The Collegian

Staying focused in the New Year

Haley Halvorson

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It’s officially the new year and second semester which means new goals or resolutions to focus on in 2018.

For many people it can become hard to stay driven and focused on specific goals with new classes and other responsibilities, but there are a few doable ways to keep on track and stress free.

Connor Hall, a junior mechanical engineering major, is the senior community assistant for Honors Hall, a teaching assistant for the Honors College and apart of Sigma Phi Epsilon. To manage his busy schedule, Hall maintains a routine.

“Every week or so I do a self-check of my week to see what my priorities are and what I have to get done, and cut things out that are not as important,” he said.

Staying organized and prioritizing your schedule is important when new opportunities and responsibilities surface in the beginning of the year, and being able to say no is important to keep from becoming overwhelmed, Hall advised.

Another way to remain focused is to look at everything day by day. Use this to accomplish your goals in an easier and faster way. Take the day by the hour and multitask to help gain more free time.

“Reflect on your day, jot down what your commitments are and focus on those,” said Becky Degen, director of continuous improvement at South Dakota State University. In her role, Degen helps students and faculty progress in academics and in themselves.

Degen also suggests that to make it a better and more successful new year is to not become anxious with the big goal. Start by breaking it down into small chunks and focus on the small accomplishments first.

“I always tell people this quote: ‘Don’t let perfect get in the way of better,’” Degen said.

Not all goals have to be to eat healthier, exercise more or save money. Although these are good resolutions, they are also the most commonly broken resolutions. It can be easy during second semester to get distracted and swamped with homework.

Allyson Monson, a sophomore political science and communications major is also the administrative assistant for Students’ Association, an Honors College Student Organization Secretary and Young Hall CA. She emphasizes the importance of taking time for friends and family.

“I make sure every Monday I meet my friends for lunch, or sometime during the week to keep that lasting connection and stay happy,” she said.

Calling family to talk or vent is equally important to Monson because “they support you in everything and this is a great avenue for mental health as well.”

It’s important to take time for oneself and focus on mental and emotional health however a person needs; whether that is talking to friends, reading a book or treating themselves. One of those ways to be internally healthy and happy in the new year is to treat yourself, according to Shala Larson, first year graduate student getting her master’s in communications studies.

“We all have that new-year-new-me attitude, so treat yourself not only with Taco Bell and shopping but with working hard on your goals,” she said.

Her advice to people looking to achieve new goals this year is to remember why they set those goals in the first place and know it’s OK that it takes time to reach those goals.

“Work hard towards your goals but remember, this is to make you happy, not to punish yourself, take baby steps,” she said.

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Staying focused in the New Year