How to Really Achieve the Goals You Set at the Beginning of the Semester!


While the ball drops at midnight and everyone and their mother is kissing their significant other except what seems to be you, many New Year’s resolutions are made. Now we all know you probably have confidently affirmed to yourself that you’re going to hit the gym every day or cut out those yummy snacks that you always seem to crave at midnight out of your life. We make resolutions for our own personal health and happiness; however, how many of us actually keep the goals throughout the year that we set on January 1st? These resolutions and goals that were thought of fade away just as easily as they were set.


I often find myself doing the same ritual at the beginning of each school semester. I tell myself, “I will get all A’s” or “I will not pull any more all-nighters.” Sure, I may have gotten all A’s two semesters ago or I may have gotten enough sleep on most nights, but the important question to ask is, do I consistently achieve these goals? I know it’s impossible to be perfect, but I recognize that my habits can be healthier and more productive, and I want to improve upon them. Even though it is definitely not easy, I hope you would want to do the same.


It’s important to understand why it can be so difficult to keep the resolutions we make at the beginning of the semester. The promises we make to ourselves are made during a time of short inspiration. We feel instant gratification by the initial thought of intending to do something. This process requires no action! We feel good thinking about all of the goals we’re going to meet; however, right when we start the process of actually achieving those goals, we feel frustrated or unhappy. This feeling ultimately leads to procrastination. We often think, “Oh well I’ll do it later because right now I don’t feel like it.” The key is to recognize that everyone faces procrastination, but what separates those who succeed from, those who are mediocre is self-discipline and habit!


In medical school, students are responsible for learning and understanding an immense volume of information between various classes and rotations. This is why the pre-med years are the best times to experiment with different study, eating, and exercise habits so that when we all (eventually) get to medical school, we will have our lifestyle preferences figured out and we can most efficiently focus on the intense material that is in front of us.


Here are some tips to help figure out how you can maximize your efficiency and build healthy habits to help achieve your goals during your undergraduate years and to then transfer to your medical school years.


Start small

  • The trick to building good habits is to gradually introduce yourself to them.

  • If you only get 4 hours of sleep each night, start by getting five hours or sleep for the week ahead rather than abruptly expecting to magically be able to sleep 8 hours per night.

  • Schedule and plan your time

  • Laying out your upcoming schedule can help you visualize and mentally prepare for your upcoming week or month to come.

  • Google calendar- Offers a desktop and mobile time-management and scheduling service.

  • Book planners

  • Student Wellness is collaborating with Craft Club to offer a Make Your Own Planner and Bullet Journal event! It is on Thursday, September 13 from 5:30-7:00 PM in MSC 2702.

  • Communicate with your peers

  • Talk to others who are going through the same experience as you or who have gone through the process already

  1. Through the PAMSA Mentorship Division, you can be matched with an upperclassman mentor or a first-year Morsani medical student!

  2. Talk to the PAMSA Officers before or after General Body meetings. They are here to help YOU understand what it takes to get into medical school.

  • Find Time for Fun

  • Your mental health is one of the most important factors that lead to your success.

  • Don’t forget to allocate time to yourself apart from studying or working.

  1. Join a PAMSA Intramural Sports Team! More information will be sent out soon regarding the practice times and dates.

  2. Come out to one of PAMSA’s Community Outreach events. Here you can interact and socialize with other PAMSA members while also positively impacting Tampa Bay’s community through community service.

*For example, you can do art projects with 3rd to 5th graders by volunteering with the Art Club at New Spring Schools Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 pm.· Check usfpamsa.net for more information and volunteering opportunities.
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