In the spirit of the new year, the Division of Student Affairs hosted an event to help students make lasting changes for their health and wellness.

On Jan. 11 in the Vandenberg Glass Rooms, Health and Wellness Coordinator Erica Wallace and Student Employee Development Coordinator Marie Taylor VanBuskirk organized New Year, New You as part of the Wellness in the House Series.

New Year, New You provided informational pamphlets including “Five Smart Ways to Less Stress,” “Getting What You Want from Sleep,” “Fitness Facts” and “Weight Facts.”

The presentation incorporated participation from students by sharing goals, and creating a wellness wheel and vision board. Goals shared included going to sleep earlier, apologizing less and improving punctuality. The wellness board was a visual representation that showed how to balance friends, diet, school, family, exercise, fun time, community involvement and feelings. The vision board outlined student goals and was created with magazine cutouts glued onto construction paper.

The primary aspect in the presentation was the use of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals. Applying SMART goal techniques to behavior changes can help the longevity of students’ health and wellness.

The presentation speakers were Rachel Roberts, Louise Harder and Maria Syed.

First-year graduate and public health major, Roberts explained the importance of educating students about health and wellness.

“Some people have a different idea about wellness,” Roberts said. “Especially for new year resolutions, people might think wellness is more about physical health and losing weight, which is really not the case. We [are] talking about all the different aspects of wellness, [including] mental health, getting enough sleep – just helping them feel better about themselves and help them to be successful in college and in life.”

The presentation also informed students about motivation, identifying obstacles, developing strategies to overcome obstacles, recognizing failure and the value of utilizing campus resources.

Wallace emphasized SMART goals to be effective in self-improvement.

“It really boils down to SMART goals,” Wallace said. “If you really want to do something for yourself to improve yourself, come up with something that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and give yourself a time limit.”

Roberts and Wallace both agree New Year, New You would have been beneficial for themselves throughout their college careers.

“Especially my freshman year, I was very stressed, and I put too much on my plate,” Roberts said. “I think the SMART goals are helping. They’re realistic goals and small steps help you reach those [goals]. They are realistic [goals] that would [have] helped me, for sure.”

“I think it [New Year, New You] would have been very helpful for me,” Wallace said. “I think my personal well-being really stemmed [from] not taking enough time for myself to practice self-care. I think a lot of students really struggle with that.”

Sophomore and psychology major, Christian Goolsby, shared his experience of attending New Year, New You as a student.

“This presentation has been good to [give] me the tools that are necessary to complete my tasks this year,” Goolsby said.

Goolsby explained that it is important to achieve goals. He encouraged his peers to maintain their health and wellness by setting a reasonable goal and making sure to have supportive friends.

“My goal this year is to not grab fast food on my commute home,” Goolsby said.