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I don’t set New Year’s resolutions. Such strict goals can mean that missing a day at the gym, or having chocolate cake for dinner, can feel like moments of failure. But I do have some general, and less strict, goals this year.
I love to use the New Year as a reason to get organised. I’m a lover of calendars (I’ve been known to send Outlook calendar invites to arrange plans with friends) and to-do lists. I say it every year, but taking a bit of time at the start of January to re-organise makes a world of difference to me. Whether that means setting year-long goals, starting a bullet journal (my personal plan) or just combining all your post-it note to-do lists into one, take a bit of time to clean up and start again.
Whether it’s a weekend trip to the Lake District or a find-yourself adventure, travel is good for us all. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but booking in some time to leave life behind and do something new is great for your mental health. Plus, who doesn’t love the fun of trying something totally new in a new place?
From #BlackLivesMatter to #MeToo, politics and pop-culture are meeting like never before. Don’t let that energy pass you by, and use 2018 to really engage with the world around you. Whether that’s getting involved in local anti-fracking protests, joining a campus campaign group, or any other form of participation you can find, getting politically active is a great way to broaden your world view and make a difference.
4. Seeing more green
I already said travel, right? But my personal travel goal involves seeing a lot more green. Even living in a small city like Lancaster, it’s hard to spend time in nature. So this year, maybe when it’s not so cold, put on your trainers and go for a walk. Following the canal guarantees a pretty, and easy to follow path. Take a day-trip to the Lake District, or go camping. Travel outside cities (even though it’s a bit more complicated) and enjoy how peaceful nature can be.
5. Investing in career options
It’s easy to get caught up in how busy university life can be, and ignore that something has to follow afterwards. For 2018, or at least the rest of my time at university, I want to spend some time investing in what comes next. If that’s creating a great CV and LinkedIn profile, developing career contacts, or maybe not waiting until June to apply to some great internships, planning ahead can make a world of difference.
6. De-cluttering and donating
I already said organise, right? Well spring cleaning is always a good goal, but this year put a focus on donating what you don’t use. Whether that’s clothes, kitchen supplies, or anything else you have lying around, donate what you can rather than tossing it out! This year, I’ll be making a point to clear out the clothes I don’t wear nearly enough.
Not sure where to start? Flip all your hangers backwards, then flip each hanger back once you wear the item on the hanger. In six months, get rid of all the clothes on hangers which never got flipped.
7. Reading new genres
Reading more is a classic New Year’s resolution – but who has the time what with how much reading is already required at university? I’m working to push myself outside the comfort zone of what I usually read. I’m trying out some biographies, fiction, and maybe a graphic novel, all of which wouldn’t appear on my normal reading list!
8. Focusing on health
It’s easy to get caught up in the “weight loss” talk of January. But, this month and beyond, having a holistic focus on your health can be the make-or-break difference between succeeding on that resolution or quitting the gym by the first day of February. Look into what vitamins you should take, how much water you’re drinking, and how much sleep you’re getting. Health isn’t just about monitoring your weight, and the gym isn’t the only step to getting healthier! Start where you feel comfortable and add on from there.