Yup. It’s a new year and time for the annual ritual of making — and usually, soon after, breaking — new year resolutions. So, how do you stick to your resolutions? First, make one big goal and then break it down into small steps. For instance, if you want to do well academically this year and make the President’s List, create a series of steps that will help you get there. These small steps could include things like —
- Make a daily appointment with yourself to study and to prepare homework. Try to make your appointment for the same time, and the same amount of time, every day. Have kids? Schedule family study time so everybody’s doing the same thing and feeling part of a family routine. Win-win!
- Write down the reasons why you want to do well academically. Put the list in a place where you’ll see it often. This will help you stay on track when life gets busy and messy!
- Get support. If you find that you are having a problem getting homework done for a specific course because you don’t understand some of the material, reach out to the teacher and ask for help. Another strategy is to contact to arrange for tutoring.
- Find some study partners. Just as we often do better accomplishing certain goals, like exercising regularly, with friends, study groups can help you stay motivated and keep you accountable.
- Read a book about the most recent research on learning. You can learn several concrete learning strategies for retaining what you’ve studied. Make It Stick! by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. MacDaniel.
- Reward yourself! During the first month of your new study routine, give yourself something special at the end of each week even if it’s small and simple like Sunday morning breakfast or a Friday evening glass of wine.