Pupillary Pathways

5 Steps for Making a New Year's Resolution for Optometry Students

Posted by Amanda Dexter on Dec 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Amanda Dexter
Dr. Amanda K. Dexter received her optometric training at Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California, where she was Class of 2010 Valedictorian. She also completed a residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at the Veteran's Affairs Hospital in San Diego, California. Dr. Dexter is the Manager and Program Coordinator for OptoPrep, the premiere online study resource for the NBEO Part I & II.

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Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when optometry students feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we imagine that the arrival of a year will provide us the motivation and persistence we need to make some serious changes in our lives. 

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is thought to be the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Don’t start off the new year setting yourself up for failure by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep.

Instead follow these five steps for successfully making a 2017 new year’s resolution you can actually stick to:

1. Pick Just One Thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It simply won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with. No one ever said that once you fulfill your resolution, you have to wait until the next year to start another. Stick to one improvement in you life first, and once you see success, build upon it. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and this is a much more realistic way of doing it.

2. Pick a Start Date

Once you come up with your resolution, don't feel like you have to make these changes on New Year's Day.  If you truly want to make changes in your life, pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. If the date you originally chose passes, don't give up! Sometimes picking a specific date just doesn’t work. It’s OK to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

3. Plan Ahead

To ensure success, you'll need to research the life change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Go to the library or local bookstore and read up on the subject, or even utilize the internet as a resource. Additionally, get everything ready that you may need to help make things run smoothly. For example, if you plan to take up running in 2017, make sure you have all the gear, clohes, shoes, sunglasses, and training plans ready. Then there can be no excuses!

4. Anticipate Problems

There will be problems so try to identify what they’ll be before they occur. Once you’ve identified potential issues, and certain times that will make following your resolution difficult, work out ways to cope with them before they inevitably crop up. This will prevent you hitting a road block in your progress and just taking the easy way out by quiting. 

5. Reward Yourself 

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest days. And as you conquer small goals along the way, continue to reward yourself for your accomplishments... this could be a new work-out outfit, a new book, or whatever will help you continue on. At the end of the year, pick something bigger that you’ll look forward to. After months of hard work, you deserve it and you’ll have earned it!

Happy New Year! 

-Dr. Dexter 

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Topics: Stress, 3rd Year Student, Studying, 4th Year Student, Optometry School