Welcome back to the Spring term! Starting a new calendar year tends to be when most people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to make positive changes. A new beginning provides an opportunity to make a fresh start. It is like opening a notebook and having a blank page to write a new story.  

The start of a new year is a good time for reviewing our priorities to decide where we want to spend our time and energy. As we take time to reflect on what is important to us, we can identify a direction in which we want to go. However, we may be too ambitious and start with grand plans which we may not follow through. It is best to align our goals with what matters most to us and break them into small, realistic, and achievable goals. As we notice progress, it will motivate us to persevere until we get to where we want to be.

Getting back into a study routine can be challenging at first. Perhaps, you find yourself looking back, wondering if you could have done better last year, which can be distracting and have a negative effect on your motivation. To get into a positive mindset, start by acknowledging these feelings, then focus on what you did well and consider what you could do differently to make progress in those areas you feel you want to improve.  

Here are a few strategies to maintain motivation and keep well:

Practise gratitude: Reflecting each day and identifying what we are grateful for can redirect our attention to what matters most. It can be energising and motivating. 

Get into a routine: having a flexible structure will help manage energy to plan when we will do our work and manage our time. It will also support our health and wellbeing. 

Get out of your comfort zone: especially after the holidays, we are more likely to be reluctant to discipline ourselves and get on with our work. Acknowledge this feeling, and then focus on what you want to learn and the skills you want to develop. It is helpful to think about where you want to be by the end of the year. Then, consider what you would need to do to get there. Identify concrete steps or goals you can take to start now. 

For more ideas and strategies, check this blog post and this one. 

“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might  have been, and loot at what can be.” (Marsha Petrie Sue)

Best wishes for your studies!
Keep well and keep learning