New Year’s Resolutions for a New Semester: 16 Goals worth Sticking To in 2013

Around this time of year, the question usually remains: how did first semester go by so quickly? No matter what year you are, the time just seems to go by faster than you can say “so college”.

Just like every other year, 2012 has brought countless memories, friends, realizations, and mistakes.  You worked so hard to get to where you are! You killed it during finals week despite unspeakable sleep deprivation, you got through winter session classes, study abroad trips, and jobs. You’ve gotten involved on campus, made amazing friends here, and are on your way to figuring out who you want to be.

You’re super woman! At least, you’d like to be her. You’re already a rock star, no doubt, but it’s time to reel in 2013 the right way, by making a few changes that will help you feel great! If you’re like me and can’t wait to embrace a new year and a new semester, but more importantly want to make the most out of your time at UD, then by all means feel free to read these resolutions and add your own to have the most amazing semester possible!

1. Focus On Healthier Eating Habits

This is probably always on your list of resolutions, right? “I’m going to work out and eat healthy this year!” It’s not that we can’t make that happen, but it’s that we typically set goals that are too broad and frankly, too big. It’s one thing to say you’ll “eat healthier”, but instead it would be more helpful to make a list of exactly where you want to improve your eating habits. 

  • For example, I have vowed to take a multivitamin every day, that way I know I’m getting some key nutrients into my body!
  • And, I also want to choose fruits and veggies where I would otherwise choose sweets or other fatty foods.
  • Focus on what you want to cut out, and what you want to add more of (oh, I don’t know, say leafy green vegetables) and stick to those smaller goals! That will help you stick to your goal without overwhelming yourself.
  • Did I mention that dark chocolate contains antioxidants? That means you can allow yourself a daily dose of chocolate, and it will be in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. You’re welcome! 

2.Work Gym Breaks into Your Busy Schedule

So far, so good! You’re starting to eat better, and you’re starting to feel better because of it. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to hit the gym, too, to add to your newfound confidence? This one can be fun, because exercise is a great way to release tension and stress.

  • Designate an hour a day about 3-4 days a week (start slow and then work your way up to every day of the week if you can) and make it your “gym time”.
  • It doesn’t matter what is going on that day or if it’s rainy and you’re tired, just set that “gym time” into your schedule and treat it like an assignment that you have to complete.
  • Even if you just do a half hour of cardio, some weights, and some exercises on the floor mat, it’ll feel great to know you’re working out!
  • Check out some exercise websites, magazines, or even YouTube to get some examples of basic workouts that you can do.
  • The great thing about UD’s beautiful campus is scenic running routes! Going for a jog is such an enjoyable way to get your exercise in.
  • Did I mention music makes everything better? Make yourself a playlist with all of your favorites (or just check out Pandora) and enjoy the songs as you work out.

3. AND Work Study Breaks into Your Busy Schedule

While classes are challenging and scheduling is often stressful, the great thing about planning your own college schedule is deciding which times and on which days you can designate “free” time. Even still, for a lot of us, that “free” time often translates into time to commit to clubs, sports, other activities, and catching up on reading. Here’s the strategy:

  • MAKE YOURSELF GO TO THE LIBRARY for a set amount of time per week. Trust me, if you write it down in your planner, it feels as if it’s something that has to be done. The more you make trips to “Club Morris”, the more routine it will feel and the more it will become part of your weekly schedule.
  • Remember, to give yourself incentives. For example, if you take an hour of free time between classes to head over to the library to study or catch up on some work instead of using that hour to nap or go on Facebook, then you can treat yourself to a nap or something you really love to do. Or, splurge on something like a latte at Starbucks or a new outfit for the weekend to reward yourself for your hard work.

Believe me, it’ll all pay off when you get that ‘A’ on your test or assignment, and it won’t even feel like you studied super hard because you worked that study time into your daily routine!

4. Limit the Time You Spend on the Internet

The war against procrastination may never be won, BUT, you can definitely win small battles. By this, I suggest taking some baby steps (because you can’t just quit Facebook cold turkey without losing it!)that I believe to be particularly helpful:

  • Estimate about how much time you spend on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. You can try to do this by recording the time you log on to Facebook and other sites, and the time when you leave your computer to do something else. You may be surprised at how many hours you actually spend on your computer! The number alone may be enough to help curb your internet addiction. But for the rest of us, here’s the game plan: take that number and try to cut it in half. After a week or two, cut that number in half, and so on,  until you are only logging onto Facebook, Twitter, and the like about a couple of hours per week. Pace yourselves, ladies! This is going to be a challenge for many of us.
  • Now that you’ve worked that out, try doing the same calculation in terms of time you spend on your phone. This will probably be even worse, especially if you have a smart phone (Snapchat obsession, anyone?) If you do, in fact, have a smartphone, then most likely you are constantly on it to not only text, but to check all of those previously mentioned sites all in the palm of your hand. Try very hard to discipline yourself by allowing yourself a number of times to check each of those icons on your phone per day.
  • For example, you could say something like: Facebook: 3 times; Twitter; 3 Times; Instagram: 4 Times; Snapchat: 5 times. Then, for the day, once you hit those numbers you can’t check them again until the next day. It seems a little crazy, but it may be the only way to curb your “addiction”.
  • Use the time you save to do something productive, like schoolwork, exercise, or catching up (face to face!) with friends.
  • If all else fails, have someone change your passwords for you so you can’t log on, or even delete your accounts for a while! It may seem extreme, but you’ll be SO glad you did it when you can actually pay attention to the world around you.

