We are getting down to the business end of the academic year – time to get yourself in gear to optimise your results. So how about making a New Year’s resolution?
Well, Lauren, one of the tutors at our friends MyTutor has got a great suggestion for you.
Give up resolutions!
New Year’s resolutions are famously difficult to keep.
#1 - No chocolate? That’s only lasting until January 5th, when all those wonderful gimmicky advent calendars are slashed to a fraction of their original price.
#2 - To spend less money? Good luck when the January sales emails come pouring in.
#3 - To be more organised with your studying? Well, a year is a long time to keep that up and things sometimes slip, no matter how many coloured highlighters you have.
The only resolution I have ever managed to keep was, aged 7, to stop biting my fingernails. And I still nibble them sometimes.
No, new year’s resolutions are most definitely not the way forward. In fact, according to Forbes, just 8% of people manage to keep them.
So, what does this mean for your 2017?
Here at MyTutor, we’re all about positive change or self-improvement (that much might be obvious - we are an online tutoring platform after all). However, we like to do things a little differently. So instead of New Year’s resolutions, we’re suggesting 30-day mini-challenges instead.
Why 30 days?
30-day challenges have become popular of late as a way to kick-start your goals without the pressure of making a year-long commitment. 24 Life says that ‘consensus among experts is that 30-day challenges can offer a great strategy for getting people started toward a goal or desired outcome’.
Additionally, a number commonly thrown about is 21. It takes 21 days to form a habit, we’re told. This number was suggested in the 1960s by Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon. Since then, that number has been disputed, with a recent survey led by University College London suggesting that in fact is takes an average of 66 days to form a habit.
Either way, committing yourself to a 30-day challenge is a great start. You’ll have formed a habit and reinforced it, or you’ll be half way to achieving your goal.
Some 30 day challenges for you
You can skip straight to our 30 day study suggestions, or read on for a couple of national 30 day challenges that are out there.
Challenge 1 - Eat yourself to a better you.
One current 30-day challenge that is quite popular is ‘Veganuary’ which promotes going vegan for all of January. Launched in 2014, this charity is dedicated to helping people switch to a plant based, environmentally friendly diet.
Even better, the 30-day habit-forming worked! Whilst not everyone stuck to being vegan once the month was up, over half of the participants in 2016 kept their non-vegan food intake at reduced levels when surveyed in February.
Challenge 2 - Think yourself to a better you.
Another one we’ve found is the mindfulness challenge, which cheekily runs to 31 days instead of 30.
But what is mindfulness? According to Professor Mark Williams, quoted on the NHS website, ‘mindfulness is about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.’
Mindfulness is rapidly increasing in popularity in schools and universities throughout the country. With potentially stressful mock exams and coursework deadlines approaching, it could be worth looking into. It could help you to remain calm and collected during a frantic school period.
We think this 30-day formula might just be the trick to transforming your studying habits. What’s more, you can try something different each month. This means you can ditch what doesn’t work and try something new – without the guilt of ‘breaking’ a resolution.
If you need some inspiration, here are some suggestions from MyTutor HQ:
- Complete all your homework on the day it’s set
- Keep your notes organised
- Do one question from a past paper every day
- Book a weekly online lesson with a personal tutor to help you go over the subjects you’re struggling with
- Read 10 pages of a book for fun every day
- Put your hand up in class once a day instead of looking away awkwardly when your teacher glances over at you – yes, we know you do that! (we did it too, once upon a time)
- Read the news every day and stay up to date with current affairs.
Be as creative as you want – and as ambitious.
Remember, it’s only 30 days – and you might be a different person at the end of it.
MyTutor helps you find a tutor who knows what they’re talking about. All our tutors are undergraduates at top universities who have recently achieved A or A* in the same exams as you, so they know the pressures you face, and they’ve got all the answers to help you achieve your exam goals.
You can meet your tutor for one-to-one online sessions whenever you need help: you don’t even have to leave your house. You’ll also get a free recording of your online tutorial to play back later for revision.
S-cool has teamed up with MyTutor to offer you the best deal on the internet - a one-to-one tutorial completely free of charge.
Click here for more info about MyTutor and the deal available only on S-cool
Just sign up at MyTutor.co.uk with the promo code SCOOL.