New Year's Resolutions for Adult Students

New Year's Resolutions for Adult Students

Between work, school and family life, you're juggling a lot. Here's how to prioritize and make it your best new year yet.

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Whether it's an hour-long massage or simple walk around the block for some solo fresh air, set aside "me" time in the new year.

It's official: Adult students have a superhuman, multitasking strength that supersedes the powers of regular ol' humans. Not only is the average adult balancing work and family life, but the ones who choose to be students add homework, exams and 25-page papers to their already full plates.

That's why the new year should include a work-life-school balance. Here are some attainable goals you can set to make it all happen.

1. Get a kick-butt day planner.

It might sound completely nonsensical, but if you're like the average adult student, then you have a mix of phone appointments, stick notes and scribbled messages on the back of your hand serving as your method for organization.

Invest in a solid day planner, like these ones from Dot Mine, which allow you enough room to write down weekly and monthly activities, in addition to babysitter information, addresses and a master seasonal calendar that helps you map out activities by the hour. They even come with fun stickers to mark big events, like birthdays, car maintenance appointments and special holidays. Sure, all of those tech-y gadgets are cool, but sometimes it's just nice to see everything all laid out in front of you –– in good old-fashioned pencil and paper.

2. Set long-term goals.

If you already have a semester or two under your belt, then it's important to start planning the next step for your degree. Maybe you are attending school to upgrade the knowledge for your current job, or maybe you are looking to start a new career. Either way, play around with a goals worksheet, like this vision and goals worksheet from lululemon athletica, and decide what you want your life to look like one year, five years and 10 years from now.

It might be hard to imagine, but when you adhere to lululemon's policy to "remove perceived constraints" and any limitations you foresee, then it makes any of your aspirations feel possible. Making it a goal now to prioritize your next steps will not only help to decide what classes you want to take as you move forward, but the decisions you need to make to reach that next step after graduation day has passed.

3. Don't bother with the "last five pounds" goal.

Kristen James, founder of Kristen James Fitness, said the ho-hum goal of losing extra weight is so 2013. "Dropping five pounds is such a lame goal!," James said, "Sign up for a race or an event and train for it. You'll feel empowered and get a sense of accomplishment while you train. Weight loss will be a by-product of your training –– and it will also most likely be more than five pounds!"

4. Pencil in family time and "me" time.

Remember that nifty day planner you scooped up in step one? Now is the time to put it to use. Believe it or not, it is ultra-important that you also use a scheduler to plan time that you will be devoting to your family, in addition to the moments you have reserved for yourself. In a recent episode of Ellen, television personality Bethenny Frankel said she not only makes it a priority to schedule a daily activity with her daughter, Bryn, but she has also resolved to putting aside daily time for herself in 2014.

Why not do the same? Whether it's an hour-long massage or simple walk around the block for some solo fresh air, set aside "me" time in the new year. These little bits of relaxation will make all the difference when it comes to tackling that mid-century history term paper.

Quick Tips

  • Invest in a day planner to help organize work, school and family obligations.
  • Nix the typical "last five pounds" goal and sign up for a race or other local event instead.
  • Schedule solo time that is reserved for doing something that is important to you, like reading a book or squeezing in a workout.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Map Out Your Community College Course Plan
How School Has Changed: A Guide For Adult Students
College Classes: A New Student’s Guide
Balancing Work and Your New Class Schedule
Navigating Night School: Tips for Students

See All Back to School Guide for Adult Students Articles

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