Help right here on campus can make meeting those goals a lot more likely, and goal setting can substantially change lives for the better.
Umpqua Community College has resources to help students support their New Year’s resolutions, the goals they have promised themselves to complete this new year.
Goal setting at the beginning of a new year also makes sense. As Georgann Willis, a UCC psychology professor, says, “The start of a year, a week, a month or a day is when we are often the most hopeful and full of good intentions.”
Good intentions are inspiring even though most resolutions fail by March. And yet, people still try again next year because, as Willis explains, “after a round of holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve) that encourage us to overeat, drink too much and not exercise, we now move into a few months of wanting to reset our diets, exercise routines and life.”
Goals don’t have to fail. People who write down their goals and share them with friends, especially if they regularly share their goal progress, have about a 75% success rate with their goals.
Improving Diet and Exercise on Campus
For students who’ve resolved to get healthier, UCC’s campus store has healthy food options in their cold case that consist of vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, sushi and salads. They also have no-extra-charge milk alternatives at the bookstore coffee shop and sugar-free syrups for a low-calorie drink. Anna Patterson, a bookstore employee, suggests a latte for a low-calorie drink: “It’s just a choice of milk and espresso, steamed or iced.”
Alyssa Harter, a UCC communications professor, says, “One thing I’ve learned this year is to add healthy options to my day instead of restricting. By adding healthy fats, lots of veggies, and different fruit to my day, I’ve noticed a major difference in my appetite.”
UCC’s fitness center is also open to all students Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Student athletes for UCC sports teams have priority over the space; however, anyone can use the area to work out. The P.E. department requires masks and equipment cleaning, Nikki Bartrom, assistant P.E. professor, says.
Improving diet doesn’t always have to deal with losing weight especially since it’s becoming more culturally acceptable to love your body just the way it is. “Basing your self-esteem on your body size and appearance is not going to end well. Most people will gain weight as they enter middle age and many people have fluctuating weight loss and gain. In the end, we all get older and look older, so you need to find worth in who you are, not what you look like at this moment,” Willis says. Willis suggests that people, especially women who have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis when they age, should build activity into their life such as increasing the steps they take, building core strength to reduce back injury, and lifting objects like children or bags of dog food to increase bone density.
Reducing Clutter to Reduce Stress
Clutter causes anxiety and raises stress hormones. “The act of decluttering makes us feel less stressed because we are essentially in control of a situation,” Willis says. “The average American home has about 300,000 items, so most people feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in their house and garage.”
The average American also throws away about an average of 80 pounds of clothes a year, which in turn is making our landfills overflow, clogging our oceans with garbage, and polluting our water with microplastics, Willis says.
“Buying stuff is a hobby, and shopping has become a leisure activity. The amount of our salaries that are used to buy stuff we do not really need is appalling, but we are led to think this is the key to our happiness by a society that glamorizes consumerism,” Willis says.
A good starting place for learning about the value of de-cluttering is the Netflix documentary “Minimalism.”
The documentary is about how Americans do not really need stuff to be happy. It shows how people can learn to be content with less and stop buying. The documentary also talks about how when people eventually stop buying items this will create a tremendous impact on our culture, our economy and our environment. Supply and demand will change.
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To start the decluttering process, students can consider participating in the 30 Bags in 30 Days Decluttering Challenge of getting rid of stuff. A person chooses an area in their house to start, a different place every day, and they get rid of things they don’t use or think about, filling a bag to throw away or donate each day.