5. Consciously Try to Avoid Drama, Which Includes:

·         No Gossip

·         No criticizing

·         No jealousy or petty arguments

WARNING: This is going to be tough! NOT because you thrive off of drama and gossip, but because eventually drama will find its way to you in some form or another, whether you wanted anything to do with it or not.  

  • This is where you have to make a determined effort to either not say anything to add to the gossip of a situation, change the subject, or even say something like “I really don’t know what happened and I don’t know their sides of the story, so it’s really not my business to say anything about it”.
  • Do what you’ve got to do in order to rise above drama, be better than petty gossip, and stay out of situations where people are talking behind other people’s backs.

6. Stop Being So Hard On Yourself/ Show Yourself Some Love

Seriously, girls, you are amazing. It’s never worth it to be hard on yourself or tell yourself you aren’t good enough for something or someone. This includes saying things that bother you about your body or criticizing yourself for eating fried food late at night (we all do it!). So, please, do yourself a favor and enjoy being in college! Remember, even on a bad day, it’s just a bump in the road.


·         It may sound a little cheesy, but believe me, it works! Give yourself a compliment on a daily basis. It can be a really small compliment like “your hair looks great today” or something bigger like “you are such a nice person”. Even if it sounds silly to say at first, a little compliment to yourself will really boost your confidence and other people will notice! Before you know it, you’ll start receiving compliments because you’re feeling great!

-Spread the love! Here at UD, there is a facebook page called UD Compliments where you can anonymously post compliments to someone here at UD! It can easily make someone's day.

·         Did I mention you look absolutely gorgeous today?

7. Say YES

Say ‘yes’ to something that you would normally make an excuse to get out of. Stop running from things you want to try just because you’re afraid they won’t work out perfectly, or because you’re afraid of the risk. If there is a time to try something, it’s now! That’s what college is all about. It may even be a person whom you normally don’t give a chance—try giving that person a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised!

8. Say NO

By the same token, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ once in a while too. I tend to be guilty of taking on a ton of responsibilities. While they are all incredible and I want to try to balance everything, it’s no good for anyone involved, including me, if I overbook things. So, remember to do what you can do, but if someone asks something of you that you just don’t feel will fit it with your schedule, it’s OK to say no. Same goes for people—if you never stand up to certain people then they don’t mind taking advantage of you. Plus, if someone keeps ignoring you but asks you to hang out late, don’t be afraid to move on and tell them “no”; you deserve better!


There are so many things in our lives we have to be thankful for.  Even if things don’t always go your way, find someone or something you are thankful for over the course of the semester and tell them how much you appreciate what they do or have done for you! It’s guaranteed you’ll both feel great as a result of this.

10. Apply What I Learn in Class

Academics are clearly the purpose we come to college, but sometimes that’s easy to forget. This semester, instead of listing off a million reasons why class is so boring, try to find ways to use the new information you’re learning. Try to create interesting ways to remember your lectures, and you’ll find that the information is much easier to absorb. If all else fails, remind yourself how lucky you are to be able to go to such a great university and have the chance to get a fantastic education!

11. Catch More ZZZ’s

Sleep is probably the most underestimated need in college. I never get enough of it! I’m making it my mission to be in bed and asleep by a decent hour each night so that I can function better during the day!

12. Smile More

Smiling is easy to do, and when you start to smile more, you start to actually feel happier. When you smile, other people see that and they want to smile too. So spread the happiness!

13. “Excelsior”

Having such a long winter break allows for some time to go to the movies. I had a chance to see Silver Linings Playbook and absolutely loved it. The main character, Pat, is able to improve his outlook on life by—among other things—channeling positive energy and constructive thoughts. My favorite part about Pat’s outlook is the mantra he creates. This mantra is "excelsior," the Latin word for "ever upward." In one scene (spoiler alert), Pat’s father asks him what is meant by the term “excelsior” and Pat replies: “It means you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna take all this negativity and use it as fuel and I’m gonna find a silver lining, that’s what I’m gonna do…that takes work and that’s the truth”.

I was touched by Pat’s spirit and determination, and I’m going to borrow this mantra from him in order to take anything in my life that has the potential to be negative and put it into a positive light. Take time to put things in perspective.

(photo courtesy of

14. Surround Yourself with People Who Support You

On that note, it helps fuel your positive energy if you surround yourself with people who support you. If someone is giving you a hard time, you’ve got to recognize that he or she is the one with the problem, not you! Since you already know how awesome you are (please refer to #6 on this list), any negative energy is simply a waste of time and it’s not something you want in your life. I think this quote sums it up very well. 

15. If You Feel the Urge to Complain, Find the Strength Not To

This one is pretty self-explanatory. After a long week when things are just not going your way, it is so easy to complain and vent! I’m not saying you should never express when something is bothering you, but you should try to draw the line between that and complaining about someone or something (a job, a class, a professor, an ex). It makes others feel uncomfortable, and it just creates more negativity around you. Just try to focus your energy on something else and the urge to complain will start to disappear.

16. Don’t Overthink Anything/ Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

There is no worse aggravation than overthinking! It can affect your whole attitude. Stop trying to analyze every situation, and do not let minor details upset you! It’s totally not worth it. Starting now!


For 2013, these are my rules to live by. An optimist by nature, I can’t help but feel that when I take a positive and proactive outlook on life and the situations that come my way while at school, that I am much happier and healthier. So, make this semester truly count! Live how you want to live and don’t be afraid to take some chances.

*Coming Soon*-- The Ultimate UD Bucket List: What YOU Want to Do Before You Graduate

Have anything you want to do before you leave UD? Email [email protected], tweet at hercampusudel, or leave us a post on facebook with ANYTHING you want to see on our UD Bucket List, no matter how big or small! Include your name and year. 

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