Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year, New Routine

Welcome back, readers! It's a new semester here at Saint Mike's, and a new year for all. You've all probably had your fill of celebration and Auld Lang Syne, but now the the party is over, how do we keep that excitement and feeling of renewal going strong?

Well, I have a few ways. Now, I'm not one for new year resolutions--I don't have the best track record when it comes to maintaining them. However, I made a personal goal over the winter break that I don't really see as simply a new year resolution, but a daily reminder of the lifestyle that I want for myself. That one goal: "Live well."

I know, I know. What does it mean? It may seem a bit ambiguous to anyone else, but for me it has become a bit of a mantra. I wake up in the morning and think, what can I do to live well today? Because, in fact, it is a daily goal, even though it sounds much bigger. But I do small things that add up to that one big goal: When possible, (which as of right now is looking like two days out of the academic week) I start my morning with exercise. On the days that I can't do that, I don't sweat it (excuse the terrible pun), but if I can I might try to find another time to sneak in a small workout or at least stay conscious of my wellness choices throughout the day. I eat healthy meals, but I don't spare myself the occasional cookie (because who can really deprive themselves of those Alliot butter-scotchies?!). I attend class and make sure that I am also attentive, taking notes and participating in discussions. I do my homework in the library, where I can pay attention. I drink lots of water and tea. I spend meals and downtime with friends. I go to bed at a reasonable hour. And, above all, I keep a positive attitude, come what may.

Sounds like a lot, right? And of course, I'm not perfect. Everyone slips up, and I don't expect my semester to always go well, because that's an unrealistic expectation for life in general. Especially when the workload gets heavier, I know I'll be staying up later and I'll be more drawn to fast food or take-out. It's easy during the first week of classes to load up your plate with a ton of goals, because your classes are only just taking off and the pace is slow at first. However, setting a routine now will help keep some of those principles in place later on. Someone once told me that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I'm not sure if that's true, but if it is, I'm well on my way!

It's also no surprise that many of these actions fuel each other. If I eat well and get enough exercise, I'll also sleep well, and I'll also have enough energy to go about my day. If I have enough energy, I'll be able to focus better in class and get good grades. If I stay on top of my work, I'll be much less stressed later on in the semester. And if I take care of myself and am doing well in school, I'll feel good--which means that I'll naturally have a positive attitude.

So, this is my personal goal for 2013 and beyond.

Come back this weekend for more posts--I can't wait to report back about my first week of classes! Have a great day, everyone. And whatever it means to you, remember to live well!



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