Resolving to Succeed: New Year’s Goals and The New Semester

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Everyone does it. January 1st rolls around and you find yourself promising that this will be the year that you change. This will be the year that you eat right, exercise more and have a perfect GPA. You promise to go out with the old, and in with the new, and to be the best possible version of yourself. While all these resolutions sound great in theory, it is nearly impossible to change yourself overnight. Instead of being discouraged by failing to meet your New Year’s goals and resolutions, try following these steps for success to begin to make positive changes.


  1. Accept the fact that change takes time: Whether you want to make small or big changes, instead of setting one far off goal, set smaller more frequent goals for yourself to help you achieve success. For example, if you want to eat better and exercise this year, try starting out by adding a piece of fruit or an extra serving of vegetables into your diet each day or schedule a short chunk of time devoted to working out. These small changes will be begin to make a difference and once you feel better, move on to bigger goals like running a mile a day.
  2. Utilize the Add/Drop period: With Syllabus week almost complete, you may not be as excited about all the classes you signed up for before break. Now is the time to change! Chances are that if you are interested in what you’re studying, you will do better. Take chances and take a class that sounds interesting to you, even if it doesn’t necessarily follow your chosen major.
  3. Get Organized: Everyone always wants to do better in school. Often at the beginning of the year, we resolve to have a perfect semester. Desks are filled with binders, color coded folders and notes and piles of readings. While this is a good way of getting organized, it's often hard to maintain for an entire semester. Set a time aside, a half hour to an hour per week, to get yourself reorganized. Those papers that you threw in the bag at the end of class or the readings that you no longer need will continue to pile up. By ridding yourself of that extra clutter, you will feel more in control and will be better set up for academic success.


By setting small term goals to achieve your long-term goals, you will feel more accomplished by hitting those milestones. This will lead you closer to achieving long-term success. Things can seem to become overwhelming quickly, so stay organized and use on campus resources like academic advisors to help keep you on track. Start small but by thinking big, you are sure to have a fantastic semester.

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About The Author

Elizabeth is a Senior at The University of Michigan and the Managing Editor of HC UMich. She is majoring in Communications, Screen Arts and Cultures and minoring in Writing. When she's not writing for HC, she works for the Big Ten Network Student U.