New Year's Resolutions I'm Actually Sticking to This Year


Almost everybody makes them, yet most of us give up a week or two into January, if not earlier. They’re usually along the lines of  “actually going to the gym” or “less screen time” or even “cutting dairy and sugar completely”. While those are indeed worthwhile goals, here are a couple more that I believe all of us could benefit from adopting. 


Define what self care means to you, and make it a priority from now on

Self care has been marketed into something synonymous with expensive sheet masks and an afternoon of splurging on Rodeo Drive. Although it very well can be, self care should also be something that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. For some, that might mean spending the afternoon at the spa but for others, it can simply mean dedicating 15 minutes to a little mid-day meditation in your living room or finding the time to squeeze in an episode of your favorite show. Whatever self care looks like to you, make it a point to prioritize it this year! 


Live in the moment

I recently heard a saying that goes something like this: if you spend all of your moments worrying about or planning for the future, you are never truly living. As someone who is prone to overthinking and excessive planning, this is something that I definitely need to work extra hard on. Living in the moment can be done in multiple ways. From putting your phone down when dining with friends and family to focusing on enjoying your vacation instead of snapping a hundred and one photos for Insta to finding ways to relieve everyday stressors and anxieties, many of us will benefit from focusing more on the present. I will be achieving this by spending less time on social media and more time in person and being intentional about savoring every moment with my family and my puppies. 


Say yes more

Saying yes can be life changing. You never know what opportunities you might miss out on if you turn down something even as small as an information session to a random program you found out approximately five minutes ago. This is particularly true for us students at such a massive university- we truly need to be more proactive when it comes to seeking out opportunities and information because nobody is going to spoon-feed it to us! This applies to situations outside of school as well; saying yes to social events and networking opportunities could be just what you need to reach your other goals. Of course, you know yourself best and you know why you make and break certain plans. But if you have no plans on a random Thursday evening and a couple others are hitting a new restaurant or show, why not tag along and see what happens? 


But learn how to say no, too

In a society where we glorify busyness and stress, it can be very easy to overcommit. It is perfectly okay to RSVP “no” to events or even reschedule something altogether. Being able to say no can be just as crucial as saying yes and allowing yourself to live with a manageable schedule can do wonders for your wellbeing. It is perfectly fine to cut down on your course load, talk to your manager about a less demanding schedule, or simply skip next week’s brunch with the girls for a day at home doing absolutely nothing. 


Get a realistic snapshot of your finances 

Whether you have a job or not, now is a good time to pause and take a look at your financial situation. Do you know what your credit score really means and how to improve it? Are you aware of how much student debt you are in? Figure out what your loan repayment plan will be and if it is possible to get a head start making payments now or by setting some money aside for after graduation. If you are working, it may be tempting to turn the entirety of your paycheck into “fun money” and blow it on coffee, booze, and cheap clothing, but even contributing a little bit of your salary or allowance to a savings fund will come in handy down the road. Spend a rainy afternoon in and do a quick audit of your budget to get a good idea of your expenses and how you can better allocate your money. 


Expand or cut down your social circle 

If we truly are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, it might be worth doing an audit of our friend group and social circles. It may also be a good idea to reduce contact with toxic family members- chances are, your circle is not just your roommates, partner, or sorority sisters. On the flip side, maybe you have been itching for a new friend group or even just someone to room with next year. If joining student clubs, chatting up those around you in your lecture hall, and lingering in the student commons hasn’t worked, it might be time for a different approach. Try looking up events and meetups on Facebook or reaching out to someone you follow on Instagram but have never met- social media could be a great way to connect with like-minded people in the area or beyond, and you never know if an exchange through DMs could blossom into friendship! 


Do what makes you happy

Life is too short to do what makes you unhappy. Whether you get happiness from working out, spending time with family and friends, curling up with a good book, baking, working on a fun new project, meditating, or binge watching an entire season of You in a few days or less (guilty), make time for what makes you happy and don’t feel guilty about it. 


And above all, remember your worth 

Above all, do not let anyone or anything tell you that you are not beautiful, smart, hardworking, and deserving of happiness, love, and success. You are not defined by any mishaps you have encountered throughout your college career and you are certainly more than your academic achievements. This year, stop settling for anything less and don’t let self doubt or obstacles get in the way. I know that we are already a month in, but may 2020 be the year that you truly believe in yourself and go after whatever your heart desires!