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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

The new year brings new beginnings. Whether you make a list of New Year’s resolutions that you end up breaking halfway through the year or commit yourself to achieving your goals, the new year is what you make it to be despite the circumstances that you encounter along the way. I don’t know about you, but 2023 was a stressful time for me. I was constantly exhausted, burned out, and unmotivated due to the long work hours I was putting in along with attending classes each week. This year, I hope to set time to work on every one of my goals both short-term and long-term. For the purpose of this article, I will be focusing primarily on my short-term goals, as they will be important as I work towards my long-term goals such as graduating in the Spring and getting into graduate school. 

1. develop better sleep patterns

As a night owl who struggles with taking breaks, I am often awake until the unholy hours of the morning completing readings and assignments, as well as studying for exams. Because of these habits, I have often arrived at school or work the next day sleep-deprived and find myself struggling to focus on completing assignments for my classes later on. This year I hope to break this continuous loop by setting a time where I will stop working on assignments no matter where I am at and instead use that time to read and engage in some needed self-care before going to sleep. With this plan in mind, I aim to start getting between seven and eight hours of sleep per night so I can be rested for the next day.

2. exercise more

As recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), adults should get up to 150 minutes of exercise and two days of “muscle strengthening” exercise per week. As someone who tends to prioritize academics before physical activity, I often spend hours sitting at my desk working on assignments without any breaks or time for exercise. This year, I hope to meet the recommended amount of exercise by setting a time where I will spend at least 30 minutes walking, running, or a combination of both five days per week. 

3. drink more water

As someone who is prone to dehydration because of not meeting the daily fluid intake of 11.5 cups per day, I plan to work towards meeting this intake by starting with drinking 4 cups of fluid, then working towards drinking 8 cups of fluid per day, and then slowly working towards meeting the daily fluid intake. Working towards drinking the daily fluid intake will be challenging but also rewarding at the same time. To meet this goal, I plan on limiting my intake of drinks such as soda and coffee, and instead drinking more beverages such as water, juice, and tea. 

4. establish better eating patterns

Giving yourself enough time to eat breakfast in the morning, eating three meals a day, and balancing your meals with different food groups such as fruits and vegetables can be difficult to accomplish when you don’t give yourself enough time to eat before your classes and when your classes are over an hour long. Throughout the past few years, I have struggled with getting up early enough to make myself breakfast in the morning. Because of this habit, I have often found myself grabbing a Cliff Bar or anything I can eat quickly on the way to my first class. 

This year, I hope to develop more balanced eating patterns by giving myself at least two hours before my first class to make myself something to eat. Another habit I hope to incorporate into my eating patterns this year is to add more fruits and vegetables into my diet. Specifically, I plan to start small by having snacks such as carrots or celery with hummus or ranch, and fruit such as apple slices and strawberries.

5. Put myself out there

Finding time to attend both school and community events can be difficult if you spend most of your time studying and working part-time. This year, I hope to find more time in my schedule to attend more campus activities and community events.

Is there anything that you want to achieve this year? If yes, is it a skill or hobby you want to pick up? Or is there a club you have been wanting to join? If so, go for it! Life is too short to wait for life opportunities to present themselves. You got this!

Hi there! I am third-year student at CWU majoring in psychology with a minor in theatre arts. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, reading, singing, and exercising.