New Year’s Resolutions
Spoiler alert – they’re not reserved just for January! #newyearnewme
Term *officially* begins on Monday, so maybe now is a good opportunity to spend a little time thinking about how you’re going to approach the new academic year. Whether you’re returning to Warwick, a fresher, or starting your final year of school, it’s definitely worth thinking about how you’re going to approach the year.
First of all – what do you want to achieve? Do you have any specific goals you would like to reach by the summer? These could be academic, or to do with lifestyle and self-care, or anything else. It can be as big or small as you like. Try to keep it specific – having a goal like “be better at Geography” isn’t all that helpful, because there’s no real way to measure it or know that you’ve achieved it. A resolution like “make sure my notes are fully written up within a day of the lecture” is a tangible habit you can actually do regularly. There are plenty of experts and articles and books (and clichés about marathons and mountains etc) out there to corroborate this point, but you get the best results by creating small habits and doing them everyday. So – if you have a specific goal you want to reach this year, maybe you could make a resolution to employ some small and realistic habits every day.
I have decided I want to pick-up learning German again this year (and I’m hoping that by putting it in this post I might be more likely to keep it up…). I did it at school but have taken a hiatus for about three years, and thought it would be valuable to set myself a challenge. I’ve downloaded some apps to make the habit as salient as possible, and am trying out some new methods to try to make it stick!
Once you have decided what your ideal end-point is, you can start thinking about how to get there. How are you going to implement your resolution into your daily routine? If your goal is realistic, you should be able to do small things regularly and achieve a bigger result. For example, if your resolution is to be more mindful, can you fit ten minutes of meditation into your nighttime routine? Can you try a half hour yoga tutorial on YouTube? Think carefully about the steps you will take to act on your resolution, and if you know that you won’t realistically do those steps regularly, think about how you can change that.
One thing I have found to work well is using a habit tracker. I check everyday which of my habits I have done, and can see over a prolonged period which ones I am doing regularly and which ones I’m not. If not, why not? What do I need to change? Why do I want to build this habit in the first place?
I hope this post has given you a little inspiration to think about what you could achieve this year, and how you will actually make it happen. There’s a list below to give you some ideas of resolutions you could make for 2020/21:
- keep weekends work-free by getting all work done in the week
- get 8 hours of sleep
- drink enough water
- play a certain sport regularly
- catch up with friends more often
- create good lecture notes
- practice exam questions
- start using a revision timetable during exam season
- learn a new skill (i.e. video editing, guitar, drawing)
- learn a language