It’s two weeks into the New Year and you’re already aggressively reminding yourself to stick to that New Year’s resolution. (Even though weeks from now you already know you’ll be choosing the couch over the gym, no questions asked.) Instead of one big, burdensome resolution you know is nearly impossible to keep — like cutting the F-word from your vocabulary — try working on some of these smaller habits in the upcoming year.
1. These Legs Were Made for Walking
The most cliché New Year’s resolution is probably to exercise more. More often than not, we find ourselves giving up halfway into January because the couch seems much more inviting than a sweaty, high-strung college gym. Maybe you can’t commit to an hour gym session four days a week. Luckily for you there are many exercise apps on smartphones that can be downloaded in seconds such as Fitocracy and 7 Minute Workout. Most of the exercises can be done in the space of your room and with limited equipment.
2. Farewell To My Cell Phone
Not many people can go without their phone for a day. We’re constantly glancing at our screens — in the car, on the bus, walking down the stairs (dangerous), crossing the street (super dangerous), on the toilet (we have all been there). By no means am I asking you to go on a cell phone strike, but maybe you can challenge yourself and devote your full attention to a conversation. Set your phone down; speak to people in front of you. I promise the world can be a friendlier place than Twitter.
3. Get off Your Ass
“New year, new me.” This phrase has been thrown around so much it’s annoying to hear and meaningless to say. However, there is a new semester starting back up. With that brings the opportunity for new and exciting activities that may be foreign to you. Don’t just make your way to class and then go straight home to cuddle up to Netflix and that leftover Chinese takeout. Use your free time to pursue interests you’ve always wanted to take up: a salsa dancing club, conversations with an international student, that intramural sport you say you’ll join next year as each past semester ends. Pause that Netflix, and get out there.
4. Skip the Speed Dial Takeout
Are you really a college student if you don’t have your favorite nearby takeout restaurant on speed dial? I would say, most likely not. As tempting as it is to have a Jimmy John’s driver deliver your favorite sandwich to you as fast as you can say, “I should learn how to cook,” skip the takeout for once. Not only will you be saving money, you’ll be able to eat healthier by dining in and cooking up your own creations. Budgetbytes.com is an awesome website for college students especially. The recipes are packed with flavor, have a limited ingredient lists, and are therefore easy on the wallet.
5. Roll With It
Sure parents have always said “think before you act,” but I challenge you not to overthink too much. I’m invited to two different parties on Friday night but which one do I go to? Don’t take all evening to decide and then spend all night regretting the party you didn’t go to. Dwelling on things for too long can be stressful. Take after sophomore Chavis Cook’s resolution, “Don’t care about the little things. Just roll with the punches and see where they take me. Take more chances.”
6. About a Week Ago
If you are thinking about doing something, do it now. Not later. Chances are it should have been done a week ago anyway. Try to not postpone things until you are knee-deep in assignments, papers or dirty laundry. I’ve always made sure to study for tests a week before test day. That way each day I reabsorb the material and am all set for the exam.
7. Leave Your Complaints at The Door
Maybe you have that friend that instantly comes to mind when you think of someone who always complains. Maybe that person is you and you don’t even realize it. “It’s so humid out,” “My food is too hot,” “I hate this class.” Before opening your mouth, think about what you are going to say. Try to cut down on being a Debbie Downer. It’s much better to fill that open air with positive words and comments than bringing down everyone around you like Scrooge on Christmas.
8. Break the Ice
Shout out to the wallflowers. You’d rather stare at the wall in front of you or the shoes on your feet than talk to any of your classmates. This year, break out from that rut and say hello to the person you’ll be sitting beside for the next 18 weeks. By starting a conversation and clicking with your new lab partner, you’ll immediately get a confidence boost. Now it’ll be that much easier to talk to new people in your other classes. You never know what could result from it: a new study partner, bestie, or maybe even something more than friends.
9. Small Steps, Big Outcome
No matter what you are working toward in college, each day you can accomplish something. Try to challenge yourself each day with something that will prosper toward your major or future career. If you want to become a nurse, volunteer at your local hospital, or something small like reading up on certain procedures like CPR. “My resolution is to get to a point in my life where I’m proud to be,” said sophomore Mariah Martin. “I am working towards being financially stable with no parental help and having a career lined up. Aside from those serious notes, I want to be happy doing things I love.” Take the small steps everyday and you’ll end up where you want to be.
10. Pace Yo’self
For you partiers out there, take it easy. Partying in college is like nothing else. Some nights are only remembered by the few blurry pictures you took, and the next morning your head reminds you how much fun you had. Maybe even the next afternoon. Or even the next evening. Treat your body kindly by not overdrinking, no matter how tempting it is to sample the bar. Sophomore Collin Sullivan has promised to himself to “not spend an excessive amount of money at the bar.” Save yourself (and your wallet) from suffering the next morning.