As the holiday season cheer begins to skid to a stop, with January looming in the foreseeable future, bringing school, work, and deadlines, it's easy to overcompensate on resolutions. Once you realize that the calories you consumed over the holidays actually do count, and you can't live on peppermint mochas alone, there becomes a sudden push to spring into action and set crazy New Years' resolutions that make you feel like you have your life together -- but are you actually going to accomplish them? In lieu of the classic overachiever goals (yeah, like I'm actually going to work out every day), I compiled a list of resolutions that I actually might come close to doing.
1. Set up a Google calendar, and actually use it.
I have a beautifully color-coded Google calendar, with all my classes, meetings, and social events nicely scheduled. The only problem is, I rarely actually look at it, claiming I can just remember everything I have to do. Yeah, that's not always successful.
2. Make to-do lists, and actually use them.
Ditto. The amount of to-do lists scribbled on Post-its or index cards littered around my desk creates a facade of productivity, but unfortunately, no one's buying it.
3. Read something at least once a week that's not for school.
I love reading, and have to read countless articles, textbooks, and novels for my major. As informational as this is, it helps to step away from the academic, and read something for pleasure, whether it's a New York Times article, Vanity Fair piece, or a fiction novel.
4. Search for an internship that you'll love.
As spring and inevitably summer creeps nearer, talk will be dominated with discussions of what fancy internships people are being offered. Shoot for greatness; find something prestigious or elite if you want, but also remember what motivates you. If you'd rather work for a non-profit than in a corporate office, do that. You'll be much happier, and still glean invaluable experience.
5. Don't let numbers define you.
It's cliche, but it's repeated for a reason: Whether it's your GPA, your university ranking, or how many nights a week you go out, we're obsessed with how we measure up to other people. But a GPA can't capture the excitement of spending a weekend with friends; going out on a Friday night doesn't erase the hard work you put in during the week. Live your best life and remember it's the accumulation of everything you do, not one aspect in a vacuum, that defines you.
6. Don't be too political, but stick to your morals.
Don't alienate your friends because they disagree politically with you. Seriously, it's not worth it. But if you have fundamentally diametrically opposed values that cannot coexist, reevaluate the relationship. Most things aren't worth dissolving friendships over, but call out bigotry when you see it. Don't be a bystander.
7. Experience the morning, but let yourself relax.
I hate waking up early. I absolutely despise it. But good things can happen before 11 am, if you make the effort to drag yourself out of bed. Make yourself a latte and watch the sunrise. Crank out some tasks you've been putting off before lunch. Yet don't be afraid to take a day for just you, devoid of any responsibilities.
6. Remember why you do what you do.
School is hard. Doing laundry is hard. Maintaining friendships instead of hibernating is hard. But remember why you went to university, or chose your job. Remember how fulfilling it is to clean your room, even if only once in a while. Remember the memories you have with people, and how you obtain happiness from your hobbies. Go back to the roots of your day-to-day life, to remind yourself of why you do it.