New Year’s Resolutions: you know all about those words that you scrawl on scrap pieces of paper on the last day of the year, but forget all about by January 3rd. You’ve seen Instagram posts featuring the popular tag #NewYearNewMe, when really the grinning person in the picture doesn’t change a bit. This 2018, make yourself the promise to form a solid list of resolutions and stick to them. A year from now, you will be glad you started today.
#1: Be More Successful in School
While it sounds great to get organized and raise your grades, when it comes time to put in the work students often shy away from responsibilities. THIS YEAR, take some simple strides to achieve a better semester. The first step to success? Get organized! Treat yourself to a shiny new planner with 2018 engraved onto the cover, and commit to recording every task and upcoming test the day assigned. If writing by hand isn’t your thing, try downloading a planning app to keep track of your assignments, or link your phone calendar to google classroom to automatically upload anything your teacher inputs into the program. Buy a desk calendar for your bedroom to keep school activities, social dates, and sports events in order. As far as classes go, show up, be punctual, and try. The worst thing that you can do for yourself is skip class in order to try to make up work for another class. You will fall even farther behind and find yourself regretting your decision. THIS YEAR, focus on coming to class every day with an open mind. Try to learn one new thing each day, and write it down in a journal at home. You’ll be surprised at what sticks with you!
#2: Stress Less
Going into the second half of the school year, the workload can be overwhelming. THIS YEAR, resolve to make a few simple adjustments to your daily routine in order to relieve a bit of that anxiety. First and most importantly, make time to take care of yourself. Take a break from work, school, and other stress-causing factors, and treat yourself to something you enjoy. Pledge to go once a week to your favorite coffee shop, or take 15 minutes every night to unwind and listen to music. Another method to ease anxiety is list-making. If you have trouble falling asleep due to the tornado of thoughts swarming your head, create a list each night of everything you have to do the next day. You’ll sleep much easier knowing that everything is on paper. Lastly, the key to keeping anxiety at bay THIS YEAR is simply smiling more. It has been proven that activating the muscles used to smile will improve your mood!
#3: Manage Your Money
Did you trudge through 2017 scraping loose change out of your wallet, wondering what happened to that paycheck you earned last month? If so, make a resolution to keep your money in check throughout the new year. Commit yourself to a $1 bill challenge: each time you get cash back from a purchase, set a $1 bill (or if you’re ambitious, $5) aside in a special “savings” pouch or jar. This will add up fast, especially if you’re a seasoned spender!
#4: Make New Friends (And Keep the Old)
If you are an introvert or someone who likes to lounge inside your comfort zone, the idea of making new friends may seem nerve-racking or overwhelming. However, new people aren’t something to turn away from. Make a simple effort THIS YEAR to get to know the people you see around you every day– you might discover that your Spanish table partner is an aspiring artist like you, or that the girl you always see in the library is an all-star softball player. Part of the process of making new friends is being open minded; if you judge someone immediately by how they appear or what they say, you could be missing the opportunity to meet a new best friend. THIS YEAR, make it a resolution to talk to someone that you wouldn’t usually converse with. Even small gestures like asking the person ahead of you in the lunch line how they are doing can make someone’s day, and can be the beginning of a budding new friendship.
#5: Start or Finish a Project
Having a project with a goal is one of the keys to finding success in life. THIS YEAR, commit to finishing a project you have already started, or create a new one! Revolve your project around something you are passionate about. For example, if you are a potential author, dedicate yourself to finishing that novel you’ve been working on since the sixth grade. There are countless other project ideas unique to you, such as a 52 week photography challenge, crafting a new piece of furniture, or establishing a fundraising program for a charity you support. Projects are the perfect way for you to get yourself out into the world and make an impact on others.
Even if these specific categories don’t apply to you going into 2018, there are various other paths you can follow when molding your ideal year. These can be sports-related, such as winning a certain tournament; health-related, such as drinking more water; or quitting a bad habit such as nail-biting. Now is the perfect opportunity to make a change in your life, starting with 2018.