Oh my goodness. The last few weeks of my life have been so hectic and overwhelming that I don’t even know where to begin! I’ve been back at school for the last two weeks, working on training and orientation for new students. I’m in a leadership position again this year, after having been an RA in my second year of college. Training and orientation took up a ton of my time, but they were also a blast! It was such a great chance to get to know new people!

During that time, my blog fell to the side for a bit. Something I’ve learned this summer is how hard it is to have a full time job while blogging on the side; though writing may not seem like a huge commitment, it can be very time-consuming! That makes me a little worried for the fall semester, which I know will be one of my busiest yet. I’ll have a full course load and be balancing a student leader position, in addition to blogging and being a friend, sister, girlfriend, and just a person – someone who needs to take care of herself and her health!

With that in mind, I want to create some goals for this semester that will keep me accountable and encourage the kind of behavior that I want.

My Fall Semester Goals - Sara Laughed

I’m dividing my goals into three areas – health, personal, and academic. These three areas reflect the parts of my life that are the most important to me right now (in that order!). Long-time readers may know that I tend to choose a theme for each year of college; my first was happiness, my second was balance, and my third was ‘making every moment count.’ This year, I’ve chosen health because it’s always been my second-most important area. I want to prioritize it now because it’s been on the back-burner too long, and I am getting to an age where I can no longer afford to put it off without permanent effects!

With that in mind, here are my goals for Fall 2015.

My Fall Semester Goals - Sara Laughed


1. Track all food, drinks, and exercise. This may sound a bit extreme, but it’s a goal that I’ve been working on in conjunction with a coach for a few months. Try as I might, I struggle with healthy portions and meals, in both directions. Because I’ve been in recovery for so long, I tend to justify poor food choices as self-care; two cookies after lunch is just so easy at college, and there are worse things, right? (So I say to myself.) But I want the way I eat to reflect the love and care that I have for my body, so that means healthier food and better portions. For me, this follows straight from tracking, because tracking gives me accountability. I want my coach (and me!) to see good choices reflected in my log.

2. More fruits, veggies, and protein. Fewer carbs. If you saw what’s on my average plate at college, you’d understand. Pasta, potatoes, pastries – the options never end! This semester, I’d like to have at least one protein and one fruit and/or vegetable on my plate at every meal.

3. Be active 3-6 days a week; 3 cardio, 3 low-impact. In my Sophomore year, I went running several times a week. I really enjoyed it, and I loved seeing and feeling my body get stronger. At Oxford, I spent so much time walking around the city that I stayed pretty active; but this past summer was very lethargic for me, and I’d like to change that behavior. Though the change won’t happen overnight, I’m planning on doing heart rate-raising activity three times a week, and low-impact exercise like yoga and walking three other days a week.

My Fall Semester Goals - Sara Laughed


1. Take time for myself every day. Especially this year, when I’ll have so much going on, this one is so important! I want to make sure that I’m making and taking time for myself so that I can stay sane and healthy throughout the semester. Ideally, I’d like one hour of “down time” per day.

2. Make time for friends, family, and especially Ken every day. It’s easy for me to see and hang out with college friends, whom I live with and see every day. When it comes to family members or my boyfriend, though, things can get a lot harder! I’d like to make sure that I take some time to connect with Ken every day, as well as reaching out to family once or twice a week. Friends should come naturally, since we basically live together!

My Fall Semester Goals - Sara Laughed


1. Start all readings and assignments the day after I get them. You may know from my eBook that I prefer activity goals to achievement goals. This is an activity-based goal that feels doable to me, and that I feel will make a big difference in my experience as a student. By starting work sooner, I’ll feel less stressed when the assignment due dates are closer.

2. Finish papers two days before the due date, so I have 48 hours to review. This is, essentially, another stress-reduction technique, but I know it will also improve the quality of my assignments. Finishing papers early will give me extra time to improve them, and to make sure that my assignments don’t all pile up on each other. In situations where I have multiple due dates on one day (which does happen, and all too often), I’ll try to stagger them, so that some papers will be done closer or father than two days from the deadline.

Those are my goals for this semester; I’d love to hear yours! I’ll be doing a check-in at the end of the semester to let you know how they went, but in the meantime, comment below and tell me a long- or short-term goal that you have right now!

Sara Laughed

Hey hey! I'm Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands and working as a product manager.

  1. Orly M says:

    i like the “finish the assignments two days before” it is something that i tried doing and i felt less stressed. I also think keeping track of what you eat is important when it comes to health. I use my fitness pal and i love it. I noticed that i felt better after a while since i was eating the right things.
    great goals and hope to read that you conquered them all!

  2. Kristen says:

    Great goals! But oh no ! You need carbs for energy!! High carbs and low calorie diet is the way to go! Your cells fuel on carbohydrates especially if you’re gonna work out and going to school, you need that brain food! Carb up! šŸ™‚

    1. Sara says:

      Thanks for letting me know! I’m still a little confused on what exactly I should be eating – everyone seems to have a different opinion! Luckily my campus has a nutritionist, so I may bring this up with her!

  3. Kayla Rivoli says:

    These are really great goals! I shared mine on the blog last week, feel free to check them out šŸ™‚


    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  4. These are really great goals! I also want to start focusing on my health this year, but I’m worried it will fall to the wayside, because I’m taking a more-than-full course load, along with a part time job and a student leadership position. Would love to see a post about tips on how to prioritize exercise and how to make time!

    Katie | http://www.thoughtcouture.com

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