The New Year promises a fresh beginning. You get to start off with a clean slate and leave last year’s worries behind. As we kick off a new semester, we all want to improve in some way and make this year better than the last.
Sometimes we have every intention of keeping our resolutions, but then they seem to fall by the wayside come February. We have all been there. As you reflect on the ups and downs of 2021, take a look at what changes you want to see this year and how you can make them stick in the long run.
What makes a good resolution?
Keep your list of resolutions short. In fact, pick one area that you really want to zero in on. A good resolution is specific, achievable, and personally meaningful to you. It will require some effort on your part, but taking small steps in the right direction will make a long-lasting impact rather than trying to drastically change your lifestyle all at once.
Instead of making a vague resolution like “be more organized” or “get healthy,” be clear on your goals. Break the steps down into small, doable actions that you can work into your daily life. Don’t let the rest of your to-do list distract you (although it can be tempting) from making progress in that area.
How can I get more organized?
Maybe you tend to lose things easily because your backpack or workspace becomes a bottomless pit of loose papers, folders, gum wrappers, and other treasures. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the mess.
One easy habit to start today is to grab a trash bag and your phone, and when you’re ready, set a timer (shoot for between 10 and 20 minutes). Dedicate that time on the clock to sorting between items to keep/put away and things that go in the trash/recycling. By committing that time to organizing your things each day, the task will feel less daunting and it will eventually become second nature.
How can I become more active?
Exercise is good for the brain- it has been scientifically proven to raise cognitive ability. Not only that, but it can lower your stress, improve your mood, and it actually gives you more energy!
Start by scheduling an enjoyable activity like going for a 10-minute walk in the fresh air or joining a group exercise class at your local gym or community center. Exercising with a group gives you the added benefit of being held accountable for your health goals.
What if I fall off track?
Be kind to yourself. How would you treat a friend who slipped up? Most likely, you would be understanding and encourage them to get back on course. Be that person for yourself. Pay attention to your inner voice, and stop those negative thoughts in their tracks. We all have off-days, but the key is to pick back up and make more progress than you did yesterday.
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