1. Keep a Planner
I have kept a planner for the past five years and I can’t live without one. I prefer to use a paper one, but your phone calendar can work too, it is just important that you use it! A planner will allow you to schedule out your days and manage your time effectively. Knowing what is coming up and how you can prepare for the weeks ahead will keep you on top of your work in the new year.
2. Create Habits
Aristotle said, “Success is not an action but a habit”. If you want to keep your resolution, you must make it a habit. Research has shown that it takes 66 days to create a habit. I’m not sure if this is true, but it does take time and discipline to create good habits, so be patient and do not give up. It might be hard in the beginning, but instilling habits like working out regularly will reward you both in the short term with how you feel and look, but also in the long term with your health.
3. Surround Yourself with Positive People
When the year comes to the close it provides an opportunity to reevaluate the choices we made. One of the biggest parts of life is the people we spend time with, so making sure that your relationships are making you feel better, not worse, is extremely important. You want friends that lift you up and make you feel empowered, not drag you down.
4. Reward Yourself
Especially in school, rewarding your hard work is essential. I motivate myself to get my work done by a certain time so that I can do other activities, like socializing. This sounds small, but having something to look forward makes endless schoolwork easier to get through. It’s like giving yourself a high five!
5. Find a Hobby
Finding something that brings you joy, that is not work, is so important. A hobby can be a range of things, from knitting, to tennis, or even journaling. Something that relaxes you and makes you happy. Having a small thing that you take time to do for yourself will help make your life more balanced, which can be so hard, especially in college.
6. Create Long Term Goals
Make a list of long term goals you have for the year. It can be just a few, but having a long range goal that you are working towards can motivate you. Schoolwork can feel irrelevant to real life, so long term goals can remind you what you are working towards. At the beginning of the year, write your list and map out how you are going to get there. Look at this throughout the year to keep in touch with the end goal.
7. Keep Yourself Engaged
Staying engaged can manifest itself in many different ways, but overall it is important to keep your brain active. I do this by keeping up to date with news, learning about different cultures, and reading about history. For others this means reading scientific journals, or going to art museums, or journaling about their own experience. Staying engaged makes me feel motivated and challenges my perspective by learning new things every day.
8. Maintain Organization
Organization can mean a clean space or well-managed time. I do not need an organized space to function, but I cannot operate without scheduling out my time. Whatever works for you, creating some sort of order in your life gives more structure and clarity and will help you operate with more ease.
9. Express Your Gratitude
We say thank you constantly, but often forget to thank the people who mean the most to us. Letting your friends and family know how much you mean to them is so important and can make a big impact on others. This can be something small like saying thank you or giving a hug, but gratitude can also be expressed through actions that show others you care.
10. BE YOURSELF!
While this is a cliche, it is so important. Staying grounded and reminded of what makes you yourself is essential. This may sound harsh, but everyone will never like you, so it is not worth your time to try to impress everyone. It is much more rewarding to be yourself and spend time with those who accept you for who you are.