New Year’s Resolutions for Lifelong Learners
As we reach the end of 2020, many students are looking to 2021 as a fresh start. Because of COVID-19, many students had to put off or push back their 2020 New Year’s goals or resolutions.
Making New Year’s resolutions is the easy part. The pandemic, however, has affected how we’re setting goals and even how we’re accomplishing them.
But it’s important not to just sit back and wait for this all to pass – we must still be proactive about our learning and our future.
Increase your chances of sticking with your resolutions by setting attainable goals that allow you to see the results as you go. You can also follow the SMART goal methodology, making your goals or resolutions Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Make resolutions you can track, that are relevant to your life goals and specific in their nature and timeline.
As a professional (or student), continuing your education and lifelong learning should be a part of your 2021 plan.
Following through with your valuable study strategies will not only help you in the present, but ensure you get to where you want to be in the future. Keep your desire and motivation to study and continue your education throughout the year by following these suggested strategies:
- Get Organized. Creating a calendar can help to keep you on track and stay up to date. Seeing due dates and when tests are scheduled will help you to prepare for them and ensure you will have time to meet deadlines.
- Get Creative. There are many different techniques for studying—some will work for you and others may not, but you won’t’ know until you try them out. Just because you’ve always used one method doesn’t mean you cannot add a new one to your study experience. Discover new studying techniques online (especially now in the age of webinars, Zoom meetings and other virtual gatherings) or from your peers, friends, family and your teachers/professors and find what works best for you.
- Stay Nourished. Stay clear of a greasy, sugary, high-sodium junk food diet that will make you tired, give you headaches and make it harder to focus on your studies. What’s good for your body is good for your brain—eat foods that will promote brain health such as blueberries, nuts, salmon, eggs and avocados.
- Take care of yourself. A healthy mind needs a healthy body-take time to eat right, exercise and get enough sleep. Staying active can lift your mood, ward off depression and is one of the most effective ways to improve memory and attention. Lack of sleep can mean lower grades, no matter how hard you study—don’t underestimate the importance of sleep.
- Manage Stress. Make time every day to relax and do something that makes you happy—no matter how busy you are. Take a quick power nap, watch your favorite movie, run a hot bubble bath and de-stress before major tests to help you boost your academic performance.
- Don’t procrastinate. If you put off things until tomorrow instead of finishing what could be done today, you may be making life harder for yourself. Time is one of your most prized possessions as a student—learn and practice good time management skills by starting early and finishing on time. Not only will this help with homework and studying for an exam, but it is also good practice for day to day life.
- Be less social on social media. Are you reaching for your phone every time a notification rings in? Spending countless hours looking through photos and updates can seriously jeopardize your ability to study for an exam effectively. Set a reasonable time to allow yourself to browse Facebook or Pinterest and the majority of the rest to get some quality studying in.
I think we’re all in agreement on calling 2020 a bit of a wash in most senses, but now is your chance to head into the New Year prepared, and make 2021 a successful year!
Good luck and have a great new year!
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