Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The concept of making a new year’s resolution works perfectly in practice, but I struggle to remember what hopeful requests I have made of myself in the past. So this year I have decided to actually write a new year’s resolution. I will keep it pinned up in the kitchen so not only am I confronted by it every day, but everyone else who I share a house with will hopefully remind me if I consider straying from the path. I’ll tell you my resolution after some suggestions of minor self improvements that could transform you into a happier, healthier and more successful student.
No more economy beans
I thought I’d start with an easy one. The cheapest tin of beans in a supermarket costs less than 30p, and when you’re strapped for cash that can sound like a good lifestyle choice. It really isn’t, they have about half the nutritional value of the slightly more expensive alternatives, taste awful and furthermore they make you look bad. Seriously, call me a snob but I make instant judgements on people who have economy beans in their kitchen, for a saving of 20p you have demonstrated a bland indifference to quality, a pitiful lack of taste and have simultaneously lowered the tone of your living space with the uninspired packaging. So this year go for better beans, change your life with self respect in a can!
Only one hour of television
Procrastination can come in many forms, biting your nails, fiddling with executive toys or just staring into the middle distance while you are distracted by your own thoughts. By far the most dangerous forms of procrastination are ones where you are sat away from your workspace. You know how it is when you wake up on a private study day and are distracted by a harmless re-watching of a beloved Friends episode while you drink your morning coffee? Well six hours later, the time when the morning’s entertainment developed into a slightly less innocent Jeremy Kyle session becomes a distant memory, and your study day has somehow evolved into a Diagnosis Murder marathon. Meanwhile that thesis you have to hand in tomorrow has been gathering dust... Here’s a plan, give yourself limits on TV time. In mornings set aside an allowance of just 30 minutes and in the afternoon an hour. Hang a stopwatch in the living room by the TV and start the timer before you sit down. When the buzzer goes, stand up and switch both the stopwatch and the TV off, then get back to what you’re supposed to be doing!
Stand up at least once every 2 hours
Here’s a health and safety tip that covers all bases. The general consensus among researchers in this field is that a 17-minute break every 52 minutes will do both you and your work the world of good. This will be massively beneficial to your brain, your posture as well as your eyes (this link shows you a few more ways to be good to your vision). I used to be guilty of neglecting to give myself breaks, and despite feeling the effects every day I keep saying ‘I must make that change at some point’, then get to work and four break-less hours later I’m aching all over! These days I use the old stopwatch trick, keep it the other side of the room, set it for 52 minutes then get up, switch it off, and hey-presto! You’re on a break!
Stop annoying housemates with noise
Are you a broadcaster? That’s someone who wants people to hear what they are hearing, either through their choice to crank up the volume while they listen to extreme metal in their rooms or use mini speakers to listen to their drum and bass mp3s on the train. Most broadcasters convince themselves that they are ‘sharing’ their music for the benefit of others, as if the general public has a need for extreme contemporary elevator music. In shopping centres the intention of piped music is to stop people from feeling bored whilst shopping, as well as creating a distraction that will stop consumers from thinking too hard and rationally, lest they decide against buying a product. This post should underline how serious the effects of unwanted noise can be, and this one gives a few negative ways that your broadcasting habit is affecting you. It’s time to consider what it must be like to live with an unwanted self elected residential DJ and start using headphones. Keep the music down in your room, people will respect you more, because not only will you give them more space to think in your own house, you may give your own mind some space for self reflection. Maybe in 12 months time you’ll look back with horror at the torture you used to put your housemates through!
Cooperate in the eggs, milk, and cheese struggle
When you’re living in a student house, not only do you have to remember to eat well (free food anyone?), but remember to treat your shared home as a community and play your role. Eggs, milk and cheese seem to be the products that trigger more ill feeling than people realise. I’ve been in houses where I always buy the milk simply because I can’t stand waking up and not being able to have my cornflakes! In that situation I made sure that my other two housemates took responsibility for cheese and eggs. Got four housemates? One of them should be the butter guy. Five housemates? Meet the toilet paper purchaser! Everyone should have a role and stick to it, so communally assign tasks, pin everyone’s resolution in the kitchen and you’re all set for a happy new year!
So what’s my new year’s resolution going to be? Well, for the welfare of both myself and others I’m going to fill up and empty the dishwasher, regularly. I really think I can succeed in this task, and by using the note pinned in the kitchen strategy, I’m subtly reminding everyone else to do their share too. And remember, a new year’s resolution shouldn’t just be for a few weeks, or for the whole year, it should be for life! Yikes.
Article written by Student Money Saver for TARGETjobs.