New Year’s resolutions are upon us, and if you’re a college student, you’re headed back to school after winter break. It’s the perfect time to take on some easy-to-adopt steps that improve grades. From improving sleep to increasing your hydration, these resolutions are a no-brainer.
Maybe you’re home with family as the calendar flips to a new month AND new year. Or perhaps you’re out with friends you’ve met this last semester. Either way, at the new year we often consider the time-honored tradition of making a resolution. And this year might be the year to consider how those resolutions can actually improve your grades. That’s right. Thinking you want to end the spring semester with a different result? New Year’s resolutions can help. Read on for some simple resolutions that can drastically impact your GPA.
Plan Social Media Blackouts
Scroll. Scroll. Stop. Scroll. Scroll. Stop. Have you ever noticed that while you genuinely love social media, it also has this funny effect on your brain? You wouldn’t be wrong. Research has shown that social media makes it more difficult for us to hold attention, and shrinks the parts of our brain responsible for concentration. Yikes. But before you go cold turkey, declaring to the world that you’re off social media forever (and then come crawling back in 3 weeks) try something a bit more reasonable. Plan blackout days. If possible, at least 5 days a month. By decreasing your overall consumption, you free up valuable time for things like studying. Or anything else.
Get More Sleep
Possibly you’ve fallen into the stereotypical sleep patterns of a college student. Living amongst friends, in a co-sleeping environment, it becomes extremely easy to develop unhealthy sleeping habits. But what does lack of good sleep have to do with studying? In addition to impacting your attitude, getting enough sleeps improves our recall, memory, and problem-solving capabilities. Giving your brain a rest allows it to replenish and process the activities of a day. Even if you think that all night study session is going to do the trick, it’s actually proven that students without sleep do poorer on exams overall.
So, starting in the new year, incrementally move your bedtime earlier. And remain as consistent as possible with when you go to bed, allowing your body to naturally shut down as a result of its internal clock. The “you” from Finals Week is thanking “you” today.
Go Outside at Least Once a Day
It stands to reason that you weren’t intended to be a caged animal, and yet many of us never realize the benefits of getting outside at least once a day. Beyond the very obvious benefit you get from vitamin D, it’s been found that walking outside can increase our overall creativity. Creativity that’s critical when you’ve got a 10-page paper to write in the next week. Additionally, the benefits of light cardio include increasing your body’s circulation — which is critical to every other part of your system. Make a resolution today that you’ll go for a walk outside 5-6 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Then watch what your brain can do!
Drink More Water
Just like getting outside and being physical improves how your body functions, water has a similar effect. Representing approximately 75% of your body’s make up, you can imagine how critical drinking water is to keeping yourself at top performance. Resolve to drink more water instead of soda (or, you know, anything else), and find easy ways to do it. From fun water bottles to flavor packets, there are a lot of ways to improve the experience. It’s also important that your water is safe and tastes good. Consider adding to your birthday list a pitcher that filters your water, like a PUR Plus Pitcher. It comes in fun colors and the PUR Plus Filter is certified to reduce 3X more chemical and physical substances* than the leading competitor pitcher filter.
Start a Budget
You might not think your finances have anything to do with studying, but they do. Financial problems have been proven to lead to adverse mental health outcomes, the least of which is carrying low levels of stress at all times. This, in turn, negatively impacts our ability to freely learn the materials needed to be successful in college. Make a resolution today to start a budget, even if you aren’t solely responsible for your expenses. Understanding finances now is a tool that will become immeasurably valuable as you start out on your career.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just open a spreadsheet and lay out 12 months money in versus money out. This tool can provide healthy guardrails and give you peace of mind, releasing you from some very detrimental baggage.
A year from now how do you want to look back on how you spent it? Hopefully with a few simple resolutions you’ll have pride in all that you’ve accomplished at college. Ready to take on the year after this one!