elfHDThere is no better time to be productive than during the holidays. Before you start scrolling down or rolling your eyes, hear me out: ‘tis the season to form at least one new good habit! And I am not just saying this to get on Santa’s “nice” list; I am saying this to lessen the load of New Year’s resolutions you’ll be making (and hopefully not breaking) come 2013.

Many things are easier said than done. It is also no secret that forming a new habit is nearly just as difficult as breaking an old one. That said, from cheesy to nerdy, to even a snippet of wisdom, here are a few suggestions to help you get started. Try doing them every day for a month or so, and soon enough these acts will become routine to you.

1) Give compliments more often. Praise your mom, your dad, your sister, a stranger; it really does not matter. The truth is that the greatest human need is to feel appreciated. Show someone you care, and they will care too.

2) Get up at the same time every morning, and try to get up earlier than you are used to. Temporary freedom from school does not mean there is no room for progress elsewhere. While the holidays are perfect for wrapping yourself up like a cinnamon roll under those thick blankets, remember that the more activities delayed, the less tasks accomplished.

3) Eat breakfast. A very hectic schedule has led many of you to take the most important meal of the day for granted. Remember: what you eat in the morning will keep your brain juices flowing throughout the day. Therefore no excuse is good enough to skip it!

4) Start reading the books you’ve had in your possession since the invention of paper. It does not have to be about Charles Darwin or Sigmund Freud, and you do not need to finish the book in one sitting. The point is to try to read, even without a professor requiring you to do so.

5) Lastly: “Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.” Smiling you will lead to a better you! With this weather, a smile may result in cracked lips (unless you are a penguin like those from Madagascar), but if you believe yourself to be great and happy, you consequently will be.

Regardless of how perfect your GPA may be, you will always be able to find ways to improve yourself, and if there is any “best” time to start, it’s always now. Remember: You were not born the way you are now. You were molded into becoming that person. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. once said: “Never underestimate your power to change yourself; Never overestimate your power to change others.” Has this article been helpful to you? Only you would know the answer.

What are some good habits you intend to form during the holidays?

Kendra Minoza is currently a sophomore at Houston Community College, taking biology as a pre-pharmacy major. Additionally, she is the NSCS Star Status Coordinator at HCC. Kendra enjoys writing, public speaking, reading, drawing, and charcoal painting. Her love for tea and lack of “normal” hobbies (such as watching TV) has made people believe that she is “an old lady in disguise.”