17 New Year Resolutions For Students In 2018
Every year around this time, the mind begins to consider all the things that are going right and wrong, and all the ways life could be made better.
Students especially can take this time to reevaluate and hit the hard reboot. In that spirit, we have put together a list of 17 New Year Resolutions for students in the year ahead. Let’s get started!
New Year Resolution No. 1: Inventory your productivity.
If you’re like us, you probably recognize a slowdown in your productivity toward the end of the year. What started with such promise in January or August usually becomes a “trudge through the finish line” sort of thing by late November and early December.
One way to keep this from happening is to inventory all the ways that you are currently using productive times.
Sit down with a pen and paper in hand and map out what you have done at the end of each workday. Go hour-by-hour if you have to. Try to get the estimates right.
Then, after you’ve done your tally, count up the number of hours and minutes (approximately) that you spent working and how much you spent sloughing off.
The sloughing off number will tell you about how much time you are losing every day in Facebook updates, Internet searches, etc.
No. 2: Start each day with something you want to do.
Your day follows a similar pattern to your year. You start out excited and ready to take the bull by the horns. You end up sluggishly going through the motions.
It’s the arc of the human attention span, and you have to fight against it. The way to fight against it is to simply be aware of it.
By being aware of it, you will learn to start “stacking” the high priority things in the first part of your day.
Now a word of clarification: by the first part of your day, we mean the first part of your productive day. It could be that you get up at 8 a.m. but aren’t very productive until 10 a.m. In that scenario, schedule the item that requires the most attention for 10 a.m., not 8 a.m.
That way you will rest easy knowing the highest priority items get most of your creative energy.
3: Establish good fitness habits.
People too often set their fitness habits aside because they feel they are simply too busy and under too much pressure to address them.
This is a mistake. When you do not exercise, you do not trigger the endorphins needed to work through problems and stay productive for longer periods of time.
Poor fitness often is accompanied by poor nutrition as well — more on that in a moment — and it all creates a snowball effect that eats away at your ability to do quality work.
It also will lead to health issues the longer it goes unchecked. Serious health issues, like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Take control of things now and don’t allow your fitness to take a back seat.
4: Make nutrition a priority.
Likewise to physical activity levels, much of our health is tied to what we put in to our bodies.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Good in, good out.
By consuming fewer animal products (or none) and getting enough protein and fiber primarily through plant-based foods, your body will essentially sharpen your mind, and you will get more work done and achieve greater accomplishments.
While you will definitely want to speak to a nutritionist or doctor first, we’ve found about 2.05 grams of protein per inch of height makes for a comfortable daily routine along with between 35 and 40 grams of fiber. Also, drink mostly water throughout the day.
5: Conquer one concept that has you stumped in your first month back.
The hardest part of overcoming a difficult subject is getting past the most difficult concept. Achieve mastery of it, and the other things tend to fall into place.
We’re the first to acknowledge that is easier said than done. However, it is simple in principle, and it’s something you can latch on to with plenty of resources available to help get you there.
Think for a moment about what all is there to help you achieve understanding and mastery over difficult concepts.
- You have textbooks.
- Corrected tests and homework.
- Friends who have a better grasp of it who won’t mind sitting there and explaining it to you until you understand it.
- Professors and teachers.
- Some schools have tutoring programs, or, if your parents make enough, they can hire one for you.
- The Internet.
There really has never been a better time to be clueless about something!
6: Make friends with someone you ordinarily wouldn’t.
Use some discretion on this one. We are not telling you to go out and be friends with a troublemaker, who is constantly in trouble with the law.
We’re talking about people who are trying, just like you, to make the most of what is put in front of them without arousing the ire of police. Different social classes, in other words.
By pushing yourself to make just one friend in a different social class than you, you will expand your horizons and unlock human resources that will help you make the most out of your life.
Also, you never know when today’s social outcast will become tomorrow’s savvy millionaire who needs someone with your knowledge and experience to help them get an idea off the ground.
Assume that everyone you meet has the potential to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, and you should be good to go.
7: Give serious thought to your future career or major.
Students are still having a difficult time with this one, and it’s not their fault entirely.
That’s because they have been fed the BS by other generations that “what you do” to succeed in life is graduate high school, get your 4-year degree in anything, and join the workforce.
But when you have an industry like manufacturing that used to be so easy to get in to complaining that there are not enough qualified candidates to fill the soon-to-be-open positions from a retiring workforce of Baby Boomers, well, you’ve got a problem.
Today you need a skill and a plan. Get those two things under control, and the correct college path — if college even is the answer — will make more sense.
Don’t wait until your senior year of high school or college to start figuring out this stuff.
8: Plan more study sessions.
A lot of times students will not study because they have convinced themselves, “I’m not any good at it anyway!”
It’s true that some people are naturally inclined to be better at certain things than others, but that doesn’t mean mastery is out of reach.
When people work hard, they learn how to fill in gaps, either through further study or connecting with the right resources to strengthen their weakest areas.
You can work your way into a better understanding — and a better grade — in areas where it may not come so naturally. You just have to find the time to study more.
When putting together New Year Resolutions, make sure you look at how you are spending your free time and slot about 30 minutes per day (minimum) for studying outside of class and school time.
The more you do this, the easier it will come, and that’s true no matter what your starting point.
