Hi Kaitlyn- Awesome Question!
Having student- social life balance is important, and very much needed. Sometimes it helps to get creative when thinking of the best ways to accomplish this task. In the past I’ve asked students to create a playbook for their goals i.e.. Kaitlyn's Action Plan Playbook (feel free to steal the name : ). It’s a fun way to ensure you’re having fun, but handling what is important as well.
Creating your Playbook: Take it one year at a time.
Develop a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Base) Goal Plan. Take some time and think about the things you would like to accomplish from an educational and social perspective. Typically it is suggested you start with 3-5 goals, and your goals should be very specific. Your educational goal could go something like this, maintain an overall 3.5 GPA each semester to ensure I have met my educational scholarship requirement(s) While your Social Life goal could read like this; Research and join one campus organization by end of second semester to establish a network base and participate in community engagement activities. In writing your goals, ask yourself "Why”, meaning why is this important. This helps to ensure your goals are important and impactful to you, and it gives you a clear path forward.
Now you ready to move forward in organizing the goals Congratulations Goals You've made the team!
Prioritize and Organize. This area is the meat and potatoes of your playbook. Your blueprint to show how you are going to accomplish your goals, and here's a secret that has already been shared with you - TIMING IS EVERYTHING! Sit down with each goal, determine where it falls on your “Most Valuable Goal” list. Next, determine what all is required to help you succeed. Will I need to implement a study plan - requires 4 hrs. of studying? Do I need to bring a specialty team in i.e. professors, tutors, etc. to help me get here? This might require you to invest in tools i.e. planners, organizers, study job aids, etc., but having this blueprint will provide you with a clear line of sight. Afterwards, you are ready to execute.
Execute, Monitor, and Measure. This is the most important part of your playbook. Once you have put all your plays into actions you will need to monitor your performance. This needs to be done daily to identify if changes are needed. Here is where you will also be able to determine if you are staying balanced. Do you seem to be off or behind? Make changes accordingly, but try not to make too many, instead identify if you need to adjust how you’re spending your time in other areas. In the end you will be able to measure your balance on how well you are staying on track or by the number of goals you have completed.
Once you have succeed with one playbook, next you will be able to determine if you can increase your goals, and in what area based on your playbook's performance. - I’m giving you kudos and congratulating you ahead of time, because I know you’re going to be a WINNER!
Huddle Time Side Bar: If at any time you are not getting enough rest and eating properly you must adjust. Staying healthy is an automatic must in everyone’s playbook. 😊