Are you looking to turn over a new year and return from winter holidays with a new lease on school? These New Years resolutions for students are practical, thoughtful, and can give you a significant boost to finish the year strong.
Don’t try to do all of these. You don’t even have to pick one and do it exactly as described. I want you to see which of these resonate with you, make a short-list of maybe 2-3 of these resolutions for students, and think of which ones you can really see yourself adapting as a permanent lifestyle change. Which one of these will you be able to keep up for an entire year, and beyond?
Picking even one or two of these New Years Resolutions for students and really mastering them, sticking to them, taking them very seriously and making a meaningful improvement from them will lead to positive results in your schooling.
But it’s all about setting realistic goals and expectations because you’re better off picking something sustainable and sticking to it, than trying to completely overhaul your whole life as a student, and caving after only having it last a week.
So, to summarize, the keys to success with these resolutions are to pick a few that matter the most to you, adapt them to best suit your life and your goals, and to stick with them!
Some people have a habit of getting very gung ho this time of year, and they’ll try to pick every possible New Years resolution for students that they can imagine, and they’ll end up biting off way more than they can chew, then slipping into old habits very shortly after.
When it’s all said and done, the best resolutions for students in high school and other grades are the ones that you’re going to stick with.
The Best New Years Resolutions for Students in 2023:
What are some good resolutions for students?
Looking to get a head start on planning your New Years resolutions in 2023? Are you looking to be a better student, and want to set a good framework to make that happen? These suggestions will help set you on the path towards success, so make sure you walk it proudly and with the self-control you’ll need to make this work.
“I will improve my time management skills.”
This first new years resolution for students is a big one. If you find that you’re often late and keeping people waiting for you, or you’re handing in assignments late, or you’re just always a step behind it feels like, then you can take steps to improve your time management skills and work on this in earnest.
Don’t just accept an excuse for yourself like “Oh, I’m just the type of person who is late sometimes! People get used to it!” You can do something about it.
Let’s start with some actionable steps you can take to work towards this resolution. The goal is just to do better than you have in the past, so you can choose how to measure that for yourself to determine how your resolution is coming along.
Actionable steps to improve your time management skills:
- Keep an agenda/calendar/schedule
- Write down things you need to do so that you don’t forget them
- Be realistic when estimating how long something might take
“I will make a conscious effort to procrastinate less on my schoolwork.”
This one could fall under the time management resolution, if we’re being honest. Procrastination can be caused by a lot of different things, and it can manifest itself differently in different people.
Basically, if you get homework, and you’re always putting it off to the very last minute, to a point where you’re falling asleep and not even finishing what needs to be done, that’s a problem.
It’s also a problem if you spend all week dreading a due date, then work on it on the final day, and get it done on time. That’s still a problem because you’re forcing yourself to deal with all of that extra pressure and stress, instead of just getting it done.
It’s going to take the same amount of time, whether you complete it right after it’s assigned, or whether you wait until the last minute.
The advantages of doing things right away instead of procrastinating are two fold…
- By finishing things right away, you won’t have to spend nearly as much time thinking about them, dreading them, putting them off, feeling bad about it…
- If you run into any snags, you’ll have plenty of time left to ask your teacher for guidance. If you wait until the last night, it’s too late to get help.
“I will do what I have to do in order to pay better attention in class.”
The reason this resolution is phrased this way is because different people will have different issues that are making it hard for them to focus in class, so if you find that you’re not always paying as much attention as you could, that might be a good choice for a resolution.
Here are some reasons that somebody might be struggling in class, along with some thoughts on how to improve it.
- Vision problems: If you sit at the back of the class and have trouble seeing the front of the class, this can have a huge impact on your ability to follow along, especially when it’s time to take notes.
- Distracted by classmates: It’s always nice when you get to sit near a friend in class, but if you find yourself goofing off too much, it could be a better idea to sit somewhere else.
- Being prepared: Make sure you have your books, your writing utensils, and anything else you might need for class. If your pen runs out and you have to ask someone to borrow one, that’s a big break in your focus.
“I will set aside time to help other people.”
You’re probably pretty busy, and it’s important to take some time for yourself, but if part of your business doesn’t involve making time to be there for the people you care about, you might want to reconsider that a bit.
