Making and keeping New Year’s resolutions isn’t easy. Coming back to school isn’t easy. Making and keeping new school-year resolutions definitely isn’t easy. Though not easy, it can be possible if you follow a few simple tips.
1. Start small. Instead of making it your goal to wake up and go to the gym every morning, commit to going to at least two group exercise classes like Zumba or yoga every week. It’s important to know your limits and to not try and make drastic changes too quickly.
2. Be specific. Outline your resolution and all it includes. If your resolution revolves around a fitness plan, be specific about what all you want to accomplish every week. Set mini goals within your larger goal. By giving yourself a clear idea of what your goals are, you’re more likely to know how to stick to and achieve them.
3. Change one behavior at a time. Instead of making a variety of goals that require time and effort, focus on one at a time. Kick off the semester with focusing on your study skills and school-related goals in order to ensure you start the semester off right. Then, move to working on a goal that deals with physical and financial wellness. Once you’ve accomplished this, prioritize what other goals you’d like to achieve. By taking things one goal at a time, you’re able to dedicate yourself more to it and see it through instead of getting overwhelmed by how many different things you want to accomplish.
4. Plan ahead of time. Make a game plan to help you accomplish and maintain your resolution. If your resolution is to apply for more scholarships for next year, plan ahead by researching scholarships and picking an application or two to complete each week. By planning ahead, you better set yourself up to follow through.
5. Seek out and accept help. If your resolution is to get a 4.0 GPA this semester, you’re likely going to need help. Don’t wait to find the appropriate academic resources, like tutoring and advising. The sooner you take advantage of the resources available to you, the more likely you are to have a strong beginning to your journey to achieving your goal.
6. Use your support systems. Let your friends, roommate, family and any other appropriate party know you’re dedicated to this specific resolution. Tell your roommate you want to cut down on money spent eating out so they can help you stay on track and encourage you. Go to office hours to let your professors know you’re working toward an A in their class and establish a relationship with them so you will be more comfortable asking for help.
7. Track your progress. Making note of how you’re doing can go a long way in motivating and keeping yourself on track. If your resolution is to spend more time reading, keep track of the books you’ve read and even make a note of which ones were your favorite. This helps you maintain your resolution instead of having a one hit wonder for the year.
8. Remember it’s ok to mess up. There will be obstacles in your way, and it’s all right to stumble on your journey. The important thing is to pick yourself back up and keep working toward your resolution. If you get a low grade on a test, don’t give up on your resolution. See if there’s anything you can do to raise your grade and then learn from the situation.
9. Keep constant reminders to help you maintain the progress you’ve made. If your resolution is to attain a certain GPA this semester, don’t break good study habits next semester. Keep reminders to ensure you maintain the habits you use to reach your resolution this semester.
10. Celebrate your successes. Focusing on the positives of what you’ve accomplished can help motivate you with further resolutions and keeps up your own morale. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself or give yourself a day off. You deserve it!
Features reporter Julie Sisler can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Julie on social media at @julie_sisler.