As the new year approaches and takes root, we once again find ourselves scrambling for resolutions to implement that will revolutionize our lives. But it may be better to come up with resolutions that are certifiably doable, rather than going for the big ones that we think will change life as we know it.
If you’ve ever made New Year’s resolutions before then you know exactly what I mean. At the beginning of the year, we’re all excited about implementing changes in our lives, but as the year moves on those resolutions get lost along the way.
There are reasons why that happens.
Often, we’re not nearly as committed to our resolutions as we like to believe. Another possibility is that they’re not really as important as we think. After all, if they were, we wouldn’t need an event like New Year’s to make them happen. We would simply follow through with them out of necessity.
But a more likely reason is that we’re setting the bar too high. We’re conjuring up resolutions that are out of reach, at least practically speaking. That’s why it is so important to establish resolutions that are doable. It’s better to implement a few small changes, then to create big plans that never become reality.
Focus Your Resolutions on School
Since school is your primary occupation at the moment, it should also be the focus of your resolutions. Establish a few that will improve your school performance, make your life easier, and increase the chances that you will complete your degree within four years.
This can mean implementing resolutions that will enable you to spend more time studying, be more thorough about getting your assignments completed on time, or even mastering the courses that you are having the most difficulty with. It may also be the time to hone in on your ultimate major, if you haven’t already decided on that.
Any resolution that will enable you to get through school with greater speed and efficiency is a resolution worth adopting this point in your life. University is a time of divide and conquer, which is to say that you need to concentrate on what it is that’s closest at hand – your education – and let a few other things go.
Make Some Big picture Financial Decisions
From a financial standpoint, there’s not a whole up to you can do to improve your situation, at least in a radical sense. One thing you can do is to make decisions and adjustments in your finances that can make big, positive improvements later, through the application of relatively small changes.
For example, concentrate on ways to cut down on the amount of money that you need to borrow in the form of student loans. The less money that you need to borrow now, the less you will need to payoff when you finish school.
A reduction in borrowing by 10% now will mean that you will owe 10% less later. There are likely ways that you can make this happen that are specific to your own situation. It could mean working a little bit more in a part-time job – or even getting one at all. It could mean finding cheaper ways to buy textbooks and supplies, or to reduce the amount of money you spend on food and entertainment.
Sometimes the Best Resolutions Are the Small Ones
New Year’s resolutions tend to be on the heavy side. We see the new year as an opportunity to undergo some sort of major metamorphosis. But most often, that time will be a wasted effort. Keep your resolutions on the small side, and if you can accomplish those, you can set bigger goals later in the year.
For example, just by setting a resolution to get one extra hour of sleep each night, you could improve your energy level, your health, and your school performance substantially. This will make you more able to deal with whatever challenges you face. The change will be small – and fall easily into your routine – but it could enable you to make much bigger changes simply because you will have more energy and a clearer head.
You can also make a simple resolution to get more help in subject matter and in classes where you are struggling. Let’s say that you devote two hours per week to getting extra help for any course where you need it. That may involve increased group study time, getting a study partner, or visiting with your professor. That single small change may streamline your entire life by removing courses and subject matter that become obstacles.
Sometimes a single course can become so difficult that it becomes mentally, emotionally, and physically draining but the only way to get past it will be to adopt a strategy that enables you to overcome it, rather than allowing it to take over your life and spill into other areas where it doesn’t belong.
Why It May be Best to Lay Off the Typical “Get In Shape” Goals
One of the best examples of a major resolution that usually fails is the goal to get in shape. The reason why it fails is because it typically requires a lot more effort and commitment than most of us are willing to give. This is especially true if you are seriously out of shape. Since school is now your primary objective, taking on a major goal like getting in shape may not have even a remote possibility of ever happening.
Related: Saving Money At The Gym
Talk to anyone who has gone from being out of shape to being in shape, and you’ll find that it’s something approaching a total commitment. You have to change the way you eat, commit to rigorous exercise, and even change your schedule and routines. You may not be in a position to do that right now, and if not, it might be better to hold this resolution until you’re out of school.
The last thing that you need right now is a resolution that dooms you to fail. Concentrate on establishing smaller, more doable resolutions that have the potential to make positive changes in your life.