The New Year is always a time of resolutions and rededication. I have encouraged my students to use the New Year as a time to refocus and set achievable goals for themselves, both academically and personally. I’ve talked with a few Connections Academy students who are incredibly dedicated to their resolutions to refocus on their studies and put more effort into their educations. However, they know, as well as we all do, that resolutions are easy to break, so I’ve offered a few tips to help stay on track through the process and keep the end result top of mind along the way.
· Set smaller goals. Resolutions can often feel unattainable, but setting smaller goals and benchmarks to track progress along the way can help make the task feel less daunting. As a student, I would study a set amount of time each day and knew that by the end of the week, I’d have that accomplished and would feel proud.
· Celebrate successes. You want an “A” in AP history, and you just got an “A+” on a quiz? Treat yourself to a 20-minute study break or an evening out with friends. Rewarding yourself for small victories will encourage you to keep working toward your end goal.
· Stay on task. In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he recommends blocking off time for important projects and not always focusing on the most immediate needs—for example, the phone ringing or an email coming through. You don’t need to answer right away, and staying on task will actually help maintain focus and increase efficiency.
· Figure out what works for you. Be it studying or a workout regimen, everyone’s recipe for success is a little different. When I was in school, I preferred to study in the morning, while most of my peers studied at night. It’s important to find out what works for you.
For years, I’ve told students that my definition of success is working hard and having fun at the same time. Setting goals and prioritizing are big parts of ensuring your own success, and staying excited about what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve.
My personal resolution is to focus on my health and fitness, and I’m on day 20 of my workout plan. I’m pretty determined to see my resolution through until the end of the year, and I’m happy that my students and I are pushing each other to achieve our goals. What’s your New Year’s resolution?