18 Resolutions For 2018 That Are Easier To Keep Than Losing Weight

18 Resolutions For 2018 That Are Easier To Keep Than Losing Weight

It's okay to choose health, but don't forget these other ways to improve yourself this year.
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2018 is here! Often, this transition into the new year is coupled with countless resolutions, made in hopes of improving yourself from the previous year. Losing weight and getting fit is often among the most popular new year's resolutions. If you're looking for something different this year, listed below are 18 ideas to improve yourself in 2018 that aren't related to joining a gym.

1. Read every day.

Whether it's in the morning while you're eating breakfast or a short 20 minutes before you go to sleep, reading every day is a way to give your brain a good workout.

2. Pray more.

Pray often and strengthen your relationship with God. If you're not religious, meditation is a good alternative for relieving stress levels and increasing peace of mind.

3. Drink more water.

Drinking the recommended amount of water daily is honestly an accomplishment for me if it happens. To help with this, keep a full water bottle with you at all times.

4. Have a regular sleep schedule.

A consistent sleep schedule has a variety of benefits for your body's health such as improved mental health and better sleep quality. If you're looking to regulate your schedule, try waking up earlier. Early risers are shown to have more consistent sleep schedules compared to those who wake up later in the day.

5. Keep a daily gratitude journal.

Before going to bed each night, write one thing you were thankful for throughout the day. You're going to sleep with a happy and grateful mind.

6. Volunteer.

Ideally, take a few hours out of your day once a week to volunteer. Nursing homes, hospitals, or even libraries are often looking for volunteers.

7. Start saving money.

Decreasing money spent on material goods - clothes, shoes, makeup, etc. - and making coffee at home are two great ways to start saving money in the new year.

8. Spend less time on social media.

Various studies exist pairing social media with mental health issues in teens and young adults. Decreasing the time spent on social media can improve your mental state, and may lead to increased productivity as well.

9. Keep a food journal.

Keeping a food journal does not necessarily need to equate to counting calories or tracking macro-nutrients. Being conscientious of the food you're eating will most likely help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

10. Get organized.

Clutter and disarray has a surprisingly large effect on mental state. Cleaning and organizing can help increase productivity, lighten your mood, and increase sleep quality. It may seem like a burden to do, but the payoff will be well worth it.

11. Be vulnerable.

This one might be cliche, but don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Be completely open and honest with your feelings towards people. Be more appreciative of the little things in life. Always look for reasons to be happy.

12. Learn to cook.

Learning to cook can help you become healthier and also help you save money. Stop spending money on fast-food restaurants and instead search for recipes online.

13. Be more present.

Turn off your cell phone, put your worries aside, and really be present in conversations. Give your full attention to people whenever you're interacting with them. It will make a world of a difference in your relationships.

14. Be an active news reader.

Sometimes, it's difficult to keep up-to-date on the news between classes, work, and our other social activities. Reading the news keeps us informed and active citizens. Download a news app, watch a video, or read the newspaper; just stay connected.

15. Make breakfast a priority.

A cold piece of leftover pizza does not count as breakfast. A nutritious breakfast such as eggs, oatmeal, or a fruit smoothie will provide a much better start to your day.

16. Reduce your carbon footprint.

Recognize your personal contribution to climate change. Try walking or biking to work instead of driving, or take public transportation instead of your own vehicle. Buying locally-grown food or reducing your dairy/meat intake could also help reduce CO2 emissions.

17. Take care of your teeth.

Dental hygiene is so incredibly important and is often overlooked. Be sure to take care of your teeth, not just by brushing and flossing daily, but don't forget to make appointments for regular cleanings.

18. Smile more.

Research suggests that smiling can transform your life. It not only is proven to lift our mood, but it can make us appear more attractive to others and brighten the mood of those around us as well. If you're looking for a simple, yet effective, new year's resolution to improve your life, smile.

Cover Image Credit: Catherine Zhang

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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E3 2018 Is one of the best e3 events ever

Nearly everyone was a winner this year

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E3 2018 is one of the best E3's we've seen in a while. Most of the conferences that each company held were promising, if not sensational. Other than Electronic Arts, there wasn't really a disappointment in the event this year.

EA's conference was the letdown of the entire event. The biggest problem with EA was that they barely showed any footage of their games. Yes, we got the yearly announcements of their sports titles but those games hardly change every year and they practically play the same every year. They're not worth getting very excited over. Instead of showing off their new games, they dedicated 15 minutes to the mobile game of Command and Conqueror Rivals, something nobody wants. Battlefield V actually got booed when they showcased their attempt to copy Fortnite and PUBG with their battle royale mode. They flopped in comparison to the other conferences.

I was very impressed with Sony and Microsoft's press conferences. Sony showcased excellence with their lineup of games in The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding and Spider-Man. Their console exclusives are strong, but somewhat predictable. The only surprise here was the Resident Evil 2 remake that looks phenomenal. That's not a bad thing, but we got what we expected from Sony. Kingdom Hearts III looks fun and PlayStation will continue to excel in the console market. Microsoft's presentation was also a big success. Unlike their disastrous conference when they first showed off the Xbox One, they actually showed off their new games this year and they look good. Halo Infinite is visually a return to it's original state. Microsoft's other big hitters with Forza and Gears of War were also announced. The best thing about Microsoft's press conference was their plans for the future. With a new console in the works, and multiple brands being acquired for new titles, Microsoft's future in gaming looks bright.

Nintendo gave us what we all expected. It was nearly entirely about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate which is bound to be an instant hit. Super Mario Party finally looks like Mario Party again and their conference was just fun. The Nintendo Switch has been a hit and this year shows us it will continue to deliver fun games.

The real winner of E3 here was Bethesda. They delivered announcements for highly-anticipated titles such as Fallout 76, but they also showed us a new Wolfenstein and Doom title. Both franchises have been extremely successful and their sequels will be highly sought out. Along with announcing an entirely new sci-fi open world property with Starfield, they announced a new Elder Scrolls, something we've been waiting for since 2012. Bethesda has a lot of exciting and good properties waiting and I can't wait to get my hands on them.

Ubisoft was basically what we expected. Assassin's Creed Odyssey will carry the company and will do well because of the standard the franchise has set. Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks great but there's no release date so we may have to wait a considerable amount of time for that. I'm not really sure why Square Enix even had a conference due to them re-showing most of what the Xbox conference had already showed. However, it was short and only available online so it's not too much of a complaint.

E3 was definitley a success this year and gaming hasn't looked this exciting in a long time. It would be a dream come true to see all these companies have success, but there will ultimately be some flops and disappointments as there are every year. For now, it looks like most of these studios have learned from their mistakes and are going the right direction, which is great for everyone involved.

Cover Image Credit:

Sergey Galyonkin

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