Realistic Resolutions

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Resolutions, New Year's Eve, New Year's Resolutions, Holiday Resolutions, Exercise, Health, Studying, Athabasca University, AU, #AthaU

When the New Year hits, is it safe to say there are two kinds of students?

You know the two; in fact, chances are you are one.

First, we have the highly motivated New Year’s Resolution enthusiast; ‘As soon as the calendar flips to January 1, I’m going to check every thing off of my list as soon as possible. I’m going to organize my life, read all of my course material, eat less junk food and exercise more, spend more time with family and friends and, of course, focus on ME. I might even start meditating.’

Next, you have the mixed bag of inspiration; the person who doesn’t always find motivation as easily as others. Maybe it’s the one who doesn’t believe in New Year’s resolutions…who has a difficult time even eating breakfast in the morning – even if it is the most important meal of the day.

Chances are that you land somewhere in the middle (and it’s a great place to be for most!). Your desk is neatly (?) organized and you prepare weekly meals on Sunday evenings (right?), but…you find yourself in a mad scramble to finish a paper at the midnight hour or routinely cram for this morning’s exam. Or perhaps you habitually cancel plans because life and your studies overwhelm you.

But rather than take on everything and try to become everything to everyone, it’s important to be realistic; after all…only 8% of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions. So, we’ve compiled a few ‘greatest hits’ to help you find that focused inspiration and a finely tuned balance this year.

#1 Focus on what matters (and by focus on it we mean it and not Facebook on your cell phone)

Are you jumping from textbook to text book; from assignment to email and back again? Try sticking to one, completing it and then moving on. Ultimately you will see a tremendous difference by changing up this pattern.

#2 Get realistic with the fitness

Setting a goal to workout with The Rock by year’s end probably isn’t going to get you anywhere. But if you set realistic fitness goals, you won’t find yourself easily defeated. And drink lots of water, you can thank us later.

The benefits of fitness are well known, but the ones we really like? Better sleep and better focus (see #1).

#3 Mental Health will win in the end

Even if it is a few minutes before bed, allow yourself some peace and stability to end your day. After a busy holiday season, it’s vital to focus on you, the goals you’ve accomplished and the resolutions you can actually (and perhaps need to) achieve. Secondly, AU has resources available for students struggling. Big or small, the resources are available for AU students. You know how they say ‘healthy body, healthy mind’? It works the other way around too. (Note: we’re especially excited about the addition of Mental Health Resources the Alberta Government announced earlier this year).

#4 Unplug

We’re an online university, so we get it…online, computer-focused work is our bread and butter (the irony of you actually reading this on a computer or a phone is not lost on us). But to reach your personal moments of zen, nothing works better than a literal walk in the park. Take some time…step away from the online study notes, turn off the Netflix binge, stop checking in at the local coffee shop, understand that the picture of your friend’s newborn cat can wait…and just unplug. Your grades will thank you for it.

#5 Keep it cool

If you turn that frown upside down after a hard day, it’ll probably stick. Compliment more; complain less. The positive mental attitude you start today, will carry forward and soon enough you won’t believe it’s a resolution, it’ll just be The Way. We like to run our Motivation Monday quotes each and every Monday. So if you’re looking for that final push of inspiration, check out our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages!

#6 Challenge yourself

If you simply accept ‘this is the way it is and that’s the way it is,’ your fortune is sealed. However, if you challenge yourself in life’s tiniest moments, you’ll be reminded of how simple things can be. Give that paper one less proofread; listen a little bit more; jump outside of your comfort zone and try the essay topic that is hardest on the list, not easiest. Soon enough these will be the hardest-to-overcome challenges no more.

Which resolutions did we miss?

We know we’ve missed some realistic resolutions and we’d love to hear what you think. What inspires you? What helps you focus on your studies?

Here’s to 2018: the best you year yet.