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New Year's Resolutions You'll Love Keeping

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By Anna Whitehouse

Whether it’s losing weight, getting fit or studying harder, making a New Year’s resolution is the traditional response to Christmas over- indulgence. But with 80 percent of resolutions failing by February, we reckon it’s time to ditch self-denial and make a resolution you’ll love keeping.

Here are our four favorite ways to feel fabulous throughout 2018.

Find something special to do with friends

According to Professor of Psychology William Chopik: “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being.”

Now you’ve been at university for at least a few months, you should be fairly adept at forging new friendships. Having bonded with other students in lectures, at societies, or in the queue at the bar of your favorite club, it’s time to start maximizing your shared interests and planning some exciting activities.

Maybe you all enjoy the great outdoors, and could spend a day hiking in the local countryside? Or explore your new hometown like a tourist and tick off some of the major sights to see.

It’s not too early to start planning ahead for the summer either. Camping together is a cheap way to get away from the stresses of deadlines and exams, and can provide plenty of memorable moments. Don’t forget to keep that Instagram feed updated.

Of course, you won’t want to neglect your friends from home either. Maybe plan to visit them at their university, or invite them back to yours. Travelling around the country to see people needn’t cost a fortune if you shop around and make the most of student discounts. 

Try a new sport or activity

When studying becomes pressured, hobbies and social activities act as a pressure valve, so it’s worth getting involved with a sport, club or society while you’re at university. With all kinds of activities on offer, you’re bound to find something to interest you.

If you’re not naturally sporty, don’t restrict yourself to sedentary hobbies as being active can help to reduce stress and boost your mood by releasing feel-good endorphins. Not a fan of team sports? Try joining a drama group, walking club, or dance class.

University is also a wonderful time to explore your creative talents. There will be opportunities to paint, act, sculpt, join a choir or take up that musical instrument you loved to play at school. Doing something outside your studies will balance out your life, look great on your CV and keep your brain exercised.

Make a difference by helping others

Charity work doesn’t just look good on your CV. You’ll gain a sense of purpose, a feeling of fulfilment and meet new friends at the same time. Working for social justice or helping to combat poverty also puts life in perspective when exams are looming.

For students in the UK who don’t mind dressing up and shaking buckets, there are always opportunities to get involved with fundraising during your university’s RAG (raising and giving) week. Other countries will also have similar fundraising events on campus. You could also get involved with the local homeless shelter, charity shop, food bank or soup run.

If you’re keen to travel as a volunteer and you’re willing to fundraise, there are lots of opportunities available with large charities like Tearfund or volunteering organizations like Volunteer Abroad.

Be kind to yourself and look after your own body

Listening to your inner critic is a bad habit, so why not resolve to stop in 2018? According to author Dr Neff, the trick is to: “treat yourself like a good friend, with the same kindness and care and support.” It can take time to change the way you perceive yourself, but keep challenging any self-critical thoughts and you’ll get there.

Being kind to yourself is also about caring for your physical needs. Money might be tight but it’s still possible for students to eat well. There are loads of cheap flavorsome recipes available online and you can also save money by cooking and sharing meals with your friends.

Try and include plenty of lean meat, some protein-packed eggs and beans and a decent serving of veg or salad. If you eat garlic and onions regularly, you’ll also give your immune system a boost.

We know getting to bed at a reasonable time isn’t exactly a priority right now. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on how much shut-eye you’re getting, as too many late nights can affect your ability to learn and harm your health. If you’re struggling to sleep due to anxiety, indulge in a warm bath, turn off your mobile and try listening to relaxing music or reading your favorite book.

Starting the year with just one of these resolutions will make a huge difference to the next twelve months. But if you want to feel really fabulous, why not give them all a go? Let us know how you’re getting on in the comments below.

Anna Whitehouse writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.

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