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New Year, New me? Highly Effective New Years Resolutions

On December 31st, Collegiates™ find themselves scrambling for that sequined dress, those six-inch heels, and their devoted hot irons in order to ring in the New Year with style. But once that clock strikes twelve, once that dress is sent straight to the dry cleaners, and maybe when the throbbing of a New Year’s Day hangover subsides—what are we ladies left with?

Dreaded New Years resolutions. You know, those things we say, and those vows we take but never quite follow through on?
1.     Lose weight.
2.     Get more organized.
3.     Eat healthier.
4.     Get good grades.
5.     No random hook-ups.
Sound familiar?
Now thinking back on it, how often do we follow these “rules” we set for ourselves? It’s easy at first, you know—taking that quick trip to the Arc, opting for a salad over a slice of pizza at Student Center, staying ahead with readings for that unusually difficult Women’s Studies class you absent-mindedly decided to take this quarter…simple.
But as we’ve all experienced, life gets in the way. As Collegiates™, we find ourselves swamped in papers, midterms, socials, mixers, meetings, internships, basically any aspect of the college experience that deter us away from what we originally wanted to focus on. As weeks pass by this Winter Quarter, you might just find yourself more inclined to sit on your couch after a three-hour long lecture rather than taking that quick walk through Arroyo Vista to the ARC, or reaching for your favorite after-class snack a little more often than you should.
What’s a busy college girl to do?
Tweak your New Years Resolutions into something a little more productive!
1. Drop this “New Year, New Me” BS and focus on bettering yourself.
You are human. You are given a number of different traits and talents, and you have your own flaws. But that is by no means a reason why you should view yourself as anything less than amazing. Around this time of year, we find Tumblr and Facebook laden with messages of “New Year, New Me” and think—well, what was wrong with the old you? Nothing, absolutely nothing. You don’t need to go back to square one, pull a 180, or mold yourself into socially constructed ideals. Instead, take a look at all your strengths and enhance them, if that means taking the time to read a little more, putting aside time to write your thoughts out or taking a second to compliment and appreciate the people in your life, love who you are as a whole and take it to another level.
2. Make more lists, jot things down.
There’s nothing I hate more than forgetting. Whether it’s that online homework assignment you thought was due next week, or an amazing idea you might have come up with in the shower—forgetting epic ideas is not only depressing, but also unnecessarily frustrating. Many people find that writing lists or jotting things down helps them not only feel organized but productive. Grab a pencil, a scrap of paper—it can literally be anything, a receipt, even a napkin (J.K. Rowling, we’re looking at you!)—and organize your thoughts and ideas somewhere. You’ll be surprised with what you come up and how many more things you accomplish in a day.
3. Appreciate and embrace short term accomplishments.
Being in college, it’s safe to say that a lot of us worry about the future. Our current decisions and actions are deeply rooted in the desire to get a little bit closer to that dream career. But let’s face it, the future can be overwhelming. Focusing on the long term can leave a lot of us pulling our hair out since after all, nothing is definite. Instead, praise yourself for the smaller accomplishments in life. Appreciate that A you got on your Econ test, to landing that exclusive internship. Putting effort into smaller causes, especially those that aid you in your career of choice, eventually add up towards that ultimate goal, don’t they?
4. Finish what you start.
This could mean anything. Did you say you were going to the gym after class? Go to the gym. Were you in the process of writing a short story? Finish it. Feeling productive and accomplished is a big part of loving one’s self, but how is that possible if you leave things incomplete. Follow through and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you did it.
5.  Find a buddy to bring along for the ride.
Last but not least, don’t do it alone! Find someone who shares the same goals and work together to get yourselves there. There’s no better support than from someone who’s going through the same exact thing, so buddy up!

New Year’s Resolutions can become boring and repetitive, but they really don’t have to be. By revising just a tiny bit and gearing your goals towards something more productive than general and mundane, you’ll find yourself happier and feeling a lot better, not only about yourself, but the future as well.
Here’s to 2012 Collegiates!
Let’s look forward to a new year full of surprises and lots of love!

Nicole is currently a fourth year Public Health Policy major with a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior. She has been writing for HerCampus UC Irvine for over two years, editing for almost two. When she's not busy working closely with her co-editor and managing the writing staff of HC UCI, she spends a lot of time at Corona del Mar...or baking cookies. She is also an expert baby wrangler and works part time at the UCI Infant Toddler Center. Her true loves include the color pink and copious cups of coffee.
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