We’re just around the corner from a shiny new year. And although there’s a few months left for the academic year to end, there is a general energy of finishing something, turning the page and looking forward to an opportunity of starting over when one year ends and another begins. Ride the high inspiration wave and set yourself some goals to smash in the coming year.
We have a few to get you started. And if you’re worried you’ll fall off the bandwagon only too easily, we also have a few suggestions to stick with them.
Wake up a little earlier: The benefits of maximizing the morning hours are not new. In fact it is well established that the time soon after one has woken up after a night of restful sleep is the best in terms of brain function which is guaranteed to aid study, meditation, sport or any other focus area. Start by waking up 10 minutes early every week, and slowly inch along until you reach your ideal sweet spot that gives you at least a 60-90 minute head start before your day’s activities begin. You’ll thank us by the end of the year!
Steady, small improvements with study: It’s always better to go in with a plan, and this is a good time of year to implement a good study strategy. Whether it’s a timetable, a slot system that dedicates certain days to certain subjects, or setting up a mechanism to get extra help in areas where you may need them, the key is to make a plan and make small, steady steps of improvement towards getting there.
Add a healthy hobby/interest to your routine: All work and no play made Jack a dull boy, and increasingly we’re seeing the benefits of having healthy interests outside of academics that can help you refuel and recharge your mind and body in a good way. Whether it’s a favourite sport, an interest in handicraft or DIY, learning to sing or play an instrument, pursuing public speaking, or whatever else catches your fancy, we really recommend picking an activity that stimulates you not just creatively but intellectually too and gives you a healthy avenue to focus your energy.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. And if all this sounds too daunting, here’s how you can ensure you stick to these resolutions.
Make your goals specific and action oriented: Start with a goal or an outcome. For example, if your goal is to get your grades up by 5 points, drill it down to an actionable plan that you can actually set in motion every day. Lofty goals often feel unattainable unless we get down to the specific steps of how we’re planning to get there.
Take baby steps and go slow: There’s no use jumping in the deep end unless you’ve learned to float and swim slowly. So taking things slow, making small and steady improvements, keeping short-term goals to work towards is a far better way to approach a resolution. This will also give you something to focus on at regular intervals, as well as ensure you stick with it in the long run without getting demotivated.
Prioritize resolutions and keep it simple: Don’t try and do too many things at once. It’s far more beneficial to prioritize and minimize the really important things to two, at most three, resolutions. Keep these specific, actionable and simple so they are within your reach. Overstretching is a sure shot way to underachieve, and that’s not a good way to begin a good habit.
Ask for support: Support can come in many ways. From having an accountability buddy to check in on you from time to time, to asking for the right help from seniors or adults to help you reach your goal, or even finding the right sources for your needs, support is essential to reaching your goals. Even though your resolutions may be intensely personal, and you may be driven to see them through the year, you do not have to do this all alone. Getting the right help at the right time may be the crucial ingredient to your success.