations, write sticky notes with encouraging words on them or try journaling at the beginning of each day.

Writing down your goals can also help by visualizing the change you’re trying to achieve. It can also make them easier to execute by breaking bigger goals down into small steps. Even if you feel like you’ve already failed your New Year’s resolutions, this is a great way to pull yourself together and start over.

“New Year’s resolutions inspire positive change, but I believe the best way to make a change in your life is to start now instead of waiting for a new year,” said Psychology senior Allison Braly.

But of course, deciding what your goals are is only one part of making a long term change. After claiming the idea, you have to take steps to make that dream a reality. According to multiple successful entrepreneurs like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and actress Priyanka Chopra, determination and hard work are the biggest key to meeting your goals after you map out the steps.

Practicing self-acceptance also makes a much bigger difference than you might expect. Loving who you are while actively working towards your goals is the best way to create a strong sense of self that’ll carry you through even the toughest of years.

Marketing sophomore Dalaney Anahi Espinoza Gutierrez said that he found a lot of success by mapping out his goal-plan right at the start of the year. For him, starting small was key to staying on track with tough goals. 

“I set daily mini goals to help me get closer to my main goal everyday,” he said. 

If writing a long list of goals doesn’t sound appealing, try getting creative! “Dream Boards” are a great way to get your life on track while also being fun and personal.

To make a dream board, you start by gathering a set of ideas and images that represent your goals. These images can be from Pinterest, magazines, photo albums or you could just write your ideas down on sticky notes. Then, you combine them into a collage that you can look at from time to time.

As important as it is to dream big, being realistic is also important to avoid disappointment. Don’t expect to become an influencer with over a million followers in a week. While you never know what could happen, being prepared for negative outcomes can actually help with long term success.

Having positive relationships in your life can make a huge difference as well. Don’t be afraid to lean on the people in your life that care about you! Friends that can give you reminders, encourage and support you through the process can help you stay motivated and keep you on track if you start faltering.

No matter how big or small your goals are, having a plan and maintaining a positive attitude will work wonders at school and in life! There’s no time like the present. Start practicing healthy habits today and you’ll be conquering those goals before you know it.

Alena Thomas is a history sophomore who can be reached at
[email protected]

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