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How to Make Smart College New Year's Resolutions

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Setting New Year's resolutions can be a great exercise for any college student. But how can you make sure you'll stick with them?
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Minimal

Here's How:

  1. Spend time reflecting on last year. What worked well? What didn't? What do you want to keep the same? What do you want to change?
  2. Think about your habits, not individual instances or events. What did you struggle with the most? Is it within your control to change? If so, how? Which of your patterns of behavior work really well? Which ones need some improvement?
  3. Set yourself up for success. Figure out what you need -- a better calendar system for your time management, for example -- and get that in place before you even take step one on day one of the new year. You'll need tools to make changes, so make sure not to sell yourself short before you even have a chance to begin.
  4. Set reasonable goals within a time frame. This last part might also be the most important. When will you meet your goal(s)? How will you know if you've accomplished your resolutions? When and how will you check in with yourself to see how things are going?
  5. Set rewards for yourself. Very few people can instantly make large changes without any trouble. Implement rewards for yourself along the way so that your hard work comes with small rewards, too.
  6. Figure out how you'll get back on track when you slip up. Adjusting to a new system, working toward new goals, and changing certain behaviors can be really hard -- and sometimes you'll slip up along the way. Instead of stressing out and wasting your energy on what you did wrong, think of ways to get back on track as soon as possible.
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