100 Little Learning Resolutions You Should Consider for the New Year
The new year is a great time to renew and reassess how you're doing everyday things, and if you're a student, that means it's time to take a look at how you're dealing with your education. This year, you can expand your educational horizons, learn new things, change your study habits, and even pick up skills that can help you become a better learner. With these small changes, you can make a big difference in your education and lifetime knowledge. Try one or even try all of them, but do take the time to make small improvements in the way you learn this year.
Things Anyone Can Learn
Learning a new language or an intricate art form may not exactly be considered easy, but when taken step by step, nearly anyone can master them. Commit to learning outside of your assignments, and consider picking up one of these skills.
- Self defense: Basic self defense is fun to learn, and just might save your life or property, so resolve to learn a few moves this year.
- Understand basic code: Learn the basics of programming and put your skills to work by building a website or setting up a blog from scratch.
- Learn to knit: Knitting is fun and easy and many resources are available for learning how to adopt the craft.
- A new language: Many people add learning a new language to their yearly resolutions, and it's no wonder, as it's a great idea and a great asset to have. Refresh your skills in a language you may have studied before, or plan a trip around your newly acquired language.
- Learn to cook: Eat better this year by learning how to cook, starting with simple, easy to make dishes.
- Learn to draw: Drawing is something that young children love to do, but most adults don't practice on a regular basis. Develop your drawing skills to see what can flow from your hands.
- Speed reading: Reading faster isn't just fun, it's an incredibly useful skill that will help you become a better student.
- Writing for the web: Web writing is a valuable tool, allowing you to communicate via blog posts, articles, social media, and more, and getting your point across to potentially millions of people at a time.
- A musical instrument: Learn how to play a musical instrument, and you can spend your time creating beautiful musical art, whether it's with a kazoo or piano.
- Learn to paint: Artist Damien Hirst believes that talent in painting can be learned, so much so that "anyone can be like Rembrandt."
Resolutions for Better Learning
Try out these resolutions to improve the quality of your learning this year.
- Set new goals: The new year is a great time to take stock of what you've achieved in 2011, and consider what you might do to achieve new goals this year.
- Avoid distractions: Study more efficiently by minimizing distractions, which means turning off your iPhone and cutting off your online connection.
- Manage your time effectively: This year, resolve to do more with your time by learning how to manage it effectively.
- Do your homework on time: Avoid waiting until the last minute to do your homework, and make sure you have plenty of time to get it all done.
- Break a bad habit: Whether you're skipping homework in favor of Facebook, or waiting until the last minute to complete essays, take this opportunity to resolve to do better.
- Look at your professor: Pay attention to subtle body language, and stay more engaged by actually looking at your professor during lectures.
- Make learning a regular habit: Designate a specific time and place for learning to get into a daily routine.
- Plan to only learn it once: Spend your time learning as if you'll never get a chance to review, making sure you've fully learned what's important before moving on, just in case you could be tested ay any moment.
- Use the textbook: Read all of the assigned material, and know what's important so you're well informed during class time.
- Quit cutting corners: If you're a student who likes to play with margins to reach your page count, study Cliffs Notes instead of reading books, and you use your friends' notes to catch up in class, resolve to stop those bad habits and genuinely put forth an effort in school this year.
- Use a tape recorder: Remember classroom lectures more effectively by using a tape recorder to store your notes.
- Lengthen your study periods: If your study breaks are starting to become longer than your study periods, resolve to fix that this year.
- Pay attention in class: Even if you're feeling smug because you never cut class, sitting in class and not paying attention isn't doing you any favors. Quit surfing Facebook and playing solitaire and start participating in class time this year.
- Develop better study habits: Assess your learning style and take a look at what you might do better when you sit down to study.
- Speak up in class: Even if you're just chirping in via social media, make it a point to participate in class discussions on a regular basis.
- Get academic help: Even if you don't think you need it, take advantage of learning resources to take your grades and learning to the next level.
- Organize your study area: Know where everything is by organizing your school materials and keeping everything you need handy.
