We’ve all been through the gamut of the regular New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s working on time management, being more punctual, or eating healthier, more people tend to find that their dedication and motivation dwindle as February hits. If you’re like me and don’t want to start the new year off with a resolutions failure, there are tons of tiny things you can do that can lead to a year of success. Here are just a few!
1. Clean out your email
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who have clean inboxes, and those who have 13,678 unread emails. While it’s not a mess of things that would land you on an episode of Hoarders, it’s mental clutter, for sure. Take some time to go through your unread emails or just flat out delete them all and start fresh! Then do your best to keep up with your inbox better this year.
2. Check your credit score
I check my credit score every January. While most students may not have a ton of credit history, you can’t avoid not knowing it for much longer. If you're looking to buy or lease a car, own a house, and/or rent an apartment in college, you won’t be getting any of those things if your credit score is too low. To know your score means you can make adjustments now that will set you up for financial success later. Credit Karma is a great place to start for free credit reports, monitoring, and scores.
3. Drink more water
Staying hydrated is so important for your general health and mental well-being, and we're all guilty of not drinking enough water. Additionally, if weight loss is part of your resolutions this year, water is a huge part of that. Even if you don’t change a ton about your eating or fitness habits, drinking more water every day makes you feel fuller and thus less likely to snack.
4. Reorganize your space at least once a month
When things are messy, you aren’t at your best. Think of the time you spend trying to find things when your room or dorm is in disarray. By the time you find whatever you’re looking for, you’re tired and ready for a nap. (Just me? Okay.) Keep your living area organized to keep your mind clear. There's also something to be said about rearranging your stuff or redecorating every once in a while if you start to get bored with your surroundings and need a new vibe.
5. Get a calendar
This may seem old school with the technology we have available, but I love a paper calendar. I find that when I write meetings, assignments, and events down, I remember them more often, and my calendar is always on my desk so I can see the month in advance. If you find yourself forgetting things easily, try planning out your responsibilities and events in any kind of new format to find something that works better in the new year.
6. Start saving where you can
I once came across a post on social media that said, "For the past year, I put away every $5 bill that came into my possession. To date, I've saved $3,335." It’s really hard as a high school, college, or graduate student to save money, so this method works to kick-start a good emergency fund—or maybe a slight alternative to calling your parents all the time for some extra cash—without draining the spending money you have access to now.
7. Clean up your social media platforms
There are two things you can do in the social media realm. First, unfriend and unfollow friends whom you no longer speak with, who are super annoying, or whom you just don’t like anymore. Why keep that negative energy around when you can remove it from your life with the click of a button? Second, if you’re applying to college or looking for a job, take stock of all of your posts, pictures, and reels. Now more than ever, recruiters and colleges are checking prospective applicants out through social media, and it's playing a huge role in their decisions.
8. Create a LinkedIn page
LinkedIn is a critical part of the job search—it’s a great way to make a first impression on businesses looking for new employees and could lead to a job you were never expecting! Businesses and recruiters are more likely to turn to LinkedIn first to check out your qualifications. If they can’t find you, do you think they'll call you in for an interview? You can even make a LinkedIn profile as early as high school!
9. Apply for at least one scholarship a day
There are a bajillion scholarships out there. Literally a bajillion. I’ve counted. Okay, maybe not...but I've seen the CollegeXpress scholarship database, and our team is always looking for the really fun awards that all of you can apply for. If you apply to just one scholarship a day, you could easily pay off a few semesters of school in just a month. Keep a look out for our Scholarship Saturday postings as well, where we pick some of our favorite scholarships that almost anyone can apply to and go home with some serious cash.
These are just a few ideas for ways to improve your life in the new year. Resolutions can be hard to stick to, but if you’re not looking for quick results and rather a long-term change, then these nine tips will help you do just that for a better overall year. Whatever your resolution is—big or small—I wish you the best of luck and a Happy New Year!
If you're looking for even more advice to start the new year off right, check out our blog on How to Set Better New Year's Resolutions You Can Commit To.