Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to get started. When it comes to setting goals, it can be pretty overwhelming to look at where you are and where you want to be. It is so much easier to give up when it seems like that distance is too long or too wide to conquer. I have found that compartmentalizing can be the greatest gift I give myself. That's why I'm starting a new series: 10 Little Things. Every important milestone, achievement, self-improvement, whatever you want to call it, has to begin somewhere.
This week? Becoming a Go-Getter. There's this weird tendency in young adult culture--particularly on college campuses--to assume that people who are super motivated and organized have always been that way. Sure, they may have been a good student or hard worker from a young age. But somewhere along they chose to stick with it. It is totally doable to become that way yourself--you just have to be committed to it. Here is a list of 10 Little Things to get you started.
1. Two words: Google. Calendar.
This is my personal lifesaver! I find a major part of my stress comes from last minute schedule changes or busy days that I don't see coming. A good way to avoid this is keeping a google calendar! By keeping a running copy of your entire schedule--as in classes, appointments, social commitments, family events, even planned studying,--not only can you see your week laid out ahead of time, but you can also schedule things so much easier!
2. Start your day thankful.
If you are currently in college right now, you are luckier than you realize. That's already a huge accomplishment! You have so much to be grateful for. Kick off your day on the right foot by thinking about at least three things you are lucky to have. Positivity does more than you can possibly imagine!
3. Make professional development a priority.
Your GPA might be important, but it won't get you anywhere without an effort to develop professional skills. Colleges offer SO MANY opportunities to network or meet with professionals in your intended field. Stay updated on what's happening and pick what sounds interesting. Carve out time in your schedule to attend! They're there to help you.
4. Moderation, moderation, moderation.
In everything. Set time limits on studying, on socializing, even on exercise: get your body and mind on a schedule. You don't have to deny yourself the fun stuff: but it should be more of a reward than anything.
5. LinkedIn? Yeah, that's necessary.
SO MANY of my friends have found internships or contacts through online networks! I'm not saying there aren't other ways to apply, but keeping an updated, clean online presence can be super beneficial. Employers love people that make an effort to brand themselves.
6. Stay informed!
Business major? Read the Wall Street Journal. Science? Read those research journals. Staying updated on current events--particularly in your field--is vital. This comes in handy in networking, in interviews, and even in discovering what you find truly interesting. Ignorance is not an option.
7. Sleep. For real.
I realize that getting your full eight hours in each night isn't always possible, but it doesn't hurt to try. Sleep should be a priority. It's when your body repairs itself for the night and your mind gets the break it so desperately needs. Being well-rested and alert will always serve you well.
8. Stay neat and tidy.
This is applicable in a few ways. First of all, a cluttered space is a cluttered mind. It doesn't have to be perfect, but try to keep your living space relatively tidy and you'll find it's much easier to get stuff done there. Second of all, maintaining a tidy appearance can do WONDERS for your sense of personal-togetherness. Plus, you never know when you'll meet a potential professional contact!
9. USE. YOUR. RESOURCES.
There are so many people on campus who want to help you! Guidance counselors, career centers, upperclassmen, peer advisors, major advisors...they're all there for you. Take advantage of it! They know their stuff, trust me.
10. Be honest with yourself.
You know if you're working to the best of your ability. Making excuses for yourself or justifying your shortcomings is never going to get you anywhere. Recognizing your mistakes is step one to rectifying them.