- Let go of perfection: For some students, their work isn't done until they've got the top score in the class and a 4.0+ GPA, but it's important to remember that perfection isn't always the best. If you're straining under your overachieving lifestyle, resolve to give yourself a break this year and settle for just a little less than perfection.
- Check your syllabus on a regular basis: Read and study your class syllabus, and be sure to go back to it regularly to make sure you're on track and know what's coming up ahead.
- Lay off of procrastination: Find ways to get motivated and stay on task, even when you just don't feel like it.
- Sit in the front of the classroom: Sit in the front of the class, so you'll be more likely to answer questions and participate this year.
- Join a study group: Join or start a study group to stay on focus and learn more with the help of classmates.
Becoming a Better Student
Part personal development, part academics, these resolutions will help you become a more well rounded and happy student.
- Think positively: Develop positive thinking, and push away any negative thoughts or attitudes that might attack you.
- Learn to say no: There are so many opportunities in school, and so many of them may seem worthwhile, but it's just not possible to do them all. Learn to say no and be OK with simply doing what's humanly possible.
- Make it to class: If you're a serial skipper, resolve to make this your year for actually getting to class, and see how your education improves when you take advantage of class time.
- Wake up just a bit earlier to do a review: Wake up half an hour earlier each day to do a little textbook reading and review.
- Keep up with your work: Be careful not to fall behind, keeping up with your work by trying to stay about a week ahead of schedule so you won't get behind if you can't get things done for a few days.
- Motivate yourself: Be your own driving force and find a way to embrace the curriculum as your own.
- Just don't plagiarize: It's tempting to skip out on the work and let someone else do it, but plagiarizing only hurts yourself. Do the work and learn from it, becoming a better students and avoiding academic trouble.
- Find a balance: Strike a balance between academics and regular life so that you can be happy about not only your work, but what you're doing outside of school as well.
- Commit to a schedule: Follow a planned daily routine to ensure that you're taking advantage of every moment available.
- Cope with academic stress: The pressure of academic work gets to every student at some point, but if you resolve to deal with it in a healthy way, you can better learn how to manage stress as it comes.
- Study with the future in mind: When studying, don't just focus on finals and midterms. Remember that you're building a foundation for all of your future courses.
- Learn from your mistakes: Even if you've made mistakes in 2011, take a look at them and consider what you might do better in the future.
- Focus on your results: Figure out what you'd like to get out of your learning experience, and focus on that as you learn.
- Pare down partying: If you're in the bad habit of partying while you should be studying, cut it out and resolve to kick back only when you've taken care of your essential schoolwork.
- Get a good night's sleep: If you're staying up too late at night or pulling all-nighters to get work done, reassess your sleeping situation and resolve to find a way to get a full night's restful sleep, recharging you for a big day of learning.
- Eat a healthier diet: Losing weight is on the top of the list for many who have set resolutions, but students especially should reassess their nutrition and resolve to eat healthier foods that can result in better learning and concentration.
Skills and Tricks for Learning
Develop these skills and try out hacks to see how you can improve your learning habits.
- Use music to accelerate the pace of your learning: Listen to baroque music, which has 60 beats per minute, to learn faster.
- Utilize 30 day trials: Take on 30 day trial periods, committing to a change for a month to reinforce helpful study techniques.
- Follow a reading routine: Organize your own reading calendar to stay on top of your reading assignments on a regular basis.
- Link your learning to daily life: Spend time thinking about how you can use the information you're learning in daily life situations.
- Use all of your senses: Come up with vivid images and feelings that can help you remember abstract ideas.
- Color code: Color code your classes, assignments, and more to stay organized.
- Try memory tests: Test your memory to improve it and stimulate the areas in your brain necessary to store and retrieve information.
- Read more books: You may have a high stack of books to read for school, but make it a point to read at least a few books outside of school to expand your horizons and improve your knowledge.
- Avoid leaving "islands": When you're learning, make sure that every piece of information connects with other things you've learned.
- Make lists: Organize your thoughts into lists and make things easier to see what you need to get done.
- Keep a reading journal: Write down your thoughts about the books you've read to remember it all and keep a record of your progress.
- Find patterns: Look for information patterns to better understand things that are similar across different topics.
