Tackling New Year’s Resolutions with Exceptional Canadian Youth
January is a time of optimism- we clarify our goals, renew our desire for learning and further our evolution to our best selves. At the NSN, we believe that resolutions can provide the framework for the changes we aspire to. So, in the spirit of self-improvement, we asked some of our National Young Leader mentors and National Team Members to share their new year’s resolutions and how they will achieve these goals.
Yany Siek, MA Candidate in International Affairs at Carleton University:
From December 9th to December 17th I traveled to Nagasaki and Tokyo to participate in the Kakehashi Project: Japan’s Friendship Ties Program, sponsored by the Government of Japan. This was a life changing experience that developed my understanding of Japanese history, politics, foreign policy, and culture. I hope to have more of these experiences in the coming year.
As such, in 2017, my resolution is to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Oftentimes, I choose not to apply for a job, an exchange, or a scholarship because of self-doubt. For many students, including myself, this apprehension is a constraint on self-improvement and development. I am achieving this resolution by setting time aside each week to research and apply for any relevant opportunities available to me.
Jacqueline Siu, PhD Candidate in Transplantation Immunology at Cambridge University:
My resolution is to attend one seminar or lecture per month outside of my research field. Since research is extremely collaborative, you never know where your next inspiration might come from. To know when interesting seminars are coming up, I will ask my friends and housemates, who study very different topics than me, about their scheduled seminars.
Goutham Jaini, UBC Pharmacy Student:
I’ve had many resolutions in the past but they often pertained with academics or being more involved on campus. This year, I want to focus on my health, so my resolution is to find the time to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. There are always things that come up like exams and meetings, but I want to accomplish this resolution for the year and adapt my schedule accordingly to do so. To help me achieve this, I’ll be going to the gym with a friend so we can hold each other accountable.
Sirisha Valupadas, UAlberta BSc Graduate & Consultant:
My resolution is to start singing again. I took lessons for many years until the start of university, since I felt I didn’t have time to practice, nor seek performance opportunities. Also, ironically, even though I am a great public speaker, I’m really shy when it comes to singing in front of an audience.
To achieve my resolution, I will start making some covers of songs I like, just for myself. Then, if I feel comfortable, I could share them with those I love, as well as seek more public performing opportunities! Let’s see how it goes!
Samuel Yang, UAlberta BSc Student:
For the new year, one of my main resolutions is to exercise consistently. As a student, much time is invested in studying and volunteering, hence, there is neglect towards fitness. Because physical health is just as important as school grades, I will aim to work out three times a week.
David Mak, UBC Medical Student:
My new years resolution is to not snooze in the morning. While I do enjoy the few extra minutes of sleep, it does tend to make me rush more in the morning, which does not make for a pleasant time. I am making this my resolution because it will allow me to enjoy my mornings more, as well as decrease the chance that I miss doing/packing something that I need for the day. I am working towards this resolution by putting my alarm farther away from me, as well as trying to find that perfect time for it to ring such that there isn’t enough time to snooze, but it’s not too late that I have to rush.
Shivani Mysuria, UBC BSc Student:
This year, I would like to work towards living a healthier and balanced lifestyle. Last year, I focused more on grades and school, and my health became a final priority. This is why I hope to incorporate simple changes like eating healthier snacks and prioritizing sleep instead. I am also hoping to expand the new student club I started at UBC, the Huntington’s Disease Awareness Club!
Disha Bisto, UNB BEng Student:
My resolution is to work on my organizational skills. Students may find that juggling school, work & extracurricular activities can lead to average performance since each task is very demanding. I want to get more organized so that I can dedicate adequate time to each task. Like in 2016, I will heavily rely on my planners and calendars but in 2017, I want to put more emphasis on planning ahead of time (minimum of 2 weeks).
Kavi Ratnaweera, UBC BMLSc Graduate:
My resolution for the 2017 year is to improve on my fitness and overall health. In the past, I was unable to keep up with my exercise due to a rigorous course load and other extracurricular obligations. However, this upcoming year, since my course load will be less demanding, I hope to use some of the extra time to improve my health. I intend to set up a workout schedule for the next school term, as well as play some of my favourite sports such as rugby and volleyball. Lastly, I hope to also try out some new sports like kickboxing to help improve my fitness.
Coco Wang, Havergal College Student:
For 2017, I hope to get more quality sleep because sleep is a key ingredient to reducing stress and increasing span of concentration. I hope to get eight hours of deep sleep every day, enough time for my brain to reorganize my thoughts. I will not oversleep and will draw back my consumption on caffeine. I will try to meditate by practicing deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and imagery. I will strive to maintain a consistent sleep ritual and will use my bed only for sleeping.
Jenny Lou, UofT MSc Candidate in Medical Biophysics:
Recently, I read a story on Quora, about an MBA student asking Warren Buffett for the secret to his success. Warren Buffett responded that he read 500 pages every day.
I don’t know if I have ever read 500 pages in one day, much less every day. But the principle has been resonating: read to sate curiosity, read to learn, read to gain perspective, read to draw inspiration and connect the dots of creativity, read to thrive.
As a graduate student building up my foundation in nanotechnology and immunology, I need to read. So, my resolution for 2017 is to read the literature for an hour every day. To keep myself accountable, I’ll verbally summarize what I read to my labmates, friends, family, anyone with a willing ear!
What is your resolution and how are you going to achieve it? Comment below and let us know! To help you, we’ll try to connect you to mentors in our free National Young Leader mentorship program and other resources!
Image Credit: KnockOut Prezo