Starting the new year is the time for you to start a new chapter in your life! Whether you have been putting off a big project or struggling to stay healthy, there is no better time to start and set new goals than January 1st. While deciding what your resolutions should be this year is easy, actually sticking to them is the hard part. Here are a few tips on how to keep your resolutions this year:
“I will always…” “I will never…” Making resolutions like this is never a good idea. For example, if you make a resolution to “never party the night before an exam” you are setting yourself up for failure. Yes, this is a great goal, but the truth is that you might one time party the night before an exam. Instead, you could make a resolution to “try to avoid partying before an exam.”
I will go to the gym twice a day everyday vs. I will go to the gym 2-4 times a week. If you set a goal that is too high or not realistic you will end up feeling defeated. It doesn’t hurt to do research on what you’re trying to accomplish to set a more attainable goal for yourself.
Take baby steps
If you are making a huge change in your lifestyle it may be easier to work your way into the change rather than doing it all up front and at once. For example, if one of your resolutions is to read more books, you may not want to go out and buy a huge stack of books. Doing that could be overwhelming and turn you off the resolution completely. Instead, you could get one book that you have been interested in for a while and take your time reading it.
Stay positive and optimistic
Remember the goal you are working for and don’t get down on yourself if you don’t see changes overnight. Making a list and putting it somewhere you will see daily will help keep you focused on the objective. Don’t forget to celebrate the small victories!
Find someone with similar resolutions
It is much easier to stay on track and focused on something if you surround yourself with people who are working toward the same goal. For example, if one of your resolutions is to eat healthier in the cafeteria on campus, you should find a friend to share your meals with who has set similar goals. You will be less temped to eat the bad stuff if you are dining with someone who is also trying to be healthy.
- Focus more on school
As a student it can be difficult to manage your time effectively. There are so many things happening on campus that make attending class and studying can seem like an afterthought at times. Plan to put some time aside each week to keep up with your work so you don’t have to worry about cramming and pulling all-nighters right before big projects or tests. You could also join a study group with friends to stay motivated in your classes.
- Exercise more
Let face it, the “freshman 15” is a very real thing for many college students, but there are ways to avoid it and stay healthy. Most colleges have a recreation facility on campus. See if they offer group exercise classes like yoga or kick-boxing and get your friends to tag along. You can also join an intramural sports team. Find out where local parks are located by campus and spend your free time outdoors riding your bike or walking the trails.
- Keep in touch with friends and family
Keeping in touch with people at home is hard. Whether it’s family members or friends from high school, sometimes social media just doesn’t cut it. Plan out some time during the week for a Skype date or phone call. Your friends and family will be happy to hear from you and you will feel better about your relationships.
- Get involved
College has so much more to offer than most people realize. It is not all about the classes and the parties, but also about the learning experiences you gain outside the classroom. Look into joining a club or a committee or get an internship on campus. You will feel a sense of connection and importance at the school if you are involved in something that is making an impact like the student newspaper or student government. Even joining something like a hiking or biking club will introduce you to new people and new experiences.
- Start saving
Before you know it you will be walking across that stage, accepting your diploma, and graduating. Shortly after that you will begin realizing how much money you have to pay off in student loans and how hard it is to find a job. Even if you are only putting $5-$10 aside each week it will add up and help you out in the future when you need it most.