New Years’ Resolutions for Student Success

2023 is behind us, and it’s time to embrace 2024. In a poll conducted in the US, 37% of Americans said that they had a goal or resolution they wanted to achieve in the new year, with 87% saying they were likely to keep it throughout the year. However, studies have shown that the average resolution lasts 3.74 months. 8% tend to stick with their goals for one month, while 22% stick with it for two months, 22% for three months, and 13% for four months.

The most common resolutions made include improving fitness, finances, mental health, and diet, or losing weight. These apply to students, as well, but should students really need to worry about their diet or finances at this time? Here are some resolutions that students should consider for their new year.

#1. Create a better work-life balance

On average, students spend 4 – 8 hours weekly to work, volunteer, or participate in club activities. This, on top of homework, spending time with friends, as well as any family obligations. Don’t forget about studying for exams, as well. It’s easy for students to feel overwhelmed or stressed because they struggle to identify where to devote their time to and when. By making a dedicated resolution to achieve better balance between school, social commitments, and personal life, students can learn valuable skills about time management and what they consider important.

#2. Practice healthy habits

These habits can include regular exercise, which boosts hormones in the brain to increase productivity and improve mood. It could also include eating nutritious foods to keep your body healthy, drinking enough fluids through the day, or cutting time on social media. Through practicing and maintaining healthy habits, students can improve their focus and decrease stress, especially during stressful periods.

#3. Get more sleep

Students often like to joke that sleep is for the weak, but studies have shown that sleep improves brain performance, mood, and health. A lack of sleep can raise the risk of disease and mood disorders, such as heart disease and dementia. Students should get at least 6 – 8 hours every night to feel refreshed and ready for the next day of school. If you struggle to maintain a steady sleep schedule, consider restructuring your activities to ensure you’re in bed at a certain time each day. In addition, by limiting your screen time, you can limit your exposure to blue light, which can lead to a much more restful sleep.

#4. Limit your caffeine intake

As students get older, they may feel pressured to stay up longer to finish assignments. This can lead to an increased caffeine intake, either from tea or coffee. Too much caffeine can increase anxiety, make it difficult to sleep, and affect decision-making. By limiting or avoiding caffeine altogether, students can rely on themselves and their own capabilities to meet deadlines and finish assignments. Plus, caffeine is costly, so you’ll also be saving money, as well.

#5. Don’t procrastinate

It’s a bad habit to fall into, especially if students are already accustomed to putting off assignments until the last minute. This can increase stress and harm the quality of their work. To avoid procrastination, try creating a timeline and keeping yourself accountable. Students may also break assignments into smaller parts to have an easier time to manage it. Another habit that students should consider is starting assignments early. It’s never a bad idea to start early and finish early.

#6. Focus on learning instead of just grades

Results are often what students are most concerned about, especially because universities look at letter grades. However, it’s important to remember why concepts learned in school are necessary, and how they can be applied in real-life situations. Rather than focusing on how you can score full marks on your next assignment, think about the purpose of the assignment and how you can use that knowledge later on. In fact, school districts in British Columbia have opted out of letter grades to encourage learning, instead of result-based education.

#7. Improve your communication skills

As students, we often have to communicate with multiple groups of people. We engage with teachers, classmates, friends, community members, and family on a daily basis. In order to ensure those around us understand what we want to say and vice versa, it’s important to learn how to communicate effectively. Some of these skills include being a good listener, asserting yourself, over-communicating instead of under-communicating, being honest, and being aware of non-verbal cues. Through effective communication, students can bring out not only their full potential, but those around them.

New years’ resolutions are often seen as tired and overused. Many people don’t make them anymore. However, it can’t be denied that a new year often allows new opportunities for people to try something new or achieve something within the year. Why not try it for yourself in 2024?

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