Whether you forget them by January 2nd or you’re in it for the long haul, New Year’s Resolutions are a great opportunity to take stock of who you are, who you’ve been, and who you want to become.

Think about what you’d actually like to address, not just the things you think you “should” be doing.

Below, you’ll find four resolution categories: self-care, physical health, academics, and relationships. For each four categories, you’ll find four resolutions. Your task is simple: pick one resolution per category. This should ensure a well-balanced, thoughtful entrance into the new year.

Self-Care:

  • Limit screen time
    • We all know the dangers of too much social media and too much time staring at our phones. Set some time limits, and you’ll be the happier for it! There are even some great apps to help you measure your time, such as Moment or ZenScreen.
  • Worry less about what others think.
    • Maybe this will be the year that you let yourself be you! Remember that your own approval is often what matters most.
  • Volunteer for a cause that resonates with you.
  • Try to let go of some of the regrets or grudges you may be holding.
    • We can all be really bad at this one, but if you’ve got axes you’ve been grinding all year, maybe it’s time to let those go. Easier said than done, but a great goal for the new year is practicing forgiveness for yourself and for those around you.

Physical Health:

  • Fitness
    • A little exercise can make a big difference for your peace of mind. Your body will thank you! There are plenty of free options out there, like going for a run, local community classes, and an endless number of apps that have expert teachers leading a variety of free exercises.
  • Sleep
    • No matter how much fun Red Dead Redemption 2 is, your body needs those sweet eight or nine hours. Be nice to yourself, be nice to your body, and get the rest you deserve (your gang will understand).
  • Water
    • Water! Health experts recommend 8-10 cups a days. Keeping yourself hydrated might be annoying or might feel like one more thing you have to remember, but it is a key part of staying healthy and keeping your body machine running smoothly
  • Limiting Coffee
    • If you’re up to the challenge, you’re a true champion.  Benefits include reduced anxiety and better sleep. Not convinced? Check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s article for the Huffington Post by clicking here.

Academics:

  • Start earlier on projects and papers.
    • Who doesn’t love procrastinating? But starting projects earlier means giving yourself more time to consider things carefully, more time to ask questions, a better shot at work you can truly be proud of, and not least, a break from the stress of scrambling at the last minute.
  • Start a study group.
    • This is one a bonus — friends and work! How do you beat that? Round up some of your peers and set aside time to get together and work. You’ll be amazed at how much easier studying can be with people around you to help.
  • Take a class in something outside your comfort zone.
    • Maybe you know nothing about astronomy but you’ve always been captivated by the night sky. Maybe you’re intimidated by French but have always longed to learn another language. This can be the year to go for it!
  • Ask for feedback from teachers, mentors, or family friends whose opinion you respect.
    • If you come across someone who inspires you or who is ahead of you in a particular path, ask for their guidance! It’s a change to learn some invaluable lessons. At the very least, they’ll be flattered, and you can have someone you respect in your corner.

Relationships:

  • Do nice things for others.
    • This seems simple, but it’s bigger than you might think. When’s the last time you called your grandparent? How about the last time you wrote a handwritten letter to an old friend? Doing small (but heartfelt) deeds goes a hell of a long way, and it’ll start to fill your life with sweetness.
  • Befriend someone you normally wouldn’t.
    • Have you always surrounded yourself with similar types of people? Consider breaking through that this year! It’s a chance to see the world in a new way and open up your life to new adventures and new ways of thinking.
  • End or address unhealthy relationships.
    • This is a big one. If there are relationships in your life where you’re not appreciated, respected, or things just aren’t working, maybe this is the year to stand up for yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting someone out of your life completely (although, in extreme circumstances, it may be your only option) but it does mean speaking your mind, communicating honestly, and being strong. You can do it!
  • Practice respectful conversations with people you disagree with.
    • This may be the most timely resolution here. Practice having civil, non-judgmental conversations with people who have had different life experiences, who see the world through a different lens. And, not just on Facebook.

Listen to yourself. If something new you’re trying isn’t working or is making you miserable, change it! It doesn’t mean your weak or a failure.   By choosing four small resolutions (as opposed to multiple, major-life overhauls) you’ll still feel a big impact while enjoying the feeling of accomplishment that comes with commitment.

Best of luck out there! Go shine in 2019!

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