With 2019 fast approaching, it is time to start thinking about what we want to achieve in the following year and how setting a new years’ resolution can help us achieve these goals. Usually life gets in the way and we end up forgetting all about those promises we made to ourselves on January 1st so we thought we would put together a short list of handy tips and tricks that can help students keep there eyes on the prize in spite of exam timetables and busy social lives.
Hitting the gym
Perhaps the most popular new year’s resolution made across the world is about getting fit. We’ve all at some point in our lives signed up to our local gym on January 1st only to cancel the membership a few months later due to time/motivation/Netflix. It’s a shame because Edinburgh is full of great gyms with great student deals. So, the question is, how to keep yourself motivated when the snooze button is more appealing than the treadmill?
Firstly, we recommend making it team game. Find another like-minded friend with the same resolution to buddy up with. This can make the first few visits to the gym a lot less intimidating if your worried about being the only one there who doesn’t look like a member of the Avengers. It can also mean that you motivate each other. If you have set days that the two of you go to the gym, not only does this create a routine, but you also can’t get away with the poor excuses that you tell yourself when a day on the couch sounds much more appealing. By holding each other to account, and by not wanting to let a friend down, you’ll both be making good on the promises you set yourself at the start of the year.
Another helpful tip for keeping yourself motivated at the gym is by going as much as possible as soon as possible. At the start of the year, if you can use the gym regularly, it starts to become a habit and, due the endorphins that are released during exercise, it can become quite addictive. This becomes even more so once you start to see an improvement in your physical fitness as it can feel very rewarding. Therefore, it is important to set yourself goals and track your progress. Regular and consistent physical exercise is also good for the mind as it can push to become better in other areas of our lives such as healthier eating, better sleeping and forming routines.
Hitting the textbooks
A new semester means a new beginning and all students, since the dawn of time, have always promised themselves that they will study harder than ever before. The reality however is that we quickly find ourselves drifting back towards our old routines and comforts. It is easier to let the next episode play on Netflix than it is to turn off the TV and get back to the textbooks (it’s all Netflix’s fault). The following is a few tricks that might help you achieve your new goal.
Similar to visiting the gym, some people find it useful to study together. In doing so you again find yourself motivated to work hard so that you don’t let your friends down or don’t look bad in front of them, either way your results should improve. Picking the right partner/s is key here however as you may not want to buddy up with someone who will encourage procrastination, even if they are your best friend. If you and your study partner are competitive by nature, why not try turning your studies into a competition. If you find that you both work harder, everybody wins!
Have a set, non-negotiable time, that is for studying only. Yes, a lot of the fun and games of University life can be the spontaneous night outs or last-minute parties, but it is important to remember that there will always be more of them. Turning down a late night of drinking and partying can be a very rewarding decision not only for your bank account but also your effectiveness. Studying the day after a night out is even harder as you will likely be tired, less engaged and therefore less productive. Also, once you start pushing back study time, you might find that this becomes a habit that is hard to shake.
Another good tip for sticking to your resolution of studying harder can be finding a new space. Studying in your flat can be difficult due to the distractions that you might have so why not try finding your own corner of the university library or a quiet café? By making this place your new study space you will find that the routine of working there will help you get in the mindset of studying every time you visit it. This new location will also remind you of your resolution and act as a motivator in itself.
Being cash conscious
With all the fun nights out, Uni events, and attractions in Edinburgh, it can be difficult to keep track of your spending and there is nothing more demoralizing than a poorly bank balance. Setting yourself a budget may feel like hard work, but it is definitely worth it in the long run. Not only will it hopefully save you a few pennies, it will also mean that you will have the resources to enjoy yourself properly when the time comes. Being wary of your wages can also help you keep healthy as you may not be able to afford to eat well or keep your new gym membership when money is tight.
Sprucing up the CV
Another rewarding resolution when it comes to money management, can be getting a part-time job. Not only will this help with your finances, it also contributes to that CV you’ve been thinking about adding to for a while. Again, having a job will help you establish a routine that can have a positive effect on your study time. Win-win!
If you really want your CV to shine, then you consider a new year’s resolution of volunteering more. Not only will you be contributing to a good cause and helping others, but you will be helping your future-self applying for that dream job.