It’s all about finding a balance, but when you’re doing that, try to make some room to help others either in your community, or somewhere around the world, in whatever way you can.
You don’t necessarily have to give a set amount of time each day, week, or month to help others, but rising to the occasion when the opportunity presents itself to go a bit above and beyond can be a rewarding way to live.
Things you can do to help people:
- Check-in on your friends if you haven’t heard from them in a while
- Volunteer locally
- Donate to causes around the world
- Help your older neighbors clear their snow or mow their lawns or with other household chores
“I will find ways to challenge myself.”
Are you someone who tends to coast a bit, instead of always pushing yourself to do better? Sometimes, it’s okay to coast for a while, but there’s something to be said about setting goals and challenging yourself to achieve them.
You can find ways to challenge yourself each day, like doing one extra pushup or reading a bit, or meditating each day, or whatever other things you can do that are beneficial for you in the short term and the long term.
Ways you can challenge yourself:
- Setting a goal of allotting a certain amount of time each day or week to improving at something
- Taking time to relax and unwind if you find yourself working too hard
- You can challenge yourself in fun ways too, like improving at a game you enjoy
“I will push myself towards greatness, even if it means failing.”
Is there something you’re passionate about, that you can imagine dedicating your life to? When you’re young, you’ve got to go for it if that’s what you want you do. You have room to take chances on your dreams and risk failing, in fact trying and failing is just one of the steps on the way to success.
You can look at anyone who has ever succeeded in any field, under any definition, and they’ll all share one common trait: They failed plenty before they ever found success.
“I will make friends with somebody who seems lonely.”
An older person once said that one of their regrets from their younger years were not making more of an effort to reach out to some of the kids in school who seemed a bit lonely, or weren’t as outgoing earlier on in life so they didn’t gain all of the same social skills and experiences, but who are still really cool and interesting people and can be great friends.
As you’re reading this, you might picture someone who eats lunch alone, or is a bit quieter, or doesn’t hang out too often, and it might make a big difference in their confidence to have someone make an effort to include them and get to know them a bit better.
“I will find a good balance between my responsibilities and my free time.”
We touched on this one already when we discussed finding a balance in one of the previous new years resolutions for students.
Your student resolutions don’t just have to be related 100% to school, you know? Because finding a balance between life and school is important.
We have another great list of New Years Resolutions for Teens that aren’t all related to school and students, so if you’re interested in seeing more life-based resolutions for student-aged people, make sure you check out that other list, too!
“I will start working on a very long-term goal or vision.”
What are your longer-term educational goals? Depending on how old you are and what your aspirations are with education and school, you may very well need to start planning and taking things very seriously right now in order to reach the heights that you aspire to.
But sometimes, when it comes to far-away goals in the future, it’s easy to get complacent in the meantime or to let them drift to the back of your mind. The problem with this is that you could be making meaningful progress towards those goals right now, instead of waiting until it’s closer. For example, you could take some AP classes so that you’ll have a little more free time during your university and college years, or you might want a little more free time now instead.
Taking some time to think about what you actually want, what type of life and lifestyle you want to live over the next year, or five, or whatever – just remember – it’s your life, and you have a say in these things.
New Years Resolutions for students are a good time to take account of what matters to you, and to start forging the path on how to get there.
“I will see my teachers as human beings.”
Being mindful that your teachers are, indeed, human brings can give you a much better perspective and experience. People have flaws. They get angry, they get overwhelmed, they go through things in their personal lives, and teachers are no different.
This can be a strange shift as you get older, since teachers are essentially surrogate parents during the very early schooling years, and as you get older, that dynamic changes. You’ll like some of your teachers more than other ones, but if you really hate one of your teachers, try to remember that they’re just people.
“I will keep track of my New Years resolutions for students.”
Resolutions aren’t very helpful if you forget about them after a week or two and they fall by the wayside. You should come up with a way to track and measure your progress on your new years resolutions for students, including ways to keep yourself accountable and make sure you’re on track without getting discouraged if you fall behind a bit. Consistent progress towards a big goal is better than little spurts every year or two when you get a burst of motivation. The key is to stick with it, and to have a way to measure your progress.
