Consistency: My 2018 Word

by MaryLyn Silverstein

I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Everything I have learned about SMART goals has deterred me away from creating one giant goal that will last the entirety of the year. For 2017 I created a short list of hopes that I had for the year and posted it on Facebook to try and make it official. I wrote that in 2017 I hoped to read more, run more, and drink more water. Overall, I feel that I ran more during the year though I fell short in the areas of reading more and drinking more water.
I am always motivated to start making a change at the beginning of the year but I am never consistent in making those changes. The new-year-high does not last past the month of January for me. As a second year graduate student entering a full-time job search, I know that my workload will only increase and my motivation to make change will dissipate. I will slowly fall back into my old habits and wait until the next new year to build up the inspiration again.
This year, I want it to be different. For 2018, I decided to pick a work to direct my year and to guide me during trying times. The word I picked was ‘consistency.’ As I consider the year, I hope to be consistent in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in staying motivated academically, and in improving communication with my friends and family.
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, I am already consistent at working out. I know what I like to do in the gym and I am motivated to work out four to five times a week. The areas I lack consistency are in drinking enough water every day and eating a healthy diet. I despise cooking (and the dishes that are always created in the wake of cooking). This leads me to eat in the dining center or to eat out with friends. If I do cook, it is usually Kraft Mac and Cheese or pizza rolls. For 2018, I hope to be consistent in making healthy choices in the dining center and finding healthy and easy recipes to cook for myself at home. I hope to be conscious of the choices that I am making in regards to food and drinks and grabbing more vegetables than pizza rolls.
During this fall semester, I could feel myself starting to exhibit signs of senioritis. My procrastination was at a new high that ended up creating unnecessary stress and late nights. For this spring semester, I will only be in two classes but I am required to study for my comprehensive exam. As I think about the big exam on March 30th, the one that determines if I will pass my graduate program, I feel anxiety and pressure to succeed. My goal is to be consistent in studying for my comprehensive exam by scheduling out study times on my Outlook calendar. The task is daunting but I know I just need to take the first step towards reviewing and getting into the habit of studying again. Consistency in studying will be key to limiting my stress and anxiety when the big day comes around.
One of the most difficult areas of consistency for me is in communication with friends and family. As the days get busier and I become more tired, I feel myself withdrawing back to my quiet apartment to recharge. Talking on the phone can sometimes feel like another task to cross of my to-do list rather than a valuable time to catch up, smile, and maintain relationships. Being consistent in communication will help me in seeking support from others and offering care in return. I hope to be more conscious of replying to text messages quickly and sending calls when I have free time.

With the start of 2018, I feel motivated to be consistent. As the year continues and my time becomes more scheduled, I know it will be difficult to stick to my 2018 word. I plan on doing my best and reflecting on this experience at the end of the year as I have never selected a word to define my year before.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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