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It is that time of year again! Time to reflect on the past twelve months and set some goals for the year ahead. If you are a college student, this can be an especially important time to focus on your personal and academic development.  Your college years are a time of growth and discovery. So, what can you do to make sure that this year is your best college year yet?

Why college students should make New Year’s resolutions

While many people associate New Year’s resolutions with personal improvement, there is no reason why college students should not make resolutions of their own. In fact, setting goals for the new year can be a great way to stay on track with your studies and career plans.

Setting New Year’s resolutions can help you stay focused; when you have a specific goal in mind, it is easier to stay motivated and avoid getting sidetracked. It can hold you accountable; it is one thing to say you want to accomplish something but quite another thing entirely to put that goal into writing. And it can give you a sense of accomplishment; there is nothing quite like the feeling of ticking an item off your to-do list. When you set and achieve a resolution, you will get that same sense of accomplishment—but on a much bigger scale. Not only will you have accomplished something significant, but you will also have taken one more step toward achieving your long-term goals.

Are New Year’s resolutions effective?

Every year, millions of people around the world make New Year’s resolutions. For some, the goal is to quit smoking or lose weight. For others, it may be to save money or find a new job. But are these resolutions actually effective?

There is no easy answer. Some studies suggest that as many as 80% of resolutions fail by February. On the other hand, other research shows that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not. What is the secret to success?

A good place to start is setting goals that are SMART – meaning they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Set aside some time to create smart, healthy New Year’s resolutions for yourself.

20 New Year’s resolution ideas for students

The start of a new year is the perfect time to set some goals and resolutions for yourself. If you are a college student, there are plenty of things you can resolve to do in order to improve your academic performance and make the most of your time at school. Here are 20 ideas for new year’s resolutions for students to get you started:

1. Exercise every day

One of the best things you can do for your health is to set a goal to exercise every day. Exercise has countless benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving mental health, and promoting weight loss. Exercise does not have to be time-consuming or expensive – even a short walk around the neighborhood can make a difference.

2. Get more involved on campus

Getting involved on campus is a great way to have a richer college experience. Not only will you meet new people and learn new things, but you will also have the opportunity to impact your community in a positive way. If you are looking for a leadership role, you might consider joining a student organization or running for student government. If you are interested in community service, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer with local organizations. And if you are simply looking for a way to get more involved in campus life, there are many clubs and activities to choose from.

3. Get more sleep

A good night’s sleep is important for good health. Sleep helps our bodies to repair and regenerate, and it also helps to improve mood, memory, and concentration. A few tips for setting an effective sleep goal include picking a realistic target, such as seven or eight hours of sleep per night and including a specific plan for how you will achieve that goal. For example, you might decide to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, use an app to monitor your quality of sleep, or limit your caffeine intake after 2 pm. Making small changes like these can make a big difference when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

4. Make your bed every day

Setting a simple daily goal like making your bed can impact your overall sense of well-being. Taking just a few minutes each day to tidy up your sleeping space can help to create a haven of peace and relaxation. Moreover, the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing this daily task can help to boost your confidence and motivate you to take on other challenges. Making your bed may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in your life.

5. Get to know your professors

One of the best things you can do to improve your college experience is to get to know your professors. Your professors are there to help you learn and can be valuable resources inside and outside the classroom. When you take the time to get to know them, they may be more approachable and willing to help you with your studies. They can provide valuable insights into your chosen field of study and connect you with other professionals in the field. So set a goal to get to know your professors this year, and you may be surprised at how much it improves your college experience.

6. Create an inviting study space

A cluttered study space can be a major distraction, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand. If you are struggling to stay focused while working at home, it may be time to set a goal to create an inviting study space. The first step is to declutter your workspace. Get rid of any distractions, such as toys, electronics, or knick-knacks. Once your surfaces are clear, give them a thorough cleaning. Then, add some personal touches that will make the space feel like your own. Consider adding a few motivational quotes or photographs of loved ones. You might also want to invest in some new office supplies or furniture. By creating a comfortable and inspiring study space, you will be more likely to stay focused and achieve your goals.

7. Spend less time on social media

It is no secret that social media can be a major time suck. If you find yourself spending hours scrolling through your feed every day, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship with social media. One way to do this is to set a goal to spend less time on social media. This can be hard at first, but you can do a few things to make it easier. First, try setting a daily limit for yourself. For example, decide that you will spend only 30 minutes on social media daily. Once you reach your limit, log off and do something else. You can also try limiting yourself to checking social media only once or twice a day.

8. Stay in better contact with friends from home

Moving away from home can be a daunting experience. Suddenly, you find yourself in a new place with new people and feeling isolated and alone can be all too easy. One way to combat this feeling is to set a goal to stay in contact with friends from home. Whether you plan to call, text, or video chat on a regular basis, staying connected will help you feel like you are part of a community. Additionally, sharing updates about your life will help to keep your friendship strong. And if you ever find yourself feeling homesick, reaching out to a friend from home can be a comforting way to feel connected to the people and places you love.

9. Eat healthier

Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for your body. By filling your diet with nutrient-rich foods, you will be giving your body the building blocks it needs to function at its best. However, eating healthy is not always easy. Processed and fast foods are often more convenient and less expensive than fresh, whole foods. In addition, it can be difficult to know how to cook healthy meals if you are not used to cooking at all. If you are looking to eat healthier, setting a goal is a great place to start. Maybe you want to eat more fruits and vegetables or cut down on sugar. Whatever your goal is, setting a timeframe and finding resources to help you achieve it will increase your chances of success.

