Every December 31st millions of people around the world make New Year’s Resolutions – hoping that they will be able to lose weight, make more money, find love, or in some way be a better person in the next 12 months than they were in the last. When approached properly, these resolutions can succeed. If they are achievable and have set steps to follow and measure success then these resolutions can be great motivators. However, for many students, their year doesn’t begin on January 1st, but instead follows the academic calendar – meaning that the new term is about to start right now! So, why not make resolutions for the new academic year – just like people do for the new calendar year?
Making a fresh start in your studies may seem easier if you are beginning a new course or moving to a new college, but even if you are entering your next year of studies at the same place you can still take advantage of these tips to do better next year.
1. Be Honest
Before you can move forward, you need to be honest about where you are right now. Could you have worked harder last year? You know if you didn’t put in the effort and also where you struggled, as well as what your strong points are. Take note of where you could have improved and make a decision to try harder in the coming year.
2. Clear Out
Starting fresh also means not taking the baggage of last year with you. If you are continuing a course from last year, make sure you go through your files and folders, tidying them up and getting rid of any unnecessary loose scraps of paper. As well as getting your files in order have a look at your pens and other items (including your school bag). Throw out any that are broken or not working and make a note of what you need to replace.
You can now restock ready for the new year. Going out and buying some new things for the coming year not only makes sure you are prepared, but also gives you a little extra motivation. Having invested some money on some nice new things, you will feel far more refreshed and ready to start over than if you had just set out with your old, worn out stuff. You don’t have to spend much – even a few new pens can make the difference!
4. Get Organised
Before you can work out what you can do better, you need to organise what you have got to do in the first place. Check over your timetable (when you have one), to see what you need to achieve each week. Knowing when you have to be places (and where they are) will also help you to have a more productive year, and also prepares you for the next step…
5. Set Limits
Now it is time to refresh your outlook. Work out what you can do to study better this year. You might want to decide that you will do your studies before you go out, or commit to spending some extra time in the library – perhaps once a week? Make sure your resolutions are achievable, and that you can measure them. So, saying you will study for an hour each evening is much more useful than saying, ‘I will try to study more each week.’ By setting exact goals you will be able to measure your success. Remember, you can always adjust these goals later – if they seem too tough, or even if you feel there is more you can do. However, like all resolutions, by setting them out, you will be far more likely to succeed in fulfilling them.
The final step is something you will need to do across the year. Make sure to keep a track of how you are going with your resolutions. You may want to do this each week, and be sure to reward yourself if you manage to achieve your goals for the week. These rewards will make it easier to keep up with your resolutions. You may want to share your resolutions with someone else to keep you motivated, but remember, they are yours to work with. If you find they are too challenging, try to go a little easier on yourself. Of course, when checking, you need to be honest – you will know if you are slacking!