“New year, new me.” We’ve all heard the saying. People tend to scribble vague resolutions like “workout more,” “eat healthier,” or “get good grades” into planners as the new year begins, but the eagerness to stick with these goals fades with time. I’m guilty of this—I sit down every New Year’s Eve and write down what I want to achieve and how I’m going to change my habits, but I never keep up with these aspirations.
This does not mean New Year’s resolutions should be discarded all together. Instead, you can set more attainable and realistic goals that you won’t forget about or give up on. Here are some helpful tips on how you can narrow down your broader goals to make them more achievable.
As college students, our classes are huge factors in our lives, so almost all students set some form of academic goals for themselves. But, there are several attainable resolutions you can set to help you do even better in school. For example, your goal could be to spend 30 minutes every night reviewing whatever you learned in classes that day—this will prepare you for tests early on so you don’t have to cram. Some other potential goals include going to office hours once a week, having more organized notes, or forming a study group with your friends. As opposed to vague academic resolutions, these tangible goals will help you thrive academically and keep up with your classes.
At the end of the year, I often wish I had thought more frequently about what I’m grateful for, what makes me happy, or what I wish would improve in my life. So, to be more contemplative in the new year, you can start a journal and write in it a few times a week. This way, you will remember to take a breath and reflect about where you are at in life. There are also various types of pre-formatted journals you can buy that ask you thought-provoking questions each day.
While keeping up with our school work and social lives, we also often forget to take time for ourselves. You should therefore take some time to relax once a week. By going for a walk in the city, reading a book, or doing something you enjoy each week, you can easily practice self-care.
Striving to have a healthier lifestyle is a common goal, especially for students who spend most of their time stagnant in classes and sitting down to do work. Some attainable fitness goals you could set for 2023 include signing up for workout classes, such as pilates or spin, hitting a certain number of steps a day, or following a weekly workout plan you find online.
In addition to working out, you can plan ways to eat healthier. Every time you go grocery shopping, for example, you can pick out nutritious foods and snacks to eat at home. Being on a meal plan and eating out with friends can make it difficult for us to eat healthily—it’s habitual for us to grab a quick sweet treat between classes. Instead, you can keep more energizing options in your bag, including carrots and hummus, fruit, or yogurt.
Comfort Zone–Breaking Goals
Coming out of your comfort zone does not necessarily mean forcing yourself to do things that you don’t want to do. You can set small and reachable goals to engage in some hobbies and activities you’ve always wanted to try—perhaps baking, knitting, or painting. Trying new things can also include venturing out to the city and eating at new restaurants or going to a new cafe every weekend near campus. While New Year’s resolutions should be personalized to your lifestyle, it’s safe to say that we would all be better at keeping them if we made more specific and realistic goals.