At the beginning of every year, thousands of people all over the world make promises to themselves that they will eat better, lose weight, do better in school, make it onto a team, or do a combination of these goals and dreams. 

While having aspirations that you will work towards are very good and noble things to have, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your New Year’s goals and dreams actually work out.  Here are some ways to ensure that your New Year’s resolutions will be successful: 

Take small steps towards achieving your goal, and look for ways to improve upon your health one step at a time: When you are hungry and want a quick bite to eat, grab a banana or a piece of healthy fruit to go along with your meal.  By making a small but manageable change such as this one, people can take charge of their health and well-being by making small changes to their diet and the foods they eat, which will improve upon their overall health in the long run and make them less susceptible to getting sick.  Making a small change like this is good for your body and has long-term effects that will be beneficial for you as you grow.

Research actually shows that the first five years of a child’s life and what they eat can affect how they eat for the rest of their lives, so try to make good choices.

* Pick a workout that is fun and engaging for you: When you go to the gym or complete your workouts from home, it is important to not only ease into any new workout that you may begin by including light stretches and taking it slow, but it is also important to make the workout one that you will stick with throughout the year.  If a person picks a workout that interests them, they will also be more likely to include it on a regular basis throughout their life.  If, however, the person signs up for the activity or sport due to family or peer pressure, which can happen for some children and teens, then they really don’t have the individual motivation to do the activity or sport, which will affect their ability to stick with it.

Remember, find something that motivates you, and be ready to do some self-advocating and speak up for yourself if others object to your interests, because that’s what makes you unique and stand out from other people.  Also, some people hold certain stereotypes about what sports and activities are specific to certain genders, such as boys playing basketball and only girls getting involved with dance.  Trying to engage in an activity or sport that is meaningful to you, and goes against what people think you should or should not do, is a goal to work towards as well as you break the stereotypes of what is appropriate or not for boys and girls.

* Make personal connections with your schoolwork: Try and think about the importance of what you are learning in school, and how that relates to the real world.  This can be done while envisioning, or imagining, why you are learning about the square footage of a building, or learning mathematical arrays that are used when multiplying numbers together to come up with the total. When you realize the importance of a lesson, you start to appreciate it more, as it becomes more applicable to your daily life.  These real-world skills will help you as you advance in school and learn, as you never know when a lesson you learn today will be helpful for you in the future. Also, students can try and brainstorm different ways in which skills can be used throughout various fields, which helps to build upon critical thinking skills, which is another very important skill to have.

It is also important to personalize the learning process in order to make connections with your schoolwork: Let’s say you are having a hard time memorizing the steps to the Scientific Method. Instead of blaming the teacher, try and make the learning process more personal to you, such as coming up with a memory aid (acronym), picture, song or video for remembering the steps on your own that appeals to your learning style and preferences. This way, not only are you learning new content, but you are also finding new ways to learn information that appeals to you, for example: “My Amazing Formula Makes Tea!”

The Scientific Method: Steps

My Amazing Formula Makes Tea!”

  1. Make an observation
  2. Ask a question
  3. Form a hypothesis, or educated guess/explanation
  4. Make a prediction of what will happen
  5. Test your prediction as a final step, and write your conclusion at the end

Using memory tools and aids to help with the learning process can ensure a good start to the school year and help to achieve personal learning goals in school. Also, finding out your personal learning style can help with understanding new material. The website Ixl.com can also be used to achieve any learning goals you may have by grade level and subject so that you can practice important skills on your own and make learning a fun and rewarding experience for the school year, just remember to take breaks when using technology for too long during the day.

*  Be Kind: Making a new year’s resolution to be kind can go a long way, as you never know what a good deed can mean for you in the long run, such as making friends or going out with someone, being kind is always a winning attitude to have.

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