Every year starts the same way.

We go into it with great expectations of what we will accomplish and how we will improve and make ourselves even better than we were the previous year. However, no matter how great your intentions are, your resolutions won’t just happen on their own. There is often a lot of work you need to do beforehand to make sure you succeed.

Here are some pieces of advice I think can help you make 2012 better than 2011!

Write Down Everything

Now that you’ve started class and have access to your syllabi, you will have a good idea of what to expect from the upcoming semester. Take the time to write down every single test, homework assignment, essay, etc., into your planner for each class. Also make sure to include any trips or extracurricular activities you have to attend. When you’ve done this, start looking at each week at a time. This way, you won’t be caught off guard when you have two papers, a test and a sorority/fraternity function all in the same week. Pinpoint which weeks are going to have a lot going on and make a note to yourself a week ahead of that time to start getting the work done in advance. You’ll thank yourself later when you aren’t pulling an all-nighter!

Add Exercise Into Your Schedule

Look at your class schedule and figure out when it will be reasonable for you to go to the gym. Once you’ve picked the days/times that you can go to the gym (or even attend an exercise class), write them down in your planner or put them in your phone calendar. Once you add this to your calendar, you are taking the first step of making sure you actually go. When you write it down, it makes the trip seem more mandatory and less optional.

Clear Our Your Inbox

One of my mantras is, “Clear inbox, clear mind.” It will be hard for you to figure out what you need to pay attention to when you’ve still got emails from two semesters ago just sitting in your inbox. If you’re keeping them there because they’re important, move them to another folder. If you don’t need it, trash it. If you don’t take the time to do this, all of your important emails for your organizations and classes will get lost in the clutter. I don’t know about you, but my eyes start to glaze over when I see multiple unread emails. It’s a small step you can take to make your life a little easier.

Take A Hard Look At Your Finances

Closing your eyes and intentionally avoiding looking at your balances will not make money appear. The best approach you can take is to look at each account and write down how much is in each one. Think about upcoming purchases you will need to make and see how that fits in. If you know you need to buy a new calculator, you’ll realize you probably shouldn’t spend $50 at the bar the night before. Try to do this each week if you can. Maybe call on a friend pursuing an accounting degree.

Think Of the World Around You

When we’re constantly running around in a hopeless frenzy, it’s sometimes hard to take a beat and really see what’s going on around us.  The truth is, there is probably someone around you (or a family member or even a friend from home) who could use a pick-me-up. You don’t need to spend money to make someone feel special. Just simply making a card out of construction paper or offering to help a friend proofread his or her essay will make someone smile. Try to do something every week that benefits someone other than yourself.

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Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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