10. Speak up in class

Many students find it difficult to speak up in class. Whether you are shy or just tend to get lost in your thoughts, it can be easy to let other students take the lead in discussions. However, speaking up in class is important for a number of reasons. It allows you to share your ideas and thoughts on the material, shows your professor that you are engaged with the material, and gives you practice in articulating your thoughts and speaking in front of others. Make a goal to speak up in class – set a specific number of times you want to participate in discussion each week or month. Prepare ahead of time by jotting down some key points you want to make during the discussion. And do not be afraid to start small – raising your hand to answer a question or making a comment during a lecture can be a great first step.

11. Get a part-time job

You are looking to earn some spending money, gain experience in the workforce, or simply have something to do during your free time. Whatever your reasons, getting a part-time job can be a great way to achieve your goals. A part-time job can provide a much-needed source of income, but it can also be a great way to gain new skills and experiences.

12. Get organized

One way to improve your productivity and reduce stress is to get organized. This can seem like a daunting task, but by breaking it down into smaller goals, you can make the process manageable. Start by identifying the areas of your life that are most chaotic. Do you always have a pile of laundry on the floor? Are your closets overflowing? Once you know the problem areas, you can set specific goals. For example, you might vow to keep your countertops clear or to put away all of your clothes at the end of each day. Choosing realistic organizational goals will help you to stick with your plan and avoid getting overwhelmed.

13. Set daily personal goals

It can be helpful to set personal goals for each day. By taking the time to think about what you want to accomplish, you are more likely to achieve your objectives. However, it is important to keep your goals realistic. If you set the bar too high, you may become discouraged if you are not able to meet your expectations. Conversely, if you set goals that are too easy, you may not challenge yourself enough and fail to reach your full potential. Instead, take some time to reflect on what you would like to achieve and then set a goal that is challenging but achievable. With a clear plan and a determined attitude, you can reach any goal you set for yourself.

14. Break a bad habit

There are many bad habits that people would like to break, from smoking and biting their nails to procrastination and overeating. However, changing a long-standing habit can be difficult, as it often requires breaking out of established patterns of behavior. Fortunately, there are some proven strategies that can help. First, it is important to set a specific goal. For example, rather than simply resolving to “quit smoking,” it is better to set a goal of “not smoking for one week.” This will make the task seem more achievable and increase the likelihood of success. Second, it is important to have a plan for dealing with setbacks. Everyone slips up from time to time, but it is important not to dwell on the occasional slip. Instead, focus on the progress that has been made and continue working towards the goal. Finally, it is important to enlist the support of family and friends. Tell them about the goal and ask for their help in staying on track. With some planning and effort, it is possible to break even the most stubborn of bad habits.

15. Make a friend in every class

Making friends in college can be tough. You are suddenly thrust into a new environment with hundreds of strangers, and it can be hard to know how to reach out and make connections. One way to combat this feeling of isolation is to set a goal to make a friend in every class. This may sound daunting but is actually easier than you might think. Start by introducing yourself to the people sitting around you on the first day of class. Strike up a conversation during breaks or after class. Get involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. And do not be afraid to reach out if you see someone sitting alone at lunch or in the library. Making friends in college is all about taking that first step, so go out there and start meeting people!

16. Try something new each semester

An excellent way to get the most out of your college experience is to set a goal to try something new each semester. There are so many opportunities in college to branch out and explore, and by setting this type of goal, you can ensure that you make the most of those opportunities. Trying new things can be scary, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. It can help you to meet new people, learn new skills, and even discover new interests. And who knows? You may just find that you love doing something that you never would have thought to try otherwise.

17. Get an internship

An internship is a great way to gain valuable work experience and knowledge in your desired field. Most internships are unpaid, but they typically offer college credit if you are currently enrolled in school. Internships can be found in a variety of industries, from fashion and beauty to tech and business. An internship can give you the opportunity to learn new skills, network with professionals, and get a taste of what it is like to work in your chosen field.

18. Join a new club

Joining a new club can be a great way to meet new people and explore your interests. Think about what you are looking for in a club. Do you want to meet people with similar interests? Or are you looking for a club that offers something unique? Once you know what you are looking for, you can start your search. Check out your local community center or library. They often have information about clubs in the area. You can also ask friends and family if they know of any good clubs. Joining a new club can be a great way to expand your horizons.  Step out of your comfort zone and give it a try.

19. Make your mental health a priority

Prioritizing your mental health means making time for activities that make you feel good and help you relax. It might mean setting aside time each day for yourself, practicing meditation, or taking a mental health day when you are feeling particularly stressed. It is also important to keep your physical health in mind, as exercise can help to improve your mental state. Eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep are also crucial for maintaining good mental health. By setting a goal to prioritize your mental health, you are taking the first step toward improving your overall well-being.

20. Find small ways to save money

Saving money can be a challenge, especially when you have to pay for tuition and other related expenses, but it is important to set aside some funds for unexpected expenses or future goals. One way to save money is to set a specific goal. Decide how much you want to save and by when, then break that amount down into manageable monthly or weekly contributions. Another way to save money is to cut back on unnecessary expenses. Track your spending for a month and see where you can cut back, such as eating out less often or cutting back on unnecessary purchases. Finally, consider automating your savings by setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck into your savings account. This can help you painlessly “pay yourself first” and make saving easier.

Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly! 

Please note jobs and/or career outcomes highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs or career outcomes expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions advisor.