Already Broke Your New Year’s Goal? Get Back on Track

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One month down, eleven to go. You’re already kicking butt on your New Year’s resolutions, right? Right!

…okay, let’s get real. Chances are, you made your New Year’s resolution with the best of intentions. But maybe it hasn’t gone too well, or perhaps you forgot about it altogether. That stinks, but you should know that you’re not alone: New Year’s goals are broken all the time.

The good news is that you can always get back on track. The following tips will make you refocus and recommit to your New Year’s goals.

 

Evaluate the Bad

New Years is supposed to be all about the positive. If you’ve lost that positivity, start with the most basic question: Why did you quit?

Evaluating what went wrong is crucial to analyzing your choices. Maybe it’s an easy answer like your January was way busier than you had planned or you got caught up in the start of a new semester that you forgot about those goals. Those are easy fixes. But sometimes it’s deeper than that, and the question is harder to answer honestly or objectively.

Still, do your best to look back at January and figure out what may be at the root of your problems. That answer will help the next steps and beyond.

 

Make a Clear and Comprehensive Plan

One of the biggest reasons why we let go of our goals is because of a failure to plan ahead. Go pick up a calendar and start by looking at this week. What can you do this week to put you ahead. If your goal is to pay down debt, use a budget to pay an extra $5 to your credit card. Or, if you’re trying to get healthier, replace all candy bars you’d normally have with a piece of organic fruit.

Then, keep the calendar open and work on the month. Where do you see yourself at the end of this month? Remember that you already failed once, so don’t be too ambitious. Start slow and small. You can always go big when you hit your first few goals on time.

 

Get Accountable

Some people do best when there is a social aspect of a resolution. For example, posting your goal progress on social media accounts or setting up a blog to share with others can be extremely powerful and motivating — and it’s a great way to stay accountable. We know that we are more likely to stay on track for longer terms when we know others are in on the goal line.

Another idea is to put money on the line. Sign up and pay for that 5k race or pre-pay for a tutor or trainer. When money is part of the picture, you’re less likely to want to waste it by falling behind. Plus, your target will feel more tangible when you invest in yourself and your plan.

 

Go Easy On Yourself

For the majority of goal setters, resolutions don’t make it to the end of the year. There are many reasons for it from just forgetting or life getting in the way. A year is a long time to keep to a goal, so it’s important and valuable to celebrate the accomplishments you do make whether big or small.

Putting pressure on yourself to perform every single day will burn you out fast and may even set you up for failure for other goals as well. Instead, treat each day as a chance to start over or move yourself a little bit closer to the goal line whether it’s January 1 or December 31.

How to Stay Motivated to Workout in the Winter

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Dark, cold weather isn’t exactly inspiring us to get off the couch. It certainly isn’t pushing us to go on our morning runs or weekly trip to the gym. Staying motivated to work out in the winter is tough, but it’s essential to keeping a healthy routine when others are packing on the pounds or hibernating for the season. These tips will help you move more, rest less, and get your sweat on like you would in warmer months.

 

Find a Workout Buddy

Working out can be lonely, and you’ll feel it even more with winter blues at an all-time high. Luckily, with so many people adding exercising more to their resolutions, you won’t have to look hard to find a partner to share gym time.

If you can’t find a close friend to do it, take this as an opportunity to expand your circle. Start a running group at your college or lead a unique workout class that others would want to take. Making like-minded friends is just one another way to help you guarantee you’ll meet your fitness goals.

 

Bring in the Sun

Part of the lack of motivation to move comes from a lack of light and heat in your home. Without it, you’ll feel tired more and will naturally want to spend more time lounging around under a blanket than going out in the elements.

To combat this, try to remember to open your windows during the day and position yourself nearest to the natural light as possible. UV lights can do the trick too. To amp up the temperature, you can wear more layers around the house or turn up the thermostat a few hours before heading to the gym.

 

Find the Right Playlist

We all love listening to softer, kinder music in the winter. But folk rock and light pop can be harmful when your body needs to feel the beat to get you into those sneakers.

