This is the time when we reflect upon the past year and start making those empty promises. Packaged nicely under the title New Year’s Resolutions, these lies we tell ourselves are promising. Optimistically, we embark on the new year with gusto only to lose our momentum a few months, sometimes only a few weeks, in. Resolutions are innocuous enough; after all, you’re only letting yourself down, right?
If you keep lying to yourself, you will stop believing. And, when you start doubting yourself, you lose confidence and motivation.
As far as academic success goes, the solution is pretty simple: stop making promises you won’t keep. Instead, ask yourself the following questions to determine what you actually need to work on:
- What are my areas of weakness?
- What are specific things I can do to make improvements in these areas?
- Which things can I accomplish alone and which things will I need to seek assistance for?
- Am I ready, willing and able to tackle these things with all the hard work and dedication required?
- How will making these improvements enrich my life and help me reach my goals?
Be honest with yourself here. Remember, lies, even those we tell ourselves, only breed distrust and disappointment.
Students often neglect to ask these tough questions and wonder why they are not meeting their goals. A prime example is performance on college entrance assessments such as ACT and SAT. High schoolers usually begin sitting for these exams during their junior year, often using the first try as a pre-test of sorts with little to no preparation. While this isn't a bad idea, not adequately preparing for subsequent sittings is. Expecting a higher score without putting in the work is like one of those New Year's Resolutions: a big lie. You have to do more than just want a higher score; you have to prepare for a higher score.
This year, resolve to do what it takes to be successful academically. This translates into a huge investment of time on your part. But, in the overall scheme of things, those who funnel their energy into positive pursuits are the ones who realize success beyond their wildest expectations.