Many of us have made resolutions in the past and let them slip away, only to make similar goals the following year. This year, why not break that cycle? Rather than abstract ideas like “get healthy,” “be a better person,” or “live life to the fullest,” try making concrete and attainable goals for 2018. Here are four actions you can take every day that will set you up for success.
Morning: Establish a routine. Start the day off on a great note– the best routines are somewhere in between lazy and rushed, so try to find that sweet spot. Wake up at a similar time each day and really make yourself get out of bed. Eat an actual breakfast (instant oatmeal and yogurt are quick and healthy!) As a busy student, this time may be your only opportunity to catch up on what’s happening in the world. I love the New York Times’ Morning Briefing emails, but there are tons of other ways to get your news. Tailor your routine to include what’s best for you, remembering that your morning often sets the tone for your entire day.
Daytime: Be present in class, physically and mentally. It can be hard to pull yourself out of your oh-so-cozy bed and brace the chilling wind first thing in the morning. Perhaps even harder is to stay away from Snapchat stories, Buzzfeed quizzes, and Facebook memes while your professor lectures first thing in the morning. But you’ll be happy later on when you can ace the exam or talk about your relevant coursework in an interview. Make it a routine to go to every class and actually pay attention—embrace your education, it’s a privilege.
Evening: Write it down. Write what down? Anything and everything. Write down your upcoming assignments in a planner. Write down your plan of action for your internship or job search, and keep track of your progress. Write down reflections of your day. Write down insights you gain from the world around you. The moral of the story: writing tasks, accomplishments, and reflections on paper will help to organize your academic, professional, and personal life.
Night: Stop scrolling before bed. If you’re anything like me, the last thing you do before falling asleep is check all your social media, scroll endlessly, and get lost on the internet until you start to drift off. Why not use this time constructively? Read for 15 minutes, watch a portion of a new documentary, or take a quick look to see if any new internships or jobs have been posted on your favorite site. Do whatever works best for you, but make it rewarding.
Don’t just stop there. Add your own concrete goals that will enhance your time here and help you out later. Just a few of the many more goals you can make are visiting office hours more often, strengthening relationships with peers in your major, inquiring about a research lab, or visiting the Center for Career Development, where our career coaches are available for walk-in appointments daily. This year is what you make of it, so take initiative to make it the best it can be!