I think we’re all guilty of throwing around the phrase ‘New Year, New Me.’ That is until January fades away, alongside our proposed lifestyle changes that we swear will be different this year. A diet, a new rigorous exercise routine or giving up the gargle, the list goes on. However, who said New Year’s Resolutions had to be so extreme? Here, we have put together a few examples of how small changes can improve not only the start of a new college semester but your day to day lifestyle too. 

Step Up Your Commute

Getting your step count up is a simple yet super effective way to up your daily fitness and movement. So many students spend hours of our week on buses, trains and in cars coming to and from college and work, therefore we are often too busy or simply too tired to get decent exercise. One way to incorporate more movement into your routine is to make your commute more step friendly. If you can – get off the bus or train one or two stops early and walk the rest of the journey. By taking 10-20 minutes to do this, you can get some extra steps in and a breath of fresh air. 

Careful on the Caffeine

There are very few students who are not used to some level of caffeine intake daily, which intensifies as deadlines loom later on. Caffeine is fine in moderation, but large amounts can have all sorts of effects on your body and mind, especially when it comes to switching off and catching up on some well-needed sleep. To reset the body clock and make the most of your zen time, you could consider decreasing your caffeine intake. A small change could include not drinking coffee or energy drinks after 4 pm, or sipping on a cup of herbal tea when you feel the withdrawals kick in. Not only will you sleep better, but your bank account will thank you for reconsidering that €5 frappuccino. 

Save the Pennies

You never know when you might need to urgently dip into your savings, be it for fees, food or to spend time with friends on a rainy day. Budgeting is something that lots of people struggle with, but setting aside a fiver or tenner every time you get paid will add up nicely in the long run. If you’re a Revolut user, switch on your loose change option, which will round up your transactions to the nearest euro and store it in a vault at your disposal. 

Two Birds with One Stone

In university, we often neglect the important people in our lives when the workload becomes a little too intense. Laughter is the best medicine and so to cure the January blues, consider setting aside an hour a week to spend time with a family member or friend who you might not be seeing enough of. The ones close to you likely have the same good intentions of sticking to their New Year’s resolutions, so why not tackle one together? You could do this by committing to a walk once a week or making a bucket list of things you’d like to do over the next few months. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment, but you’ll be spending well-needed quality time with someone you love.

Ruth Delaney – Arts & Lifestyle Correspondent