New Year, New Study Habits: How to Make Changes in the New Year
How well do you think you studied this past year? It’s not a question you’re probably thinking about right now. However, it’s one that you should ask yourself if you want your 2014 school year to be successful.
Even if you think you’re good to go with your academics, study habits can be changed, tweaked, or updated to improve your results or gain more control over your courses. What better time to start these habits than the new year?
Here are some ways you can change your study habits to improve your chances at academic success:
- Write down your good and bad habits.
Writing things down helps commit them to memory, so decide what your bad habits are that hold you back in studying. Write these all down, then cross each one out individually. Now decide how you’d like to change or improve and write these down next to the habits you crossed out. You can do this on a daily or weekly basis if needed.
- Plan to find practical applications.
Not every student likes all subjects they’re taught, which can make it harder for you to focus on these courses and study for them. But this next year, focus on how you will be able to apply these courses to real life. For example, if you don’t understand why you have to present a speech, consider it practice for when you’ll have to state your case in discussions with friends or at a future job.
- Focus on learning, not necessarily grades.
This seems contradictory. Focusing on grades, though, is stressful; if you don’t get that A you were hoping for, you can get discouraged. But the more you focus on learning and growing your knowledge, the more likely you’ll be excited to study your subjects and the more likely you’ll get better grades as a result.
- Make your goals realistic.
You may have been taught that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, but this isn’t true. If you’ve never been good at math, for example, then don’t set yourself up for failure by aiming to get an A+. Instead, focus on doing your best work possible; this is a realistic goal and you’ll feel more successful in the end.
- Review previous material every week.
This habit is particularly good for those courses that have final exams or papers you’ll need to write. Every week, review all the previous information you learned in your courses, from the very beginning. You may think this would take extra time, but it won’t take much, especially the more familiar you become with the material you review over and over. Come test time, you won’t need to cram and you won’t be stressed.
Most experts agree that 30 days is all it takes to form new habits. If you try any of these tips for all of January, you should finish off the spring semester with a bang.