It’s the first week of January, and 12 untarnished months of inspiring goals of 6 a.m. workouts, paleo diets and a surge of selfies sporting #NewYearNewMe lay ahead. While a select few will keep up with their radical ambitions, most will hit snooze on that 6 a.m. wake-up call by Feb. 1. In 2015, resolve to make simpler life changes to make this year’s resolutions a little easier than the last.
10. Learn to take a break from work
Working hard is important, and everyone is aiming for that 4.0 GPA, but it’s just as important to step away from the grind every now and then. Whether it’s taking a coffee break, meeting up with friends for lunch or getting a little retail therapy, taking a step back for some R&R is just as important as working hard.
9. Practice balance
Strive for success, but perfection isn’t everything. Don’t procrastinate, keep up with responsibilities and work hard, but don’t force yourself to blow off a night out with friends because you have to cram for an exam the next day. Find balance between school and a social life.
8. Start thinking about post-grad life
Don’t wait until the week before graduation to figure out what comes after the cap and gown. Consider possible job outlooks or a new city to move to. Whatever lies beyond the handshake and diploma, make sure to have an idea of what direction to go in.
7. Look at the whole, not the parts
College is about discovering interests, gaining experiences and taking advantage of opportunities that can lead to that dream job. Along the way, there will surely be moments of panic and several existential crises, but keep the big picture in mind and remember that hiccups are just part of the journey.
6. Cut out the old …
Don’t hold on to those who hold you back or create unnecessary stress. Keep the friends who make an effort to stay in your life; forget the rest.
5. … and bring in the new
Use the new year as an opportunity to introduce more people into your life who will help you grow as a person, rather than bring you down. College is the perfect place to meet others and make friends who share the same interests as you.
4. Embrace uncertainty
Accept the fact that no one really knows what the future holds and uncertainty will be present for the rest of your life. Knowing the solution isn’t always best; just embrace change and live every day confidently.
3. Don’t forget about home
Parents know that college is a struggle and spare time is almost a myth, but take a few minutes to give them an occasional call to let them know how life is going. While it’s not the case for all students, it may be their checkbook paying the way for your future success.
2. Smile more
In 1989, psychologist Robert Zajonc found that smiling more improves not only your attitude but the attitude of those around you. Aim to quit walking around with a scowl and consciously smile. It sounds strange, but you’ll start to see a difference.
1. Treat yourself
Treating yourself isn’t about going bankrupt or eating saltine crackers every day for a week because you splurged on that overpriced pair of shoes. Buy yourself the chocolate bar in the checkout line or spend a day in bed just watching movies. In other words, do something you wouldn’t normally do.