Stephanie Tran, Staff Writer

So you’ve been back to college for about three weeks, managed to finally get to the right classrooms, reunited with all your friends . . . and are now trying to forget the New Year’s resolutions you quickly made and even more quickly forgot. You’ve probably dropped your resolutions for several reasons or excuses, depending on how honest you are with yourself: no time, not enough energy, too much schoolwork.

When making resolutions, you should try to avoid making resolutions that, well, you doubt you can keep. Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? The Harvard Health Publications website lists common mistakes that you’ve probably already made when making your resolutions Jan. 1.

Maybe your resolutions are too vague, too numerous or too lofty. In addition, making resolutions that conform to other people’s expectations or values instead of your own takes away the biggest force behind fulfilling resolutions: your personal motivation. You need to make resolutions for the right reasons and in the right way, then you’ll be more likely to stick to them.

With this advice in mind, reconsider those resolutions you made rashly and evaluate them. Then follow the Harvard Health Publications website and break down your resolution into steps. Incorporate these steps into your daily routine until they become a habit.

For instance, if you want to quit drinking coffee every day, plan on gradually reducing your trips to Jazzman’s or Starbucks until you’re used to going there only once a week.

To get you started on following your own resolutions, I’ve tackled three common ones: being a better student, being healthier and contributing to the community.

Being a better student: follow the advice below and you can adjust this resolution to make it more manageable. Maybe you want to get at least one “A” on a conflict test, maybe you’re aiming for an overall “B” at the end of the semester.

With this goal in mind, you can start breaking down your plan into steps. Use a cheap planner from Wal-Mart or the calendar function on your phone to organize your schedule and set an alarm to remind you to start your homework.

Don’t study with friends or someplace you might get distracted. Once you’re done with your homework, actually go to bed so you won’t fall asleep in class.

Being healthier: again, adjust your resolution, maybe aim to be able to walk to class without huffing and puffing, or being able to wear the jeans that fit at the beginning of last semester.

Your steps could be eating one bag of chips a week instead of every day. Or go to the gym to watch your favorite shows by yourself or with a friend.

Contributing to the community: your goal could be to donate to a fund every week or maybe to help organize a fundraiser here on campus. To do so, set aside some of your paycheck, maybe one-tenth, every time you get it cashed in and pick a cause to donate to.

Collection containers to help out Haiti are popping up all around campus, so you can put your money there, or continue to text “Haiti” to 90999 to donate ten dollars every other week if that’s easier. To help out more, research and join any of the volunteer or service organizations listed on the Student Activities site ( or look for the kiosks in the JC. Contact the ones you’re most interested in and figure out how to fit their meetings into your schedule.

Good luck with your resolutions!