As a college student, I’m extremely familiar with getting bombarded with the final exam rush before the holiday break begins. You’ll often find me hiding in the corner of a coffee shop with a mug and my laptop in front of me, notebooks spread onto as much surface area as possible. All I can think about are my exams, and the only interruption I allow myself occurs during my fifteen-minute brain breaks to check my phone and double-check my coffee levels. The last thing on my mind? New Year’s resolutions. It’s hard to think so far in advance when you have multiple projects and exams staring you in the face every time you open your Google Calendar. I’m guilty of forgetting about self-care during finals season, though; my workout schedule disappears, and I don’t leave much time to socialize with friends since all I can think about are exams and keeping my GPA up. I’m not the only person who does this. In fact, my friends all have the same problem, so we all become a bit like meerkats by hiding in our respective holes around campus. After all my finals are over and I’m home for the holidays, my next concern becomes gift shopping. Again, New Year’s resolutions get pushed aside as I browse the internet for potential presents and walk through the mall. I’ve always been a selective gift-giver since I want to provide people with presents I know they’ll use, so this genuinely takes ages. I often find myself making an Excel spreadsheet to keep everything organized. I’m far from thinking about goals I have (or presents I want), which is why resolutions fall to the bottom of my to-do list.After the holiday season is over for my family, I’m left with days to recuperate and figure out what goals I’m setting for the new year. Coming up with New Year’s resolutions isn’t a strength of mine since I try to be super realistic and achievable. I’ve made typical ones, like, “I’ll work out more this year!” but those fall through once May comes around because I have finals again. I tend to drop resolutions as soon as I have to prioritize something else, and that “something else,” more often than not, is something related to school. So, how do you make manageable New Year’s resolutions as a college student? I’ve used the following tips to be better about making them and staying on track with them.An example of a more specific resolution is, “I will go to the gym from 7 to 9 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The first hour is for cardio, and the second hour is for weights.” You’ve set a reasonable schedule for yourself that is addable to your Google Calendar, and what you’ll be doing is clearly laid out. This specificity will help you keep your New Year’s resolution because it’s legitimately actionable; you know what you’re going to do without the vagueness.Repetition is key. Reminders play a large role in that, and seeing your goal over and over again will lead to your resolution being more firmly ingrained. When I set my New Year’s resolution a few years ago in order to save more money, I taped a Post-it Note in my wallet so I was reminded of the larger purchases I was saving up for. This helped me to resist the temptation of treating shopping as a way to relax; and, as a result, I bought myself the purse I had been eyeing for months.
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