5 New Year’s resolutions you’ll actually be able to keep

There’s something very fresh about the essence of ‘tomorrow’ or ‘next month’ or even ‘next year’. Something new and exciting, as if anything but the present day will bring about a new perspective or that extra motivation that we’ve needed since the beginning of finals season this past December. The new year is that time to make that big leap or change that we’ve told ourselves we would do all throughout 2015, but now that it’s 2016, it’s surely the best time to start.

Oh, the ‘logic’ of New Year’s resolutions and the ‘resolutioners’. It’s easy to spot these types of people, too. Head to the Zone, where you’ll find a number of people you haven’t ever seen, suddenly wanting to focus on their physical health. They are also the type of people who wear workout clothes to lecture so as to have it known that they are fitness junkies. Those high-sugar coffees and caffeine chocolate bars are surprisingly not flying off the counters as fast as they once were, since many could be trying to cut down on their caffeine in-take.

Unfortunately for some ‘resolutioners’, their goals do not last and that could be due to many different reasons, ranging from unrealistic timelines, setting the bar too high, or losing motivation. The last one is quite common when it comes to resolutions because as the excitement of a brand new year quickly wears off, we realize that it’s not the freshness of tomorrow, next month, or next year that will help us, it’s you and your commitment to your goals, as well as shaping the right attitude in achieving them.

Or maybe (just maybe), we’re setting the wrong types of resolutions. Here are five simple, and non-fitness or health-related things you can do and achieve this year:

1. Say ‘thank you’ more often
Gratitude goes a long way, whether that means thanking someone else for his or her kind gesture or thanking yourself for just being who you are. It puts a smile on their face, and is quite comforting, knowing that you take the time to remind yourself to be in the moment and appreciate it.

2. Start prioritizing sleep
While I’m sure you didn’t do anything but sleep this winter break, catching up on the lack of it during finals season, getting back to the regular school routine can bring us back to our old sleeping habits. Skip the late night coffees and try going to bed an hour earlier than normal, and keep to this routine until you start falling asleep at more a decent time.

3. Spend less money on things, and more on experiences
This isn’t necessarily a suggestion to spend money, as many of us have probably resolved to save more money this year. What I am suggesting, however, is that if we do find ourselves wanting to spend, why not go on a winery tour, spend a night in Toronto, or try out a fancy, local restaurant with your friends? Indulge in experiences and spend it with good company.

4. Treat yourself once in a while
Rewarding yourself for the little successes can be very fulfilling. As students, we tend to focus on achieving desirable grades, making sure we make the Dean’s Honours List, or participating in workshops and events that will enhance our resumés for when we graduate. It’s easy to get caught up in the big things, but make sure to reward yourself for your smaller successes as well. Did you make it on time to that class that you usually sleep through? Did you go a whole day without your dose of caffeine? Did you hand in that paper on the actual due date? All successes. So, treat yourself for it.

5. Call your family
Many of us probably spend the holidays with our families, and I can only assume that some were dying to get back to school so they could be on their own again. Independence is bliss, but every now and then, try not to forget about your loved ones. They may drive you nuts and they may make you wish you had gone further away for school, but at the end of the day, they are your family and they miss you.

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