My friends, BEWARE. Mid-February is upon us, signifying the return of annual weeks of “give ups.”
College students all know what I am referring to. After the first of January, all of us are filled with passion and determination to maintain all of our New Year’s resolutions. As active, hopeful young adults, we truly believe for one fleeting moment that we will, in fact, get healthier, read more and stress less. Unfortunately, we all recognize the fact that many, if not all, of these resolutions do not last the year. By mid-February all resolve is forgotten, and many of us shrug it off saying, “Oh well, there’s always next year.”
Believe me, I understand the difficulties of keeping up New Year’s Resolutions as well as the next hopeful. I set high goals and am bummed when they are not fully met. Once classes settle into a comfortable routine, it is easy to scrape on by and neglect new priorities made early in the year. I believe, however, that if you want something to change in your life, there is no better time than the present to start working towards your goals.
Let this post be my encouragement to all of us students to return to our priorities and continue on this adventuresome quest of resolving to achieve our goals. It does not matter if we have perhaps missed the bar already. Let us start from scratch and work toward a more well-rounded and healthy lifestyle during this next year in our lives as students.
I’ll first cover a New Year’s Resolution that is popular on campus, especially among all of my English major comrades. This goal is to simply read more books for fun. This is vitally important to edify the spirit and enrich one’s repertoire. Reading at least one unassigned book every month or so adds to a richer college experience and gives students the ability to extend the learning experience outside the classroom.
My advice for keeping this resolution is to first start small. Too often I’ll reach for the books that weigh as much as a large brick and bring dense concepts as well as lofty style. The goal to finish it usually crashes and burns when I lay on my couch, get 10 pages in and snap it shut in angry exasperation. We have all been there. So, rather than experience this once more, I have decided to start with the books I typically refer to as “cotton candy.” These are the lighter works with lots of shelf-appeal that I pick up in a bookstore and easily devour in a matter of days. When you start small, it is easier to develop the habit of simply reading for the pleasure of gaining new insights.
A second, wildly popular new year resolution goal that usually ends abruptly is physical fitness. Oh, yes, I know that this is a hard one. This is the one in which I go to the gym once and try running on the elliptical. We all know what comes next. I tire after what feels like an hour but is actually just five minutes, then collapse on the floor groaning dejectedly as I become sore before even leaving the gym.
My advice for achieving a healthier lifestyle is pretty simple: find a buddy and make it a routine. We all need a little bit of accountability to form a more difficult habit. At California Baptist University, it is fairly easy to find someone to go to the Recreation Center with as it is a nice, brand new facility and offers a little something for everyone, athletic or not. Find a friend who will accompany you consistently, then develop the habit. Once you get used to going to the Recreation Center, find the exercise you enjoy, and choose to do that. To make the time fly, you can even bring a book to read as you run on the treadmill or cycle. (See what I did there? Merging goals is the way to go!) Once one habit is formed, other adjustments will soon follow, developing into a healthier lifestyle than ever before.
As always, I must emphasize that in order to maintain a well rounded, driven life. It is important to stop and smell the roses as they grow. Always find time to meet someone new, invest in an old friend, drink some coffee and be amazed at God. As you budget your time and fit in all your new habits, remember to enjoy life, embrace opportunities, and serve the Lord in all you do.