Stephen English: How to stay motivated in the “new year”
So now you know Why September is the new January, we need to remember that a new year also may have some pitfalls and setbacks.
Like the new year in January, there is always a surge of motivation when it starts that can soon fizzle when routine and hard work kicks in. The sight of shiny school shoes, freshly sharpened pencils in a new pencil case, or a beautiful, clean notepad just waiting to be filled all suggest fresh starts; a new beginning; the start of a new adventure. This all seems exciting at first, but in some cases can soon wear off.
Take January for example. Apparently, 76% of people have given up on their resolution by the time February comes around, with only 8% of people sticking to it for the entire year. This is usually true for habits such as going to the gym or giving up smoking as it is hard to stay motivated. But studying a qualification can be a truly life-changing experience, going beyond all those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions to get fitter or be healthier – and which are so hard to stick to! Getting yourself an extra qualification, and stretching yourself in the process, is a major achievement and could also be the start of a genuinely new you.
How can I stay motivated?
This is a very common question that I get asked. Only you can make yourself study, and only you can change your life. But there are a few tips that we can advise that can keep you on the right track.
- Make a study plan
Organisation is key when studying. It allows you to keep on top of your workload and ensure that you aren’t overloaded; this can often be the key reason that people tend to give up on their studies.
- Remember why you are doing it
To further your career, to prove you can or maybe just for the love of education. Whatever the reason may be that you choose to study initially, this needs to drive you through the harder times.
- Pretend that every month is a new year
If it is the generic “new year, new month” mantra that gets you motivated, then let this happen more often. Every month, every week or even every Monday could be a “new year” for you.
Just think; this time next year you could be applying to university after getting those A Level results you have always wanted. Or perhaps even celebrating your GCSE successes from the summer and starting at college. Or perhaps even applying for a new job doing something you’ve always wanted to do.
Every day can be a New Year. Stay motivated and make each day a new step in what could be the rest of your life.