As I approach my entry into full-fledged adulthood, I am starting to become more aware of certain positive behaviors that I should integrate into my daily life. I have also taken stock of those that might benefit me most to let go of.
As young adults, I believe that all of us should consider the time that we have in college as a gift to learn not only intellectually, but also spiritually and emotionally. During the period, we can take the steps that we need to heal from our past, explore our present opportunities to try new things and develop patterns of effective behavior that will lead us to greater happiness.
Here are the seven healthy habits that I will be creating or working on before New Year's and I challenge you to create a list of your own.
1. Drink more water.
It is an incredibly basic habit that has enormous benefits. It is especially important for those of us who love coffee, a major dehydrator. Unless you are hitting the gym hard, you don’t need to drink an entire gallon.
2. Make wise money choices.
I spent entirely too much money on UberEats in the fall semester. I know that college students are notorious for spending a large amount of their money on food and while it is important to eat well, if you have a meal plan, the food options on campus are plentiful.
3. Practice better skincare.
Gone are the days that I rely solely on makeup removing wipes as a skincare regime. Having a skincare routine that works for your own skin type and needs is, in my opinion, a must before entering into your 20's.
4. Have a central place for goalkeeping and scheduling.
Organization is key for meeting deadlines, establishing plans and keeping track of goals met or set. I think that having a planner where each daily list is kept is a great way to be mindful of progress and areas in need of improvement. It is also a great way to hold yourself personally accountable for tasks and envisioning your future.
5. Do the difficult.
I know it isn’t always easy to talk to strangers, to spend an extra hour or two studying, or to try something that you have no experience in doing. However, it is true that we grow most through discomfort and by exposing ourselves with an open mind to new people, places and ideas. That is why I will be trying a new club or two in the spring and taking a trip through Campus Ministry to do good with a group of people that I don’t know. There are opportunities all around us to grow, and we just have to face the fear that might hold us back otherwise.
6. Speak up about things that bother you.
Don’t be anyone’s doormat. Speak up when someone acts or says something that is disrespectful to you or others. Speak up when someone is passing judgement, manipulating others or has not done their part in a group project. Ultimately, you need to be an advocate for yourself in the world because you cannot rely on anyone else to be that for you. Speaking up in a kind and firm way is the only way.
7. Use what you have.
In a consumerist society, it is easy to become caught up in the cycle of mindless buying. However, if we ask ourselves if we really need or could use a lot of the items that we may be inclined to buy, we may find ourselves realizing that it is a waste of money. I am not saying to not purchase the candles that help you relax or the sweater that you have wanted for months, but it is about balance.