9: Show up to class, and listen more.
High schoolers pretty much have to show up to class if they expect to make anything of themselves, but they have more freedom when it comes to whether or not they listen.
College students have to make a conscious effort to do both.
No matter which of these two groups you fall in, you will benefit from the simple act of showing up and attempting to listen and take notes to what the teacher or presenter has to say.
If you have trouble with this, simply make the commitment to establish eye contact for the first ten minutes of class. It may not last through the whole period — it usually will, though — but even if it doesn’t, you will retain part of what is being shared.
10: Stop hitting the ‘Snooze’ Button.
The reason so many students have a problem getting to their morning classes on time (or at least in a good state of mind) is they rely too heavily on the snooze button.
That 9-minute add-on that can be found on most alarm clocks has a tendency to convince the puncher they are getting extra sleep when in reality, it is interrupting sleep cycles to where the individual hitting it always ends up groggy.
A far better idea is to use a source like Sleep-Calculator.com to determine what time you would need to wake up if you fell asleep this very moment. Then add 15-20 minutes for your wakeup time as that is how long it usually takes to fall asleep.
11: Take a gig.
For all the Internet’s ills, one of the great things about it is that it has opened up the freelance market to where you don’t have to be out of school necessarily in order to start earning money.
Especially if you are in college, you can start taking side gigs right away. Just make sure that it is something in your wheelhouse.
You may not make a lot of money right away, but it will give you some training with running your own business while allowing you to sharpen some of your hard and soft skills for a better job down the road.
You’ll also learn a lot about how best to present yourself to employers/recruiters.
12: Help someone in need.
Volunteering to help others isn’t just about fulfilling some religious or moral obligation. It can also lead to connections, which in turn lead to jobs.
Your community likely has a ton of ways that you can get involved to help the needy — both secular-run and those funded by religious groups.
Participate in all or both. You don’t have to become a church member to bring some sunshine into someone’s world. You just need an opportunity, and religious institutions — most anyway — can be great ways of finding those.
13: End damaging relationships, or change them.
Another of the New Year Resolutions on this list that are most likely to get your year off to a great start is the severing of relationship ties that aren’t doing anyone any favors.
Take a look at the people in your sphere. Who are the individuals that you dread being around and that you will go out of your way to avoid? Who are the people who, when you’re around them, you just can’t wait to leave?
They don’t have to be boyfriends or girlfriends. They can be classmates, outdated friends, enemies, and even parents.
Once you know who these people are and why they take so much away from your joy, you can go about changing the relationship to something more positive.
In some cases, that may mean a confrontation. In others, that may mean strict disassociation. In still others, it might mean that you formally end the relationship altogether. Do whatever you have to do to remove the negativity in your life, and use this yearly milestone to make it happen.
14: Stop ‘phoning’ it in.
Eliminate social media distractions, mainly.
Too many of us have gone from using social media to escape reality to using reality to escape social media.
It has intruded into too many aspects of our lives and it is affecting our human relationships for the worst.
Learn to start leaving your phone in the car when going to eat with friends and family. It will be there when you get back.
Resolve to do smartphone prohibitions at night or for a 24-hour period once per week. You’ll be shocked at what is going on in the “real world,” and, chances are, you will want to have more of it.
15: Have a conversation with someone you disagree with politically.
This is a tough one, particularly if you are a politically engaged younger person who is still reeling from the last Presidential election.
Believe it or not, the people who elected President Trump are not all skinheads and racists. You would know that if you got out and talked to actual supporters without carrying a chip on your shoulder before the conversation starts.
If you approach someone not ready to judge their political choices but ready to understand the point of view that got them there, you will stand a far better chance of strengthening your own point of view and arguing for what you think is right.
You also may end up changing the way they think about things and making a new friend in the process.
While you may look at a political opponent right now and say, “I’d never want to be their friend. I’d never want to understand their point of view,” we ask that you rethink that.
This country cannot last on its current trajectory. It’s not until we start talking to one another again and accepting one another despite our differences that we can truly be the United States of America, one of the last free countries on earth.
16: Bring up your scores.
If you have an ACT or SAT test date on the horizon, or a professional exam like the PRAXIS, use this year change as a reset to look over your past performances, gauge your weak areas as a student, and devise a study plan to address.
Learn every test date available to you in the new year. Bookmark them. Schedule your study sessions and techniques ahead of time. Be structured, and you will find those scores continuing to rise.
And the Final New Year Resolution Tip: Turn everything in on time.
Yes, the simple act of turning in all your projects and homework on time can open up a world of possibilities. For starters, a flawless homework background will help ingratiate you to the instructor (helpful for those 79.5 or 80 percent dilemmas).
Secondly, turning everything in on time will act as a buffer to any poor test performances. These days tests are weighted heavier, so they will damage you more; but having a good run of homework scores certainly can’t hurt when it comes time to raise the grade.
Lastly, turning homework in on time every time will ensure you get it back on time every time, with corrections. You can use your homework to go back through and figure out your weak areas.
Do not underestimate the power of turning everything in on time. It can make a difference in your letter grades.
New Year Resolutions can shift and change throughout the course of the year, but you really need to start setting them now to get in the habit of achieving your goals. What are some New Year Resolutions that you would like to accomplish in 2018? Share yours in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Politics of Poverty]