New Year: New Me?

When New Years Eve comes rolling around, we always see those stereotypical Instagram and Twitter posts proclaiming their dedication to a new attitude and lifestyle for the upcoming year. Usually, when some people see these posts they roll their eyes in amusement, thinking how illegimate these goals are. "Girl, you are not going to start studying more and start being nicer!" you exclaim to the small screen on your phone.

For me though, I support these statements of "New year; new me!" but only if you truly mean it. I know what it is like to make goals and totally back out on them, because no one is making you dedicate yourself to these goals; it is all on you. You might go to the gym and take a picture of you looking bold and fierce, post it on Instagram, with the caption: "Still back at it!" You might follow this new plan of working out a couple days into the new year and then shrug your shoulders and say, it's okay I will do it tomorrow, and then it turns into: "nevermind, I will do it next week." Then, it shifts to never doing it at all.

People sometimes make these posts to show to their followers and the world the accomplishments and good deeds they are going to do later, but the thing is you do not need to show anything to anyone. I am all about posting on Instagram, but remember that it is not for your "followers" to give you recognitions with likes and comments on your new routine; it is about you recognizing your potential, feeling better physically and mentally, and creating a happier you.

Now that the importance of following your goals has been established, know that your actions and mindset go a long way to help you improve and succeed. Okay, do not think I am an expert. To be honest, I have already fallen off my idealized track, but starting now (really though, no backing out) I am going to stay committed to my goals and I hope this will help you do the same. I realized the little things make for a better day, better week, better year and better happier life. I do not think it will; I know it will, because it is truly about the little accomplishments that encompass one huge success.

Here are some tips that help keep me working towards my goals, and why you should follow them:

1) Use a planner and constantly write lists. 

I am always one to buy a planner and then only write in it every other day or every other week, which really has no value. If you are the same, STOP. Writing lists is one thing I have stuck with from the beginning of this new year. I cannot express how helpful this really is. Do not think you will remember to finish that assignment, call that person, email your professor, and work out all at once. I am a victim to this mindset, because NO, YOU WILL NOT REMEMBER TO DO THAT AND THEN YOU WILL HATE YOURSELF FOR NOT WRITING IT DOWN. Moreover, finishing each task and being able to put a check mark next to each one feels somewhat glorfying. Before you go to bed, glance at all those checkmarks. That's all you. Do not tell me you were not productive, because as you can see the checkmarks say it all. Give yourself some appreciation before going to sleep.

2) Keep your room clean.

This tip may sound useless, but trust me, it matters. You probably know the feeling of walking in your bedroom and seeing an obstacle course laid out on the floor- this obstacle course being your clean clothes, your dirty clothes, your books, your notebooks, etc. The only place of refuge in your room is your bed, so you maneuver around and through the infinite piles and find refuge in your unmade bed. Your bed tranquilizes you to fall into a sweet, stressless nap. Then you wakeup dazed and confused. Once consciusness fully sets in, your disoriented eyes take in the mess around you. BOOM. You instantly remember the countless assignments and readings you have to do and now you are beyond stressed. The untidy room stresses you out more. If anything it taunts you, screaming "LOOK, THIS IS A REPRESENTATION OF YOUR LIFE." You do not have time to clean your room, because you have to study for that test tomorrow, but you can't study for that test without your Biology book. Where is your biology book? IT'S IN THE CHAOTIC MESS AROUND YOUR ROOM. Then you make an even bigger mess as you throw clothes around, and what, an unfinished granola bar? Your heart is racing, your legs hurt from squating through the mess, which reminds you how out of shape you are, your stomach grumbles reminding you still have to eat dinner, and then once you find the book, which is somehow in the closet, your head hurts from the knowledge it still needs to learn. Woah. How did an untidy room escalate into this? A clean room really does solve a lot. A clean, comfortable atmosphere helps you keep your mind straight. You are easily able to find that Biology book. You can now work at your clean open desk and not fall asleep. As you can see, a clean room matters. Now, add clean your room to that list in your planner.

3) Try to look nice sometimes.

For some reason dressing sharp, makes you feel sharp, like you can take on the world. As college students, we tend to pull on that pair of sweatpants we've been wearing for the past three days, or pull on that go to sweatshirt. When taking that midterm we just have to wear that comfy outfit, which is fine. However, some days dressing up feels good. It makes you feel empowered and smart. When arriving home, you don't want to throw that new sweater on the floor. You hang it up. This also helps maintain the cleanliness of your room. Moreover, while many professors do not care for students' attire, some professors take notice. They might see professionalism and commitment in you, or even for those professors that actually dress well themselves, they might appreciate your hot sense of style. Most importantly, you are able to see yourself in a new light. You feel beautiful and more confident. Confidence is so important in becoming a better you.

4) Start working out.

Working out and sticking to it might be one of the hardest activities to follow. Set even just 20 minutes to an hour to workout, whether it be running, doing some push-ups or crunches. If you keep this up every other day you start wanting to workout more, and longer. Also, you won't be huffing and puffing after going up two flights of stairs, while trying to nonchalantly walk into class without sounding like you just ran a marathon. Working out more helps you feel better physically and mentally. It builds confidence. A couple weeks in you'll be finishing your makeup in the mirror, and then suddenly, you stop. You notice the change in your body, and you smile. You can achieve such self-love. I know sometimes you may not have the time, which I always use as an excuse, but I know you can make the time. We make the time to go on twitter and watch videos of cute cats and dogs on youtube, so let's do the same with this. Try listening to motivational music to get you up from that comfy bed. Look up motivational quotes and videos. All of these will fill your mind with positivity, and then all of a sudden you will be putting on your workout gear. You got this.

5) Set time for yourself.

As college students we have a lot of pressures and responsibilities to tend to everyday. Sometimes though, you just need to relax. Treat yourself and go online shopping and buy that top you've been scoping out for the past month. You deserve it. Now, don't go crazy and online shop for the rest of the night instead of studying for that exam tomorrow. Definitely set some time to do something for yourself though. Allow yourself to watch Netflix or a movie and cuddle up in your bed. Sometimes you just need to wind down from all the pressures of life. Do not feel guilty, but know that mental breaks like this are good for you.

6) Keep the right people in your life.

Shout-out to those friends that support you in all that you do. For example, friends that support and motivate you to follow these new goals are the ones to keep. However, friends that make you feel worse or inferior are bad for you. As you can tell, all of the previous tips advocate building your confidence and positivity, but if someone in your life counteracts your happiness, you need to let that person go. In order to create a better and happier you, you need to take out all the negativity around you. The people that stand by you during your moments of heartache and struggle, should also be the ones to stand by you during your moments of elation and joy.

So when you post that "New year; new me" post let's actually mean it! I want to see the "new you" be a happier you. You got this.