10 "Hit the Ground Running" Study Skills Tips for the New Year

Ready to make a New Year’s resolution that you can live up to? How about resolving to add new and innovative study skills to your list this year? Here’s a top 10 list of ways to “hit the ground running” and embrace new study skills in the New Year.

First - a general rule - change your “study vocabulary.” Drop the old “I hate studying” line for good. Start saying “I love studying because I’m getting smarter and getting ahead.”

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Speaking positively can lead to positive change, positive discipline and positive healthy habits. Think like an athlete training for the Olympics, a musician training for Juilliard or an actress for Broadway. All of these individuals would have their eye on the prize; exclusively focused on what would get them to, and through, a successful performance, a glorious victory or across the finish line.

Prepare like a pro by putting these ten tips to work for you this year:

1. Be consistent and study everyday. Consistency creates habits. Healthy habits are the markers of successful people.

2. Couple studying with physical exercise and see #1. Exercise opens the body and mind, and raises the spirits. The physical rush followed by relaxation that occurs during and after exercising releases stress and hormones that make you happy. Happy students study better. Simple, right?

3. Adopt your favorite study locations. If you can focus at the coffee shop, go there. If you need a quiet table in the library, find it. Want to be outside? Get there. At home? Do it. Find the study spot(s) where you can focus, thrive and be most productive.

4. Find a study buddy or form a study group. Studying with peers keeps students engaged in course material and creates opportunities for collaborative learning.

5. Make studying fun. What’s the point of learning if it’s not fun? Find a way to make studying fun and you’ll have fun studying. Simple.

6. Study and eat; eat and study. Studying brains need fuel- and not just coffee- to remain focused and alert. Healthy food keeps healthy studying brains and bodies on track.

7. Make a vow to avoid cramming. Late nights or early morning cram session are torture! Vow not to do it! Plan ahead (see #1) and avoid the pain!

8. Create a master calendar. Everybody loves calendars! Find a fun or beautiful calendar for the wall, notebook or computer and make it your guide. Spend time writing in it, using it, looking at it and planning all things with it. Use it to help create a clear picture of what is ahead; noting all test dates, events, breaks, work schedules, commitments, etc.

9. Make goal and “to do” lists and check off accomplishments. Daily, weekly and monthly lists can be used to keep students on track and monitoring accomplishments easily. And it feels good to check things off! See #8 and use calendars for these lists.

10. Embrace new methods and technologies that support good study habits and organization.There are a million apps, online tools and methods out there to help manage the work of modern life. Find and use the ones that help you stay organized, focused and makes the process enjoyable.

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