That’s probably why starts or beginnings of something are good turning points for positive change. Start of a new year, start of a new semester, start of college life, start of the coverage for the next major exam, etc, etc. Somehow, the idea of a ‘fresh new start’ is extra encouragement to take positive action.
So for my first list for this year, I bring you some new things you can try out for yourself. Now in this piece, I don’t mean to sound preachy and act like all these tips all come from my super duper brilliant mind, as evident in my super duper brilliant life, haha! So I googled some self-improvement tips and I am sharing the ones that I feel most strongly about. I hardly have a perfect life, so a number of these tips were more than helpful for me, too.
*Start eating the right food, regardless of whether you want to lose, gain or maintain your weight. Less junk food and soft drinks, more fruits and veggies. Geesh, I never thought I’d someday find myself saying that, haha! The food that our generation eats nowadays is far worse than what our parents and grandparents had when they were young (preservatives!!). Look how many ailments they complain about now.
*Start doing more physical activities and stop lying in bed all day watching torrented movies or playing online games. It’s just not about having a to-drool-for body, but think about how great it would be to physically feel good about yourself. Play your favourite sport more often, start jogging around the acad oval (take advantage of the jogging lane!). It really feels good to be doing something good for your body and health and to take care of it now so that it won’t bite you in the arse someday when you grow older.
*Stop cramming for papers or exams! This is probably the biggest debacle in a student’s life, isn’t it? Haha! God knows I miss the feeling of not panicking hours before a major deadline. Just last weekend, I started working on a Machine Exercise problem that is due next week and managed to finish the hard and tedious part already. And damn it felt good, haha! Well, it wasn’t really that hard because I already knew the solution to the problem. But the thought of not having accomplished something way ahead of its deadline is a welcome change that may inspire me in my other academic tasks.
*Be more organized, systematic and/or objective. It’s really not just about being OC about things. It’s more about being orderly and efficient at the same time. You may say that even if your own stuff is a mess, you still manage to find your way around it. But have you pondered how your roommate feels about the crappy ambiance in the room that you both share? Being more organized actually allows you to get more things done, not to mention more effectively – 99.5% of people who have done so say so. Okay, maybe I did make up that number, it’s just like a germicidal soap, haha! But common sense will tell you there’s a huge ring of truth to it.
Well, I must admit, moral improvements are hardly any that you can change overnight, hehe. It’s really something you have to diligently work on for quite some time for it to be really instilled.
*Live up to your principles. Your own set is something that you should really have by now, now that you’re ‘old enough’ to forge such, hehe. It’s that part of your character that defines it. Stick by them, never compromise, and even if you do, it had better be extremely worth it.
*Discipline, integrity and love of country. Hmm, I am not sure if ‘love of country’ actually falls into the ‘morally’ category, but since we’re talking of values and principles here, I’m gonna throw it in with the first two anyway, hehe. I personally believe that we Filipinos should learn to be more disciplined (follow our own rules, be more responsible citizens) and be more loving of our country (we can contribute to it in our own little ways).
*Learn to spend your allowance wisely. Decrease unnecessary expenses! Just because you can afford to eat out and go to TriNoma three times a week, doesn’t mean you should. If bored, there are more and less costly ways to entertain yourself or de-stress from acads’ challenges and cruelty.
*Save for the rainy day. It really pays to do so. Especially in your times of emergency or even in your friend’s, hehe. Of course, in our age, a “rainy day” isn’t really something serious. But think about this: isn’t it great to have money to spare when something really worth spending for comes along? At least in those occasional leisure expenditures, you wouldn’t have to bug your parents to finance them.
*Maintain your good friendships. In the interlaced network of people that you know, there are those who are mere acquaintances or colleagues. And then there are your friends. We meet many in the many stages of our lifetime. But as we move on with our lives and maybe even lose constant touch, it takes real effort to keep the bond in the best of our friendships. But then again, the effort is more than worth it. Seasonal friends are one of the worst kinds for me. They’re there when they need you, otherwise, they’re just like anyone else – fleeting and passing.
*Learn to be happy alone. Being ‘alone’ shouldn’t be always equated with ‘loneliness’. Because in many times, some alone time with yourself is exactly the kind of solitude that you need. Take note though, “sometimes” is the operative word, hehe!
*Family is family. I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to have good relationships with one’s siblings or parents, especially in cases when they’re really bad people to begin with, haha! But I think in most cases, we just need to up the communication lines from both side more often to be able to fully appreciate each other. You’ll be surprised at how valuable they can be. You think you have many friends anyway to help you out with your problems? Someday, a situation will come and you’ll see that none of your friends could (or would) help you out and that your family is the only one you can count on in those trying times.
I think that the question of whether we can usher in an era of change, personal or otherwise, is moot. Whether we want to, is the real question. One month down, eleven months to go! Have a better year in 2009, guys.