New Years Resolutions

It is the start of the new year, and for many that means now is the time to ring in 2012 with new goals and outlooks on life. The optimism of this clean slate leads many people to create resolutions of improving their body, mind, or soul.

Although it is often a struggle to keep resolutions, this year could be an exception. According to National Public Radio, “the answer may lie in strengthening your willpower.” With a little bit of willpower and our suggestions, maybe you, too, can succeed in your New Year’s resolutions.

 

“I want to live my life more through my heart than my head, which I hope to do by increasing my mental stillness through yoga and meditation. This will help me be more productive to live up to my potential.”

Junior Adelaide Ayres

 

Michelle Carter, part-time lecturer in sports studies and tai chi instructor, recommends setting aside time to practice quiet meditation every day.

“Let the mind be,” Carter said in an email interview. “This practice will lead to a quieter mind, and more importantly, to more patience and understanding with one’s self and others.”

Carter also suggests focusing on the physical practices of the body.

“The physical body is the portal for all spiritual development; understanding its importance is the first step,” said Carter.

Yoga instructor Dawn Leonard finds hard work and time to be key.

“Real change takes perseverance, struggle, sacrifice, patience and compassion,” said Leonard in an email interview.

Leonard also suggests going with the flow.

“I would suggest in this resolution (to) not think that you know what the outcome will be,” Leonard said. “Be open to the path that mental stillness creates. It will be much greater than you could ever imagine.”

Guilford offers free Buddhist meditation sessions as well as free yoga classes. Also, Guilford’s curriculum provides a tai chi class twice a week, as well as four different yoga classes to choose from. Receiving the many benefits from meditation and yoga are only a couple of steps away.

 

“I’m going to be better about exercising, number one … (My) second resolution is to make more time for play because I end up spending way too much time on work; not just Guilford, work in general. ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is what they say…”

President and Professor of Political Science Kent Chabotar

 

According to The New York Times, setting a clear, single goal is key. To add more “play time” to your schedule, for example, start off with creating a couple hours each weekend to spend at a movie, or at a friend’s house, instead of working all weekend.

With exercising goals, start off by increasing how often you exercise during the week. Instead of trying to exercise every day for multiple hours, just go to the gym or ride your bike more than usual.

Head Coach of Men’s Soccer Jeffrey Bateson recommends choosing an enjoyable exercise routine.

“No one is going to stay motivated if they don’t like what they’re doing,” Bateson said in an email interview. “If you like to jog, then jog more. If you like to walk or play basketball, or whatever else, start with that and then increase your workouts once you’re in a good routine.”

Bateson, who teaches a general conditioning class on campus, also thinks that finding a buddy could be helpful.

“Find someone else who has the same goal,” Bateson said. “Keep each other motivated to exercising. Hold each other accountable, too.”

“This year my New Year’s resolution is to go to more concerts because Greensboro gets a lot of good artists nearby and it’s not too expensive. I really love music, especially live shows.”

Sophomore Romie Sachs-Devere

 

Guilford’s campus is thriving with talented musicians and there are always events to attend. From jazz ensemble to The Element to African drumming, there are a variety of different genres and opportunities to see whatever you like.

Junior Leia Gaskin-Sadiku is a singer and guitarist who enjoys performing original music both on and off campus. She recommends keeping up-to-date with concerts through easily accessible media.

“The best thing to do is to keep alert about the music events happening in the area through the Buzz, the newspaper, or even Facebook,” said Gaskin-Sadiku.

If you’re looking to venture off campus, Greensboro is a great city for music lovers. Whether it’s at the Blind Tiger, Greene Street or Artistika, there are plenty of reasonably priced music venues for people to take advantage of to fulfill their music cravings.

 

“I want to improve myself in school by studying harder and not letting myself get distracted as easily by my friends … get assignments and papers done early so I can go off and have fun, but also use that extra time to go over any papers and revise them to make them better.”

First-year Allison Hewitt 

 

Willpower is all about resisting temptation, so choosing to stay in and finish an assignment while faced with the temptation of hanging out with friends, even once, will help build up your willpower.

Researchers suggest that setting small and achievable goals at first will help you accomplish the bigger picture later. For example, try designating at least one hour every Saturday for school work before relaxing with friends. This is more realistic than making a resolution to be a perfect student.

The key is to select more specific and doable resolutions. The Learning Commons on campus also could provide many helpful hints to accomplishing this goal. For example, they provide tutors and mentors who can help you fill out a schedule to outline when your assignments are due.

 

“My first 2012 resolution is to get my college diploma because I want to ring in 2013 as a college grad.”

Senior Rosa Mundy

 

One important part of staying on the right track is to set aside time to keep in touch with your academic adviser. Make a point to contact your adviser more often and form a closer relationship with him or her.

Also, the Career Development Center’s doors are always open to help students plan for the future through internships, job opportunities and general advising.

Alan Mueller, director of Career Services, understands the struggle of graduating as he took seven years to complete his undergraduate degree.

“I don’t know any magic tricks for conjuring motivation, but … if you’re struggling to push through, come talk to Career Development,” said Mueller in an email interview. “We can listen to you and ask you those questions that seek to connect or re-connect you to your passions.”

All of these easily accessible tools can help you get that diploma in May.

 

According to The New York Times, “you’re much more likely to make improvements than someone who hasn’t made a formal resolution.” This means, if you’ve come up with resolutions for this year, you’re already halfway there. Good luck!