Hopefully by now you all have partied and rested well during the transition from 2016 to 2017! If 2016 did not treat you well, congratulations, the suffering is now officially over. But consider 2017 a new page of life and you don’t want it to be a "2016 part two,” I suggest some reflections and action sketches. Below are the 6 areas that I’m sure can make this new year a fantastic one if managed correctly and effectively:
I used to spend almost all night doing homework, watching television series, chatting with friends, reading romantic novels, or simply playing with my phone because I did not want to go to bed. Sleep seemed futile since I always felt tired after I woke up. I could not concentrate in class and was not in the best shape when hanging out with friends (which made things less fun).
Later, I learned that staying up late messed up my sleep effectiveness, and of course, my daily productivity. So now I’m trying to replace my habit of staying up late with waking up early, and I feel much better. I’m more prepared for the day, I can manage time more wisely, and I can contribute more to every activity in terms of concentration and creativity. Therefore, my advice for everyone, especially college students, is not to stay up later than midnight too usually, because that can be very damaging to your health. Also, regular exercising and eating healthily are very important if you want to stay fit.
By workload I mean everything you do apart from sleeping: academics, social life, and work. Know what is coming up next so you can plan accordingly. Mark ahead important dates on your calendar. This can help you avoid moments like “I’m so bored, I don’t know what to do” and later “Oh crap! What have I been doing? There’s no way I can make this deadline!” Painful realizations, you probably don’t want those. And don’t overload yourself with any type of work, you will go insane. One fully cooked dish is always better than ten semi-raw dishes, because you won’t get stomachache while trying to resolve your appetite.
When you know your workload and have your goals set, scheduling kicks in. Set time frames so you don’t procrastinate. If you have short attention span like me, go for a little every day rather than a lot at once. But if you are the type of person that want to get things done right after starting, then go for big lots in your schedule. Either way that goes along with your style.
I don’t know about you but for me, setting target is way easier than working towards it. My mood fluctuates quite a lot, dragging along my thinking and kicking me off the right track. My solution for this is to create reminders and make them my room decorations, so I can be constantly aware of what I’m doing. Or it can be my phone wallpaper. Or I’ll just tell a friend and he or she will be my live reminder (this can bring annoyance sometimes so be careful!).
Money, money, money. Without money there is nothing: no going out, no clothes, no groceries. During break time, I calculated how much I spent in 2016 (which totally blew my mind…) so I have an idea of 2017’s spending. It’s very tempting to ignore the numbers on your receipts , but that’s not the right way. Settle with a fixed (I repeat, fixed!) limit of how much you can spend daily/weekly/monthly.
Do not overspend. If you do, take away the same amount from the next time period limit. And don’t use up all the money you earn, save up for special occasions or abrupt incidents, or retirement. You might not see the pros of saving right now but that doesn’t mean it is not rewarding. Saving brings about long term effect, the more mature you are, the better you can tell.
Family, friends, lover, acquaintances all fall under this category. But in this specific post, I want to talk about worthy and healthy relationships. Hanging around fun people is fun (duh!) but if all they do with you is partying and going out, I don’t think they’re good matches for you. I’m not saying you should not hang out with them, but surround yourself with at least one person who keeps you on track, motivates and helps you through hard times.
That can be your family member, your professor, your friend, your date, etc. The more helpful and inspirational friends you have, the steadier and faster you’re moving towards your targets. Of course, know some fun people too so your life won’t get darkened by the dull color of boredom.
So far those 6 areas above are what matter to me. I didn’t go very detailed in each because I’m also trying this for the first time. Also, I believe things work out for individuals vary widely. 2016 was not a very great year, and I don’t want to say the same to 2017 by the end of the coming December. How about you? Tell me what you think so we can progress together!