Every new year seems to rise as quickly as the last one fell, as time seems to become more fleeting. A new year brings a fresh start and sense of purpose, and with a bit of luck, answers to any pending questions or anxieties come to surface. Resolutions are cornerstones for a new sense of motivation and confidence in the 365 days that lie ahead. 2019 can be the year you hold steadfast to your resolutions and make changes in your life that benefit your family, your friends, and you. Here are a few ways to lean into your resolutions as a college student in Auburn and make balancing your social, academic, and personal life more manageable.

1. Don’t make resolutions you can’t keep

It is important to challenge yourself and set the bar high, but never do something that is unattainable because it will ultimately result in undue stress. For example, making your resolution going to the gym every day for 2 hours, while an admirable goal, doesn’t quite fit into the average college student’s schedule. Instead make your goal going to the gym for 5 hours a week, time that can be spread out and adapted to your day-to-day schedules.

2. Plan out your week

2019 can be the year you decide to use a planner. It is important to know what time you have to yourself and what time you allot to doing school work or other activities like a job, organization, or internship. Plan time into your schedule just for yourself, whether that’s watching Netflix, picking up that book you’ve been wanting to read since 2018 or taking that much needed (and necessary) college catnap. Don’t forget to allocate time to cleaning your apartment! Although a hindrance, it is something that must be done to maintain positive energy among you and your roommates and within your rental in general. A clean apartment allows you to have a clear mind and not only be more productive, but enjoy your personal time in a nice environment. Once you map out your week in a planner, it is easier to visualize how much time you actually have to accomplish the long to-do list, making time less fleeting.

3. Place yourself in environments that will help you grow

“A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 inches, but in the ocean, it will grow 8 feet or more. The shark will never outgrow its environment and the same is true for you. Change your environment and watch your growth” -Unknown

Environments can be key to fostering your personal growth. Surround yourself with friendships that build you into a better person and push you towards the person you want to be. Maybe it is time to consider a new roommate and a new apartment. Don’t let yourself fall into a comfortable routine if it doesn’t bring out the best in you. The start of the year is the perfect time to do apartment research, see what students are looking for a new rental and consider signing a new lease this year.

Or, make 2019 the year of learning: read books and news, watch new movies, listen to podcasts, and engage in a new challenge that will better you and expand your personal environment. It doesn’t need to be a daunting task, just a simple decision and a step towards a better you.

4. Be Positive

Positivity is an attribute often hard to come by, because with the promise of a new year also comes the struggles of everyday life. Learning to actively seek out positive thoughts, words and actions can grow a whole new positive habit. Positivity can be something as simple as putting a happy quote on your apartment refrigerator for you and your roommate to read. Positivity can be capturing the moments when you are hanging out with friends and you are laughing so hard you can’t breathe. Positivity can be taking a stroll on Toomer’s Corner the Sunday morning after an Auburn win to embrace the college’s sense of tradition. Taking small steps to change your attitude can make a big shift in other areas of your life.

5. Be Intentional

Work with a purpose in all that you do. Putting effort into your relationships, organizations, and school work can make a huge difference in stress levels and your feeling of accomplishment. Learning to be intentional with different aspects of your life can shape and mold you, and people around you, in unexpected ways. For example, calling an old friend to catch up over lunch can be the difference in whether or not they had a good or bad week. Working timely on school assignments and avoiding procrastination can be the difference between a week of overwhelming stress and a week of relaxation. Taking on leadership roles in different jobs and organizations can build you towards the person you are looking to be, developing skills and relationships you didn’t know you needed but made all the difference in the world.

The success or failure of your resolutions starts with your bottom line, you. Build into yourself and your relationships to help you foster a sense of purpose and confidence. Intentionally work towards becoming more positive and leaning into new challenges. Let those challenges grow you into the friend, student, roommate, or employee that you want to be in 2019. While resolutions are coined in January, they are made to be upheld throughout the year, so make them achievable. If you miss the mark, well hey, there’s always next year.

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