Here is a fact for you: Most people fail in adhering to their stated New Year's resolutions. Specifically, 22% fail after one week, 40% after one month, 50% after three months, 60% after six months, and 81% after twenty-four months. I have tried to research into why people fail to meet up with their resolutions and come up with possible ways to become a better student in 2013.
Why Do People Fail?
- Vagueness: Many students just say “I want to be a better student next year”. That isn’t s clear resolution to make. Resolutions are like communication to the subconscious mind and they need to be very clear for proper interpretation. It is rather better to say “I want to read 6 hours per day in 2013” or “I want to read at least 10 pages every day in 2013”. Clarity also helps you to follow up with your resolution easily. It is easier to judge if you are reading 6 hours than whether you are a better student.
- Indiscipline: Hmn, many students miss it here. Lack of discipline makes people to have little commitment to their resolutions and that results in failure.
- Lack of Purpose: The saying goes that abuse is inevitable where purpose is not defined. Many students fail to define the purpose for making their resolutions.
So What Can I Do To Be A Better Student In 2013
- Define Your Purpose: Why do you want to become a better student? You may think that is a funny question but answering it sincerely is the foundation of better performance in 2013. Or maybe, “Why do I want to make First Class or Second Class Upper?” Ensure to list every single reason. The longer the list, the stronger your motivation will be. Reasons, they say are fuel in the furnace of motivation. Put the reasons down in black and white and paste it in a conspicuous place where you can see it every morning.
- Set Definite Goals: Precision of goals is an important skill in becoming a better student in 2013. Mark McCormack in his book “What They Don’t Teach You In The Harvard Business School” tells of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989. In 1979, the graduates of the MBA program at Harvard were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” It turned out that only 3% of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13% had goals, but they were not in writing. Fully 84% had no specific goals at all, aside from getting out of school and enjoying the summer. Ten years later, in 1989, they interviewed the members of that class again. They found that the 13% who had goals, but which were not in writing were earning on average twice as much as the 84% of students who had had no goals at all. But most surprisingly, they found that the 3% of graduates who had clear, written goals when they left Harvard were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of graduates all together. The only difference between the groups was the definiteness of the goals they had for themselves when they started out. I cited this study to make you see the difference precision makes.
- Set Your Priorities Aright: As a student, many things will beg for your attention: birthday parties, tourist attractions, football and other social and recreational activities. Your ability to set how important they are to you will be a stepping stone towards being a better student in 2013.
- Keep Operational Goals (Tasks) Small: There are chances of getting overwhelmed if you set a goal that is so big. Keeping operational goals small and incremental allows you the opportunity to record progress and get motivation from the achievement previous goals. Look at it this way, you find it easier to read 10 pages a day than setting a goal of reading a text book in a week. Even if the text book is a 70-page book, you find it easier if you break the goal into smaller chunk that you can achieve every day. It also makes it easier to record your progress. Putting it in a different way, that will mean you can set big goals but make your tasks small.
- Don’t Set Goals That Are Too Low: Why would you set a goal to have a “C” in a course when “A” is not impossible? When people are afraid of failure, they set goals that are too low and most times even achieve less than the goal they set because you make your mind lazy by setting goals that are too low. You should set goals that are a slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that achieving them makes you feel hopeless. Life is self-serve, very much like a buffet line. You have to get up, accept responsibility and serve yourself. Your goals must be big enough to stretch but should not be unrealistic. If you are planning on graduating with a First class or Second class upper, you know it is not going to be beans. So, you must brace up and set goals that will get you out of your comfort zone.
- Keep A Personal Success Journal: A personal success journal is a book where you record all your daily achievements. Even the small achievements should be written, as long as they move you toward your bigger goals. You should only record what you have done and not what you intend to do. What this does for you is to make you move feel the progress toward your goal.
- Commit Yourself Every Morning To Achieving Your Goal: Like I have noted that indiscipline has caused many failed goals, it is important for you to develop commitment towards achieving your goal. Every morning remind yourself of your goals and reinforce your commitments to achieve them.
- Break Up Your Goals and Have A Time-Table: While you might have a big goal for 2013, maybe having a GPA above 4.0, you will need to break up these goals into periodical goals. For example, what you want to achieve on monthly, weekly or daily basis. This will help you to keep track of your progress. Also, you need to have a time-table and to-do list to help you maximize the limited time you have every day.
Other specific tips to become a better student include:
- Be organized: Arrange your materials where you can easily reach them. Write down important dates, like assignment submission dates, test dates, exam dates and so on so that you can plan ahead for them.
- Don’t Procrastinate: One second lost can never be regained; you must therefore do what you have to do when you have to do them.
- Study Group Helps: If you can find a good study group, you will discover that it will be of help to you in helping you note what others know on a topic.
- Past questions can also help: Past questions and answers will also be handy in preparation for exams and tests.
- Be positive: The importance of positivity in study is huge. When you are positive, you attract good things and people to your life.
- Mind your reading environment: Ensure to read in an environment where you can concentrate adequately. Don’t stay in an environment just because your friends or course mates are also reading there. If it is not convenient for you, don’t hesitate to check out for somewhere better.
- What kind of Learner are you: Find out what kind of learner you are and what time of the day you assimilate information best.
- Pray to God: The last but not the least point to becoming a better student in 2013 is to seek for help from God.
Happy New Year in Advance. Be the better you in 2013.