New Years' Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

We’ve all gone down that road: Setting up a list of resolutions you swear by when the new year starts, and after a few weeks have passed, at least a third of them have already been broken.

Instead of going through that vicious cycle again, here are some suggested resolutions that aren’t entirely unattainable for the year.

1) Keep in touch with your loved ones more often.

This is pretty easy if you’re living with your parents, friends, or partners. For those of us who are quite far away from home, remembering to stay in contact with your family and friends might slip our minds with all the readings, assignments, projects, exams and papers that start to pile up.

Tips:

  • Set up a weekly Skype time, call them during your breaks, or send them a message to see how they’re doing during your commute to school. Maintain those relationships.

2) Drink more water.

Coffee and tea are probably our go-to beverages during the school year, but they could actually be making us more dehydrated. Staying hydrated is extremely important, not only for your body but for your skin – you’ll definitely notice a difference! (It’s recommended that you drink at least 2L/day).

Tips:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle with you! There are many options available (i.e. BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, glass) and refill at fountains or filter stations (located in various locations on campus).
  • Add slices of lemon, lime, or cucumber to your water to add some more flavour!

3) Read for fun.

Remember when reading was an enjoyable hobby and not chore you had to finish before a deadline?

Tips:

  • Audiobooks – Have someone else read for you. Listen to them while you’re cooking, cleaning, or on your commute. I highly recommend Mindy Kaling’s autobiographies.
  • eBooks - We spend copious amounts of time staring at our phones and tablets, why not catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to finish instead? I try to read a few pages while I’m taking public transit, or as I wait in line for food or coffee. The best part is that it takes up minimal space and it picks up right where you stopped.

4) Unplug from social media once in a while.

(Maybe not to this extreme).

One minute you’re checking that email your professor sent you and the next, you’re scrolling through your news feed, adding another Snap to your Story, or trying to choose the perfect filter for that Insta selfie.

Tips:

  • Try to delete apps off your phone during hectic times. If you’re not willing to let them go, turn on the ‘Do Not Disturb’/silent option on your phone to block those notifications.
  • There are also browser extensions and desktop applications (e.g. ColdTurkey, SelfControl) you can install to prevent distractions from websites you somehow always end up on 10 minutes into that study session.

5) Take the stairs.

Don’t be that person who waits 3 minutes for the elevator to go one floor up. Take the staircase. Trust me. It’s faster and you can squeeze in a bit of cardio on your stroll (or in my case, aggressive half-run) to class. 

Tips:

  • Pretty straightforward, but if you're really having a hard time getting started, try switching out at least one elevator ride to begin with per day, and start increasing from there!

6) Spend more time for yourself.

Life gets busy when you try to balance school, extracurriculars, work, and a social life. Taking time out of your day to focus on yourself might not even cross your mind. Mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Tips:

  • Grab one of those blank notebooks collecting dust in your drawers or bookshelf and start a daily journal. Keep it in your bag for those spontaneous thoughts that pop up throughout the day.
  • Colouring books are all the rage now. Who said they were just for kids? Buy a pack of coloured pencils or markers and get creative!
  • Try meditating for 15-20 minutes each day, either before you start your day, or to unwind before bed. If you don’t know where to start, try searching for instructional videos on YouTube or download an app for your phone.

7) Go on ‘staycations’.

That reading week trip to Miami or Vegas sounds enticing, but if you’re on a student budget like most of us, maybe try exploring parts of your own city/town, or those neighbouring.

Tips:

  • Day trips: Regional parks are great for hikes and a picnic, or check out that new exhibit at the museum.
  • Road trips are definitely manageable within a weekend – for fellow Vancouverites, Whistler, Victoria, Seattle, or Portland are all great places to check out.
  • Put aside some cash for that big excursion you eventually plan to go on.

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What ever your resolutions are, we hope you have a wonderful 2016!