New Year resolutions to kick off your semester

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Graphic by Alan Li

New Year, new me, right?

Whether you’re for or against New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of 2018 represents a fresh start and an opportunity to become a better more authentic you.

I, for one, have never been into the big New Year’s plan things, but there are some habits that I’ve been meaning to pick up and now’s the perfect time.

If you’re looking for the perfect thing to pick up or start doing, here are some of my personal goals for the upcoming year to help jot your imagination.

Pet more dogs

Even if you’re not the type for big resolutions, I’m sure we can all agree on this one. Dogs are heaven-sent and we all need more of them in our lives.

Another more creative reason to pet dogs is to be able to ask for things. I would usually rather do something myself than ask someone to go out of their way for me, even if it’s something simple.

By asking people in you can pet their dogs, you’re breaking that cycle, and you can get a pretty sweet reward for it too.

Track your food

The cliché is hitting the gym and getting fit, right? Something even easier is just to pay attention to when you’re eating.

Just in the first few days of tracking it this year, I notice that the days I skip meals my mental health is much worse. By noticing these trends, I can adjust accordingly — even if it’s just the granola bar I threw in my bag before going to a meeting this morning.

I’ve also started a list on my fridge of the expiry dates on everything. Wasting food is so 2017.

Say yes more often

I have always been the type to hoard my money unless there is a sale, or I need to use it. This year, I’m going to start saying yes to more opportunities.

This doesn’t mean you should be living beyond your means, but don’t be afraid of new experiences either. If you’ve been dreaming about something and the cost is the only thing holding you back, maybe it’s just time to take that leap.

Save for a rainy day, but don’t waste all the sunny ones while you’re at it.

Say no more often

At the same time, saying no is just as important. This year, I’m focusing on not being pressured into things I don’t want to do. No excuses, no lies. Just an honest no.

Do what is important for you. If that means skipping the four dollar coffee with your friends and putting it into a plane ticket, say no to that coffee. If it means passing up “an amazing opportunity” someone offers you because you don’t think you’ll like it, pass it up.

2018 is the year of positivity, and if it’s not going to help you achieve your goals or appreciate yourself, say no.

Plan, plan, plan 

Life is busy. Last semester was an absolute mess for me, and I’ve heard it was for many of my peers as well.

If a mess is what we are going to have, we can at least be prepared for it. Start a bullet journal, or map out your months in advance. Take the time to read your syllabi.

Make sure you have enough time for all the activities you want to do, but also leave some time for yourself just to be yourself.

Take a chance

Remember that everything doesn’t have to be calculated. Plan, yes, but this year I also want to take more risks.

There are always going to be hiccups. There are always going to be things that go wrong. That shouldn’t stop us from going after the things we want to do anyway.

This year, don’t let the fear rule the actions. Breathe, count to five and take a leap of faith. Get out of your comfort zone and the unknown won’t be so scary. Your “new me” doesn’t have to be — and shouldn’t be — an entirely new person. Just work some new habits into your old routine and be the best version of yourself you can be.

It’s never too late to make a new resolution, either. Each day is a new start and a new opportunity to meet and surpass your goals.

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