As the New Year approaches, people usually begin setting resolutions and goals for the next 12 months. Whether it’s promising to keep your commitments or trying to lose 10 pounds, New Year’s goals are almost always a big topic of conversation.
We know, we know…resolutions are played out, right? Yes, it can be a bit of an eye-roll-inducing cliché to set resolutions, so let’s just call them goals. You NEED to set goals and work toward them if you want to become the most successful version of yourself.
If you’re a college student or getting ready to go to college for the first time, we know you might not have had time to think about what you want to accomplish in 2020 yet. So, we put together a list of five attainable goals that will help you rock the New Year.
Goal #1: Focus on your health and well-being
Yes, this is everyone’s goal. But it’s super important for every college student to take the time to focus on their health. You simply will not be as successful if you’re not healthy. Between trying to keep up with homework, work, or practice and games if you’re an athlete, college life can be exhausting. And it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Taco Bell at 12 a.m. may seem like a good idea but we all know it’s not. In the New Year, try making the time for a healthier alternative.
One way to achieve this goal is to plan out your schedule in a way that includes time to focus on your health and well-being. Add time slots for when you need to eat and include food prep time, remind yourself to take a 20-minute power nap or take a walk around campus. Small efforts such as these can go a long way toward improving how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically.
Goal #2: Put down the phone for a bit, every day
Like most college students and younger generations, you’re probably on your phone 24/7, or close to it. Whether you’re walking to class, in class or studying for an exam, we all feel the need to check our phones to see what’s going on in the world. FOMO…amiright?
No one wants to feel left out, but in the New Year, try putting your phone away when you’re studying. When you’re with your friends, put it on silent mode and focus on the conversation happening in front of you.
You don’t have to be connected to everyone constantly even though it may feel like you do. Take at least a few moments each day to unplug and do something else instead. Read a book, go for a walk, cook a healthy meal – do something that makes you feel good and doesn’t involve your phone. Every day.
Goal #3: Stop comparing yourself to others, especially online
Whether they’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the like, most of us have a few people in our networks that we can’t help but compare ourselves to when we see them pop up. We check their social feeds to see what they’re wearing, to find out about the exotic trip they’ve taken or to see the new car their dad just bought them. Everyone tends to put the best version of themselves online, so we have to stop comparing ourselves to these unrealistic images. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes? We don’t.
Remember that life is not a highlight reel and no one has the perfect life 100% of the time. So, instead of comparing yourself to others, work on believing that your life is just as important and interesting as those you compare yourself to. Focus on making your own memories and experiences instead – you’re in control of how your life turns out!
Goal #4: Step out of your comfort zone, at least once a month
Social gatherings and events are always happening on college campuses, and chances are, many of them are activities you aren’t familiar with. Challenge yourself to try something new and unfamiliar each month. Go to movie night on campus even if you don’t know anyone else who’s going, attend a lecture on something you know very little about or help volunteer at an event. You might end up making a lifelong friendship or a connection that could help you later on in your career.
And getting out of your comfort zone is not just about being social either. Getting out of your comfort zone can include trying something new on your own, like lifting weights or meditating. It can also relate to academics and career preparation – take that class you’re not sure you can pass (and put the effort in), sign up for an internship even if it’ll stretch your skills, attend a networking event and put yourself out there to make new contacts – you never know what could happen until you try.
Goal #5: Learn how to live on a budget ASAP
Budgeting is something that will not only help you in college but will become critical as you move forward in your career and personal life after college.
Most college students aren’t exactly rolling in cash. That’s why keeping track of your money and how much you spend or save is extremely important. With the amount of debt college students are graduating with these days, you need to make sure you take control of your finances early on and understand how your actions now will impact you later.
Trust us, you will thank yourself for developing good financial habits in college. When you keep track of your finances, you’ll start to see where you spend the most and where you can save. Eating out vs. grocery shopping each week or buying coffee instead of making it at home – these small things can add up quickly. Changing some of your habits is an easy way to help you save money.
Try to plan out exactly how much you’ll need to spend every week, so you know how much you’ll have left for savings or to do something fun. Or, to figure out where you need to cut back so you don’t go into debt. There are various apps and online resources like Mint or PocketGuard you can use to get started.
Now go forth, and conquer 2020
We encourage you to take these five attainable goals and hit them in 2020. Trust us, putting effort into these key areas will improve your college experience and overall success. And, if you’re the really ambitious type, add in a few goals of your own. Like we said — you never know what can happen until you try. Now go forth and conquer 2020, friends.