Maintaining success in the new year

Students work together in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center. As you are setting goals for the New Year, whether they are academic or personal, keep these tips in mind. // Photo by Ethan Vitak Student Publications

As the year gets off to a roaring start, it’s easy to get crushed under New Year’s resolutions, the responsibilities of school piling up and the daunting approach of another year to take control over. 

Instead of staring at the almost intimidating blank slate of a new year with fear and indecision, take a look at these tips and tricks below to make sure that you’re starting this year with your best foot forward.

Here are some tips for making 2023 the year where your well-meaning resolutions last beyond those exciting first few days in January.

Be Realistic

When you look at the New Year as a completely new beginning, it’s easy to fall into the fallacy that this means that you can do everything you have been putting off for the right time.

This isn’t to say that New Year’s isn’t a great time to try to pick up new and healthier habits, but it’s also important to not overload yourself. 

You may want to set a resolution to spend an hour a day working out, another hour reading and maybe a half hour every day learning a new language. 

However, for many Tech students, this is simply unfeasible with their often already oversaturated schedules.

Instead, try to be realistic and work on things that you know you will be able to fit into your life without overwhelming yourself. 

For example, maybe an hour of yoga every day is just not possible, then it’s perfectly fine to start with a five-minute routine and work your way up as the year goes on.

Avoid Burnout

As the year begins, with it comes a conviction that this year will be completely different from the previous one and a feeling of almost being invincible.

With that, it’s easy to take this as an opportunity to commit to new things, sign up for new clubs or make new commitments. 

However, it is important to remember that this momentum that you’re feeling in January may not last you through the next twelve months. 

Burn out is an increasingly present problem at the Institute, and when you’re feeling fresh and refreshed at the beginning of the year, it’s easy to forget how these commitments can quickly become overloading week after week.

Find Your System

The organizational environments of today are more diverse and complicated than ever. With new technologies like Notion and an increasing number of options for paper planners, it is often hard to even choose a system you want to organize your life with as you start anew. 

Furthermore, the increased presence of organizational aesthetics in social media makes it even more difficult to decide, as videos of people promoting various softwares, planners and systems begin to overwhelm. 

Instead of relying on social media or the advice of friends and families, when finding a system, it is important that you are doing research and finding what works best with your strengths and weaknesses.

For example, if your entire life is already on your computer, using a technological system — such as Notion — could be ideal. 

However, if you know you tend to get overwhelmed with complexity, Notion might not be the right fit for you and you may lean towards something like Google Tasks. 

By taking a moment to consider what you are currently using at the moment and what is working and what isn’t, it’ll be easier to choose the best option for yourself going forward. It may take a couple tries, but what works for others might not be for you and vice versa. Keep at it! be

Make a Routine

One of the best ways to pick up new skills stick — such as working out, reading or even a new hobby — is to make it a habit and with that, a part of your routine.

For example, think about brushing your teeth. It’s probably so ingrained in your brain that you get up to do it without even thinking and if you don’t, you feel that something is off about your day. 

Similarly, if you work your new skill into your daily routine, it’ll eventually be something that comes naturally.

It takes about two months for any new habit to become automatic, so before that happens, it may be difficult to continue to consciously make the choice to do the habit until it sticks. However, if you stick with it, it really can be rewarding.

The New Year is an exciting time and rightfully so.

It can represent a moment to reflect on the past, plan for the future and take time to learn how to work towards a happier and healthier life. 

However, it’s also important to take this time to rest and reconsider and think about all you’ve done well and all the great things you are sure to achieve.

Good luck, Jackets!