Most New Year’s resolutions don’t seem to last long. After all, as busy school schedules—filled with coursework, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs—get underway, students may have difficulty fulfilling their plans for extra sleep, better eating and more exercise.
But here are 10 New Year’s resolutions you can realistically keep in the upcoming year.
1. I Will Get One Extra Hour of Sleep Each Night
Getting a full eight hours of sleep as a student can be tricky. But consider making a bit more time for sleep. With just an extra hour of sleep in your schedule, you can ensure that you won’t miss that first class because you didn’t hear your alarm go off.
2. I Will Watch No More Than One Episode of Netflix a Day
No one can work for 24 hours a day, and it’s important to make time to unwind. That said, watching Netflix can really put a damper in your study plans. Instead of binging multiple episodes in a row, make time to watch just one episode a day. And as an added benefit, you get to enjoy your favorite shows for a few weeks, instead of just one weekend.
3. I Will Drink One Less Cup of Coffee Each Day
There’s nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee in the morning, but if you’re drinking five cups of coffee to get yourself through the day, you might want to consider scaling back your caffeine intake. Drinking less caffeine will help you sleep better—and if you’re stopping to purchase a $5 coffee drink at a cafe each morning, cutting back on caffeine could also be a big money saver.
4. I Will Finish All My Papers at Least One Day in Advance
This may seem like an unrealistic goal, but many of students’ worse habits come from stress caused by saving work until the very last minute. Instead of waiting until the night before to bang out that 6-page paper, get started on it a week in advance. At the very least, aim to complete the paper a day before it is due. Then, rather than scrambling the night before, all you’ll have to do are some quick revisions.
5. I Will Eat at Least One Serving of Fruit or Vegetables at Every Meal
Students are notorious for living on ramen noodles and delivery pizza, but that doesn’t mean your entire diet has to consist of junk food. You’ll feel much healthier—and more energized throughout the day—if you swap your garlic bread for green beans or trade in your donut for an apple with peanut butter.
6. I Will Use Technology for One Hour Less Each Day
Students constantly find themselves thrown off track due to their smartphones. And laptops and tablets are equally distracting. Technology is an inevitable part of daily life—and it can be a useful tool for students in the classroom. But browsing through social media or watching cat videos on YouTube is a time suck. Try to cut out some of your technology usage every day, even if that just means walking to class without staring at your smartphone.
7. I Will Miss Less Than Two Classes Per Semester
Unless you have a legitimate excuse—illness, family emergency, etc.—there’s no excuse for missing classes. Some students only seem to show up for class on the day of exams, but this is a formula for disaster. Try to make it to nearly all of your professors’ lectures, even if the class is scheduled at the crack of dawn.
8. I Will Try One New Thing
Trying something new can be intimidating, and it’s easy to get in a rut as a student. One attainable goal for the new year? Branch out a little. Try out for a play, pick up club softball or take a painting class as an elective. There’s no harm in expanding your horizons.
9. I Will Make Time for at Least a Grab and Go Breakfast Each Morning
You know what they say: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While it can be difficult to find time to sit down for a full spread in the morning, make time to at least grab a granola bar and a banana before you head out the door. Eating breakfast will keep you focused throughout your morning classes, instead of worrying about your next meal.
10. I Will Make 30 Minutes for Physical Activity Each Day
Getting exercise is so important—it increases blood flow to the brain and productivity, while helping you feel less groggy throughout the day. While it can be difficult to schedule long gym sessions as schoolwork piles up, make time to at least take a long walk every day—your body will thank you.
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