When creating the right playlist for your workout, you don’t need to skim on your favorite lighter tunes. Make those your designated stretching, warm up, or cool down music. If you need help selecting your actual workout music, try apps and websites like TempoTap or SoundBPM so you can find songs to match your running pace or biking speed.

 

Try Something New

Sometimes our slumps are less weather related and more emotionally based. Doing the same workout over and over again can wear anyone out, especially when you’re already feeling a lack of motivation.

This is the perfect opportunity to buy some Groupon or deal website passes to try a new, interesting class. Take an aerial yoga instead of pilates or a flywheel class instead of a bike ride outside in the snow. There are so many opportunities to mix it up!

 

Upgrade Your Gear

Do you remember the feeling of getting new clothes for school and then wanting to wear them ASAP? The same concept goes for getting new running shoes or running tights. The newer the gear, the more likely you are to want to use them.

This isn’t an excuse to drop hundreds of dollars on workout clothes, but if you’re rocking tattered and torn t-shirts, you’ll need to invest anyways. If you’re into technology, trying purchasing used or looking for discounts on last year’s models of Fitbits, GPS watches, and workout headphones. Renewing your motivation is so worth it.

 

 

Achievable New Years Resolutions for Students

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A new year is FINALLY here! This means it’s time to both renew and refresh, as well as set goals for the next 365 days. Setting goals isn’t exactly easy, but if you understand how to make the right resolutions, you can go into the new year prepared to make just about anything happen. These four ideas are great starter resolutions for all college students to take on.

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Clean Up Our Mess

We’re guilty of having an unorganized, messy dorm room. Small space, hectic schedule — it happens to the best of us. Looking forward to a new year and new semester, I think we’re all promising to get our cleaning act together.

How to make it happen: Designate a cleaning day or time and put it on your schedule. The best goal-setters know that to make something happen, there has to be space or time to let it happen. Select a time that isn’t too busy or cluttered with your schedule (such as Sunday afternoon for laundry) and make a plan. One week could be to wash bedding and linens, and the next could be to clean floors or dust electronics.

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Get [X] Hours of Sleep Per Night

As a college student, sleep is so important. Experts in the area believe that between seven and eight hours is ideal for young adults. But with all-nighters, late night events, and morning classes, getting that perfect amount of sleep is nearly impossible unless you put out the effort. But the rewards are huge. You’ll feel more energetic, eat better, and perform well on tests. That’s so worth setting this resolution.

How to make it happen: The easiest way to go to bed on time is to set yourself up for success. Get rid of electronics, including your phone, in your bed space. Put your phone on silent or sleep mode for bedtime and ask your roommate to help you stick to quiet hours before bedtime. If you’re still having problems falling and staying asleep, purchase upgraded bed linens such as a mattress pad to help you make the perfect sleep space.

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Start Paying Down Student Loans Every Month

Making financial resolutions is pretty standard, even among college students. And while it’s true you should cut down on using credit cards or try to be more frugal when eating out with friends, as a college student, there are bigger fish to fry: your student loans. While you’re not required to pay down your student loans now, paying it off early, even if only a few bucks a month will save you big in the coming years when you’re on your own and responsible for rent and other bills.

How to make it happen: Learn everything about your student loans now. Your financial aid office is a great starting point to do your research on who your lender is, how much interest you’ll pay after the grace period, and what your payment post-graduation would be. Then, set up automatic payments around your pay days. You’ll never miss the money while still making a dent in your school debt.

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Achieve More, Stress Less

Whether you’re a freshman or a second year senior, we all make the mistake of trying to do too much in college. It’s so tempting to join every club, to attend all the seminars, and to network nightly. However, adding too much to your plate can even affect your grades or your attitude. It’s time to scale back and focus on what matters.

How to make it happen: Before you head back to school, check your schedule. Do you need to take on that third elective this semester? Can you go without that book club or extracurricular that isn’t making you happy? The answer may be hard to come to, but having a good heart-to-heart with yourself can help you see just how you want your next year to be: full of happiness, hope, and less stress.