The danger of New Year’s Resolutions for students is that they become something like homework. And while students are actually very good at doing homework, the concern here is that it’s the student determining the assignment.
So instead of making vague and forgettable resolutions this New Year, try out these more inspiring, wholehearted alternatives below. After all, the last thing you want to do is have to give yourself a failing grade next December.
Avoid: “I will earn X GPA.”
The problem with this one is that it is more a wish than anything else. Begin revising this goal by thinking about what’s stopping you from earning the grades you want and then think of solutions to aim for.
A better resolution: “I will make a study schedule each month.”
Avoid: “I will spend more time with family/friends.”
This resolution is especially common among busy students. The issue with it, though, is that it doesn’t define “time.” Students don’t have the ability to simply add an hour to their day, so achieving this goal requires subtracting something else to get that time.
A better resolution: “I will limit my time spent on social media.”
Avoid: “I will lose this many pounds.”
Setting a weight loss goal ignores the consistency needed to actually shed those pounds. Rather than setting this goal, make a goal that is based off habitual action that makes a change to diet and exercise, the only ways to get healthier in the long run.
A better resolution: “I will assemble a healthy recipe book and walk to class instead of taking the bus.”
Avoid: “I will quit [insert vice here]”
This goal is the hardest to achieve. One, it tries to tackle the hardest thing to put down in your life with one statement, and two, it puts off the stopping of a given vice to January 1st – already a procrastination. Tell yourself you’ll start doing something that is counterintuitive to the vice you’re trying to quit, whether it’s smoking, eating poorly, or watching too much TV.
A better resolution: “I will start: jogging daily, planning for my future monthly, or reading 15 minutes a day.”
Avoid: “I will save more money”
This resolution usually tries to persuade the resolver to hold off on impulse buys throughout the year. But as a student with a set routine, it’s much easier to save money by changing smaller things that will add up to big savings by the end of the year.
A better resolution: “I will pack my lunch at least 4 days a week and brew my own coffee.”
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