- Create diagrams: Use a diagram to show how elements are interconnected and keep things organized in your studies.
- Use Feng Shui: Encourage learning by using Feng Shui, using colors, resources for creativity, and more.
- Learn your keyboard shortcuts: Make note-taking, essay writing, and more way faster by taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts.
- Play games: Sure, they're fun and often represent leisure time, but games can help open up your mind and even teach you a few things without you even noticing.
- Take a shower: Learning is best done while you're in a calm, relaxed mood, and a bath or shower can quickly help you unwind.
- Use a variety of media: Keep things interesting by using textbooks, video tutorials, podcasts, and more.
- Take gingko biloba: The use of gingko biloba may help with concentration, memory, and learning, so try it out.
- Listen to music: Focus better by listening to music while you're learning and studying.
- Get your blood flowing: Get regular exercise, or just tap your feet occasionally to get your blood flowing and moving to your brain.
- Use mnemonics: Mnemonic memory techniques can help you memorize important information for learning.
- Sleep on it: Even after you're done reading and studying and go to sleep, your brain goes to work cementing knowledge, so be sure to get a good night's rest after you've put in a hard night of studying.
- Draw while studying: Drawing for visual learning is helpful in many subjects, including science and math.
- Eat breakfast: Improve your learning and school performance by eating breakfast each day.
- Try brain mapping: Direct and organize your thinking with the help of brain mapping.
- Take a study break: Give yourself a break every now and then while you're in a hard study session, and you'll be able to focus better.
- Don't try to watch TV: Some people work well with TV as a minor distraction, but most just can't handle it, so stay away unless you know it's helpful.
- Minimize your TV time: While you're at it, just try cutting down on your TV time in general, getting relaxation time by reading or listening to music.
Resources to Utilize
Useful educational resources are available just about everywhere, and the internet is an especially great place to find them. Check out these resources and ideas for getting more out of your classes to take advantage of all that's available to you.
- Wolfram MathWorld: On Wolfram MathWorld, you'll find the web's most extensive mathematics resource for learning.
- Talk to your professors: Even if you feel you're doing well in class, a visit to your professor's office can be enriching and help you do much better academically.
- Open Courseware Consortium: Check out the OCW Consortium to get connected with courses and community resources for knowledge.
- Mobile tech: Use your smartphone or tablet to listen to lectures, practice math schools, read great books and more.
- Lecturefox: On Lecturefox, you can find free university lectures for math, science, and more.
- Use the Internet wisely: Watch videos from TED Talks, Khan Academy, and more to keep learning even when you're online.
- Wikiversity: Find learning resources, projects, research and more through this collection from Wikimedia.
- Learn Out Loud: Learn Out Loud has free audio books with lectures, speeches, interviews, and more.
- Twitter: Connect with great educators and resources for learning with the help of the powerful social networking tool Twitter.
- The Free Library: Check out The Free Library for news, magazines, journals, classic books, and more.
- Project Gutenberg: Find free ebooks to download to your PC or mobile device, including high quality textbooks, novels, and more to expand your knowledge.
- SparkNotes: Find knowledge in a nutshell with SparkNotes' test prep, college resources, notes, and more.
- BookMooch: Trade your book and get more books in return through the BookMooch community.
- Visit your academic advisor: Make it a point to see your academic advisor on a regular basis to make sure you're on track for success.
- Khan Academy: Khan Academy has an extensive video library where you can learn almost anything for free online.
- Schoolr: Use the Schoolr search engine to get connected to academic and scholarly resources.
- Cosmeo: Cosmeo from the Discovery Channel offers online homework help service to make learning more simple and fun.
- Join a personal learning network: Interact with other learners through personal learning networks to improve your knowledge and find people who can help you in your educational journey.
- Education.com: Go back to school with Education.com's video, tips, advice, and craft ideas for learning.
- Refdesk: This fact checker for the Internet shares free resources for reference, facts, and news.
- Internet Public Library: Find subject resources, publications, special collections, and more with the Internet Public Library.
- Smithsonian: Explore and learn through the Smithsonian's online education resources.
- History.com: Watch episodes and find learning resources on History.com.