Small Changes That Will Have Big Results in 2010

"I will take the stairs" is more realistic than "I will workout 6 days a week."

With every new year comes a handful of far-fetched resolutions and often unrealistic goals we set for ourselves. We vow to be better in the new year: to be thinner, study more, drink less, exercise more, etc, etc. And then we throw them all away during our post-NYE hangover the next morning. What? It’s hard to eat healthy when the only thing that will make you feel better is a stack of chocolate chip pancakes and 5 strips of bacon.

If you’re tired of setting resolutions that never pan out, maybe it’s time to make a new resolution: to make more realistic resolutions.

Now, I’m not saying you should change your resolution from “I want to get better grades” to “I will sleep with my professor to get better grades,” just because it may seem easier. What I am saying is there are simple ways to improve your life without grand resolutions that you know you’ll never keep. Life is in the details and sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact.

If you wanna see some real changes in 2010, start small.

Change Your Routine:
We are creatures of habit; it’s in our DNA. Although having a structured schedule is a great way to establish a healthy lifestyle, it also can lead to a mundane life. And one where everything remains the same. Try a new exercise (hula hooping is all the rage right now). Swap your lattes for a simple coffee (which will cut out some serious calories). Take the stairs to your dorm room instead of the elevator. Find a new study space. Just do something that will give your brain and body some new stimulation. The change will be small, but the results will be noticeable.

Declutter:
Clean your room or desk space. College dorms are small enough without all that extra junk lying around. Throw out all those red cups, donate any old and unwanted clothes to Goodwill, and reorganize your room. Studies show that our mental state often reflects our living space, so if you declutter your room you’ll feel less stressed and chaotic and more relaxed and rejuvenated for the new year.

Be LESS Available:
That’s right, I said it. Put the Blackberry away, Tweet less, Facebook less, and leave Gmail alone for 5 seconds. Focus on the people you’re with when you’re actually with them, instead of taking calls and texting all the time. Not only will your friends appreciate your attention, but your relationships will get a whole lot stronger.

Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier:
Most people have no real time for themselves between getting ready in the morning, eating breakfast, and rushing off to class. Try waking up a half hour early and relax a little: read the newspaper, have a cup of coffee, watch Saved By the Bell reruns (everyone could use a little more Zack Morris in their lives), and start your day off slower than you usually do. If you start the morning off without a rush, you’ll feel happier and less stressed during the long work/school day. Less stress = more productivity.

See? It’s that easy!

What are your New Years Resolutions? Do you make any small changes that have BIG results?

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