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Find Your Winter Groove
Academic

Find Your Winter Groove

Find Your Winter Groove
Casey Cornelius

The calendar never lies—2015 is upon us and with it brings the start of a new term for millions of students across the country.  New resolutions, new courses, new opportunities…yet somehow this time of year is never as exciting as the start of fall classes. 

More than just the artic weather, which is gripping much of the nation, the winter just never feels as fresh as the start of other terms. Maybe it is because you are “back” in classes as opposed to starting them, but somehow it just never feels as special. 

So how can you start strong in 2015 and find your winter groove?  Whether you nailed last semester or not, these tips can help you make the most of the new year.

Establish Better Routines

Because of the start of a new calendar year and the fact that many people are in “resolution mode” it is easier to plan for how to better meet your goals.  This is a great time to evaluate your routine and find ways to make it better and more productive. 

Start with laying out your weekly schedule—include everything that really matters.  When are  your classes?  Do you work?  Are there any meetings you have planned?  Make sure to carve out time for sleep, exercise, rest, etc.  Laying out a set schedule will help you develop a better routine which, in a few weeks, will begin to feel like second-nature.

Tackle New Challenges

We all laugh about the “New Year, New You” stuff, but this really is the perfect time to identify your big goals.  What did you plan to achieve in 2014 and didn’t?  Was there something on the “to do” list which kept slipping to the bottom?  Now is the time to resurrect it.

Think about the one goal which you always said “I wish I could do if I only had more time.”  The good news is you have some power now to make it is a part of your plans for 2015. 

What big thing do you want to accomplish?

Plan for Summer

Even if you are just starting classes this week, it is not too early to start planning for what will happen after this term.  What do you need to do between now and March/April to be prepared?  Are you planning to take courses, graduate, or take on an internship? There are important steps you will need to take in the next weeks to be prepared for any of these possibilities.  Don’t wait to plan!

Find Balance

If you reflect on 2014, you might remember the moments in which the enthusiasm of starting the school year gave way to the chaos of midterms, papers, exams and projects.  Obviously I don’t want to bring up any bad memories but realize this semester will have all of those elements as well.  The difference is you are now better prepared to deal with them.   

So that your life isn’t subject to those major external forces, find ways to balance your world.  Imagine yourself as one of the people who spins plates.  Each one represents something important to you—maybe school, work, your relationships, finances or health? 

What is essential is to give every plate the proper amount of care and attention in or to keep them spinning.  Balance requires deliberate effort.  It is better to prepare for chaos than have to react to it. 

Paying attention to these areas will allow you to maximize your potential in 2015 and find a groove which promotes your balance and success.  Take a little time now to plan effectively and this year should be outstanding!


Academic
Casey Cornelius

Casey J. Cornelius, Founder of ForCollegeForLife, is a writer and speaker who is passionate about student success. He has spent more than a decade as a faculty member, advisor, administrator and mentor. Feel free to connect on his Facebook page, ForCollegeForLife, or on Twitter @4college4life. His work can be found weekly on UndergradSuccess and he serves as an educational expert and content contributor to GenYize.

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