This post was orginally published on https://www.ef.com/wwen/blog/efacademyblog/5-new-years-resolutions-students/
New Year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past, the present and the future. What do you wish you’d given more time to this year? How can you self-improve and make sure that next year is your best year yet? Lucky for you, we’ve put together our top five student friendly resolutions so you can prepare for the way ahead.
Be more health conscious
With the pressure of approaching deadlines and the busy day-to-day of student life, it can be hard to prioritize your health. We all know we should try harder, but there never seems to be enough time. Next year why not change that? Resolve to make a few small alterations to your lifestyle that will make a big difference. For example, all students should aim to get eight hours of sleep per night. Instead of binging your favorite Netflix series into the early hours, why not set yourself a proper bedtime? You’ll be surprised by how much brighter you feel in the mornings and sleep is proven to help you memorize facts and information. The process is called consolidation and involves the moving of knowledge from short-term to long-term memory. A good bedtime regime will not only make you feel better, but you’ll actually get smarter too.
Set up a new routine
To go with your new and improved sleeping habits, you might also choose to develop a daily routine to help towards your work-life balance. As a student, your time is likely planned out for you during the day. But what you do have control over is how you manage your time outside of the classroom. Why not commit to a new method of study? The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It involves using a timer to set yourself 25 minutes to work on a task and when the time is up you take a short break or ‘Pomodoro’. Fun fact: The word Pomodoro comes from the Italian word for a tomato. The technique was named after the tomato-shaped timer that Cirillo used to manage his time as a university student.
Broaden your horizons
It’s always great to have a project that is separate from your studies because it teaches you to work independently, take initiative, and stay curious. This year, you could resolve to learn a new skill that helps you improve and become a better person. You could read about a culture, a way of life, or an experience that is different to your own. For example, you could learn the basics of sign language and connect with the millions of people globally who are living with disabling hearing loss. You could read the Dalai Lama’s book of wisdom and learn about what it means to be human and to be happy. Or, you could use an online resource to take a course in coding, drawing, photography, and much more. The possibilities are only limited by your commitment to trying something new.
Make time for your friends and family
As students return to school in January, it can be easy to set aside those moments cherished with family and friends over the holiday season. One of the most rewarding New Year’s resolutions you can make is to dedicate yourself to being there for everyone you care about. This could mean regular phone calls with your parents, grandparents and siblings. You could start a new tradition with a friend and spend one night a week eating dinner together, just the two of you. Another good idea is to write down all your friends’ birthdays in a calendar somewhere on display, this way you’ll never forget a card or present again. Maybe you could even write letters to your relatives or send postcards. It’s never a mistake to show your loved ones how important they are to you.
Plan for the future
The future is bright, but maybe it’s still a little intimidating and a tad uncertain. If this is the case, then plan ahead and you’ll have nothing to fear. Start the New Year right and set yourself manageable checkpoints to get you to where you need to be. If you’re a high school student dreaming of university, then focus on enriching your application with co-curricular activities and evidence of your independent thinking. Perhaps you have a problem with procrastination that you really need to squash before your exams in the summer. If you’re someone who finds visualization useful, then use a notebook to plan out how you’re going to make this coming year count. Add photos of your favorite universities or world destinations to really motivate yourself to succeed.
No matter which resolution you choose this New Year’s Eve, make sure you give it your all, the whole year through, and you’ll be doing yourself proud.