It’s back to classes, Trojans, and we’re all still wishing it was summer. But chances are, you’re getting ready to start the first day of class and making grand plans to make this semester a winner: taking good notes, studying before the morning of your test, and actually making it to that 8AM class regularly. But despite our best efforts, it can be hard to stick to these plans, no matter how great they look on paper. Here are 5 ways to crush this semester (that will actually stick!)
1. You need a bedtime
Do you wake up feeling like you’d rather do anything than get out of bed and go to class? We’ve all been there. Your body likes to run on a well-maintained schedule, so do yourself a favor and stick to one. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning (yes, even on the weekends) will help your body acclimate to your schedule, letting you get tired when you need to and feel awake when your alarm goes off every morning. Do this consistently and your body will make it a habit, so you can say goodbye to the snooze button.
2. Make it a habit
Like we said in the last tip, your body likes consistency with everything it does. Some studies claim that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but really that number can vary from person to person. The key is to not give up. It’s important not to get discouraged when the going gets tough and it feels like you’ll never get used to that early alarm or that post-class workout session. But if you hold yourself to it, your body will automate the process, making it easy to stick to the program. This tip works great for regular study sessions, apartment cleaning, or homework time.
3. Start small
If you’re a habitual class skipper or alarm ignorer, it can be very hard to cold turkey stop your ways. Start small and make your goals scalable, meaning you can reach for bigger goals as time goes on. Make an effort to only hit snooze twice, and then work up to not hitting it at all or make a vow to study for at least 30 minutes a week until you work up to every day.
4. Write it out
You don’t have to be a list maker or planner-user to let writing help you be more productive. Just the simple act of writing down a goal helps manifest it in your brain. Consider writing it somewhere visible, like a white board by your desk, a paper posted on your fridge, etc. Seeing this goal manifested in writing will help encourage you to keep going for it. You can even write notes of encouragement to yourself as motivation. While some people like to be supportive and positive while writing notes to themselves, some people do well with a little tough love. Whatever you prefer, writing goals down puts them into a physical space and encouraged you to take them seriously.