New Year’s Resolutions for Students and Parents Are Achievable: Here’s How!

New Year’s Resolutions for Students and Parents Are Achievable: Here’s How!

New Year’s Resolutions for Students and Parents Are Achievable: Here’s How!

Six Steps Students and Parents Can Take to Make Desired Changes in Their Lives

New Year’s Resolutions for Students Are AchievableWhat’s the best way to move from having an idea or goal in your head to do actually taking the necessary steps to get the job done? 

I picked up psychologist David G. Myers’ book How Do We Know Ourselves over the holiday break and immediately got excited about the chapter on how to turn resolutions into action. That’s because executive function coaching is all about taking the initiative to start challenging tasks, making a plan, setting goals, and following through!

Below are six research-based steps Myers recommends that students and parents take to make desired changes in their lives, including examples of each step for students. Here’s to achieving your goals for this semester!

#1: Make aN ACTIONABLE Resolution

Keep resolutions realistic and actionable. Research shows that even setting a doable goal can boost creativity, motivation, and perseverance.

  • Example: “Improve my test scores in Biology class from Cs to Bs at a minimum.”
#2: Make Public Your Commitment to Achieving the Goal

Post your intentions on Instagram or Facebook. Tell your friends and family. Others knowing can make you accountable.

#3: Develop an Action Plan to Achieve the Goal

Chunk the plan into concrete and manageable steps. Example:

  • “Take a note taking class at SOS4Students to improve my strategies for in-class notes.”
  • “Review notes with my teacher within 24 hours to check for understanding and accuracy. Add questions as needed.”
  • “Make flashcards for each chapter/unit as we go.”
  • “Meet with my teacher after quizzes to make corrections and clear up confusion.”
  • “Create unit summary guides and my own quizzes.”
  • “Ask my teacher in advance what the objectives are for the unit.”
  • “Compare notes to a friend’s notes.”
  • “Tee up a study group for the exam with each member responsible for a unit.”
#4: Check Progress on Your Plan

Are your quiz grades improving? Are you reviewing your notes regularly? Make weekly to-do lists. Tick the boxes to have a visual indicator of how you are doing.

#5: Set Yourself Up for Support As You Move Towards Your Goal

Here are some examples:

  • Meet with a classmate or two at regularly scheduled times.
  • Study Bio (or some other class) in a place conducive to fewer distractions and supportive of the subject matter.
  • Get a textbook instead of trying to deal with eBooks.
  • Create a daily routine for prep even when you don’t have homework in the class.
  • Get help from a peer tutor if needed.
#6: Create a Productive Habit Instead of Trying to Follow a Haphazard Process

Myers writes in his book, “To increase our self-control…the key is forming beneficial habits.” Habits turn struggles into automatized routines that are less stressful and lighten what neuroscientists call “cognitive load.” Example:

  • Study notes and make/review flashcards daily for 20 minutes, preferably at the same time each day and when you’re most alert.
One More Tip

Don’t make too many goals. Keep it simple with just one or two. More than that can feel overwhelming. Also, keep them specific. Instead of “I want to get all As,” go for “I want to bump up my grades in Bio and Spanish by half a grade minimum.”

SOS4Students Can Help

From executive function coaching to upcoming student and parent winter workshops, SOS4Students can help students boost note taking and study skills and help families enhance communication and understanding.

Here’s to setting realizable goals and making them happen in 2024!

Got Questions?

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at or call us at (510) 531-4767.

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