Summer Goal: Create Better Habits

May 12, 2021
Hey Spartans, I hope you all are enjoying a nice break after all of your finals. For me, these last couple weeks have consisted of lots of unpacking and asking myself “what now?” While I love the calm of the summer, I sometimes feel purposeless without the busy schedule my classes provide. That’s why this summer, I’ve decided to put my time to better use and become more intentional with my actions.

Every year, as the start of classes comes closer, I tell myself the same thing: This year, I’ll be different. I whole-heartedly believe, year after year, that when the new semester starts, I’ll suddenly become more organized… I’ll procrastinate less… I’ll wake up earlier and be more productive… the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, these are great goals to have and are absolutely achievable. They are not the issue. The problem is that I forget to set myself up to achieve these goals. I sleep in all summer, never follow a routine and my daily planner falls to some unknown depth in my closet.

Yes, it is important to relax throughout the summer and take time for yourself. However, the summer is also a great opportunity to get yourself on track. These few months are our golden ticket to success throughout the schoolyear, if we use them wisely. The time is now to change our ways, so that we can step into next semester with beneficial practices already in place.

Habit #1: Sleep Schedule. As you’ve probably heard by now, having a consistent sleep schedule is extremely beneficial in pretty much every way. This can be difficult with varying class times and other obligations. My advice: Pick your earliest obligation. For me, this will be the 9:20 a.m. class I have on Tuesdays and Thursdays fall semester. Since I’m focused on changing my habits now to help myself next school year, I’m already changing my sleep schedule to accommodate my 9:20 class. This doesn’t mean waking up at 9 a.m. with just enough time to catch the CATA to class. This means my alarm goes off at 8 a.m. every day, which gives me enough time to have a good breakfast, walk my dog, shower and get ready by 9 a.m. Having this schedule in place for myself now, will make the adjustment to a new schedule in the fall much smoother.

Habit #2: Organization. Maybe you’ve already explored several different methods of organization or maybe you haven’t tried any at all. Either way, while we’ve got some time off from school, try something new. For the longest time, I thought that my computer calendar was the best way for me to keep everything in order, but I’ve instead found that writing things down in a planner works much better for me. We all have a different mix of classes, jobs, activities and other obligations. It is inevitable that during the school year, our schedules get fuller and at times, harder to juggle. This is where the importance of having a good organization plan in place comes in. If you establish some kind of “organization routine” this summer, chances are you’ll stick to it once classes pick up again.

Habit #3: Get Active. It’s a fact that physical activity is not only good for your body, but your brain. The benefits are different for everyone, but there’s no denying that physical activity should be an important part of our lives. This summer, try some new workouts and find what you enjoy. Don’t be too hard on yourself; just try to incorporate some healthy activity into your routine at whatever pace feels right. Making physical activity a regular part of your life makes it so much easier for you to remember to stay active when you get busy during the school year. For me, just getting out and going for a walk is the best way to clear my head and get away from my computer. I first discovered how much I loved walking a couple summers ago, and now, it has become a vital mental release for me during stressful times, like finals and midterms.

If you want to create even more good habits, start by creating a list of goals you have for next semester. Then, ask yourself, “what can I do now to make this happen?”

I wish you all a great, safe summer. If you’re working on your habits with me this summer, be sure to post something on Instagram and tag us (@msu_sas) or use the hashtag #msusas.

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