The New Year is here! While New Year’s resolutions are certainly popular, we suggest creating a New Year’s routine instead. Read on to learn more!
New Year’s resolutions can work well for some people, but they aren’t always easy to stick to throughout the year. Research shows that while nearly 80% of people commit to a New Year’s resolution, less than 10% of us actually fulfill that goal. The main reason for this is that people tend to make large, sweeping goals for their resolutions that often require huge lifestyle changes to accomplish. They’re not always easy to implement, so we tend to fall back on our old habits before too long.
It’s wonderful to have large, ambitious goals – but these goals should be gradual things to work towards over a period of time. This tends to go against the idea of a New Year’s resolution, which is to make a drastic change immediately and commit to it for an entire year! As a helpful reminder, S.M.A.R.T. is a helpful acronym students use to make sure their goals are realistic:
- Specific: Rather than broad goals, try to stick to specific things you’d like to accomplish
- Measurable: Try to make sure your goal is easy to track progress and not ambiguous or abstract
- Achievable: It’s great to dream big, but try to make your short-term goals reasonable ones that will motivate you
- Relevant: Make your goal related to something which you personally want to improve or accomplish
- Time-Bound: Give yourself a time window or deadline for how quickly you want to complete this goal
When creating a New Year’s routine, try to keep S.M.A.R.T. in mind to help decide what you will commit to throughout the year. The great thing about routines is that – unlike resolutions – they often consist of small changes that are quick to implement and easy to stick towards. But don’t let that fool you, because small changes often provide huge results! Here are some examples of routine changes that students of all ages find success with year after year:
- Packing up school materials the night before. This is an easy task that should take no longer than 5 minutes, but it guarantees that you will never leave an assignment or book at home again. This is a common issue for many students!
- Sticking to a sleep schedule. Sleep deprivation is bad for your focus, attention, memory, and more. Students almost universally report feeling more alert by sticking to a consistent sleeping schedule, even during vacations.
- Breaking up your studying. Long cram sessions are not only stressful, but they’re also a highly ineffective way of studying. Studying small chunks for only five minutes a night will net you the same study time as a 2.5 hour cram session (and you will retain information much more easily).
New Year’s routines are a great motivational tool throughout the year. For more ideas on routines and habits of successful students, check out our blog on the topic.