Ways to keep track of your new years resolutions:
- Write them down along with the necessary steps to accomplish them
- Create a roadmap of each step of the process and track your progress
- Remember that it’s about consistent progress on a regular basis, showing up is most of the work
“I will figure out how to improve in my worst class.”
There’s a lot to be said about playing to your strengths and getting better and better at your best classes, but what about working on your worst ones? That’s the real challenge, but you have the most room for improvement, too.
If you’re in a class that you don’t love but you don’t want to drop it or you can’t drop it, you might as well make the best of your time there.
If it’s your worst class, that probably means you are just not understanding certain things. Putting in the work and finding the necessary resources to help you put in work to improve in this class will yield great results.
Whether it’s finding online resources, video study guides, or something that that will help you learn and catch up in this specific class, you’ll be able to see your understanding grow and your grades improving and it’ll motivate you even more.
Do you think you could improve your worst grade by 10%? 15%? How good would it feel to bring it in line with the rest of your grades? All it might take is some extra effort, a bit of time each day, and a dedication to improve. You got this!
“I will ask for help as soon as I need it.”
Do you want to avoid getting in over your head, getting overwhelmed, and falling too far behind in your studies, to a point where you feel like you’re playing catch-up for the rest of the semester?
Yeah, me too!
And a great way to accomplish this is to ask for help with your school work as soon as you start to struggle or fall behind. Don’t wait too long. If you don’t understand a concept or an idea that you’re being taught, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help or talk to your teacher after class.
Also, the internet is a fantastic resource to find supplemental information. If you’re just not understanding something the way that your teacher explains it, you can find 100 other people on YouTube who are teaching the same concepts in different ways, and sometimes that’s all it takes.
But it’s good to ask for help. You’ll figure it out, and then you’ll get back on track and back on pace.
If you let things that you aren’t grasping pile up, it starts to get overwhelming until you’re basically in survival mode trying to get your 50% to pass the class instead of learning and understanding the things you need to know.
How to ask for help with homework:
- Seek out your own resources online
- Talk to your teacher or guidance councilor
- Talk to someone else from your class who understands it
“I will pay closer attention to my grades.”
If you log-in and check your grades and keep track of your marks as they come in, you’ll have a clearer path on what needs to be done.
It can also be kind of stressful, especially if you’re a slightly anxious person and you’re dreading to look at your results, but it’s that dread feeling that needs to push you towards doing this.
Because the grades are there whether you check them or not, and by checking them, you’ll know what needs to be done.
It’s always better to know than to wonder, especially since it’s entirely possible that you’ll be doing a little better than you thought. And if you’re doing worse, at least you can work on improving them.
It’s better to find out you’re doing poorly or failing a class earlier on, rather than finding out on your final report card.
“I will find a workflow that suits my personality and how my brain works.”
Schools can be a great place to socialize, learn, and get a taste of what life is like. Now, if you have an awful time at school, it’s good to point out that it gets a lot better. This microcosm can resemble certain workplaces or friend groups that you’ll also encounter later in life, but the difference is that you have a choice who you hang out with or where you work when you’re older, and you don’t have as much of a say when it comes to school.
Having said that, you can still try to optimize the school experience for yourself and to “set things up” in a way that work with your brain.
If you’re someone who loves to get some exercise in the morning because it wakes you up and gets your brain going for the rest of the day, try to get a gym class in the morning, or a spare, so that you can do that. On the other hand, if you’re more of a night out and you’d rather sleep in a bit, try to avoid morning classes and set up your schedule in a way that works better.
Depending on your high school and how many credits you still need, or your college for that matter, you’ll have various levels in terms of how much you can control all of this.
But knowing what works for you, and trying to adapt your student experience to that, will make everything flow a lot easier.
It’s about understanding yourself and how you work best. Schools do a lot of things very well, but they aren’t always great at understanding the different needs and preferences and learning styles of different students, so this is an area where you’ll need to learn to do that for yourself in order to get the best experience in your student years.
This is a worthwhile new years resolution for students because it helps you to better understand yourself, which can set you up for an easier path throughout the rest of your life, to be honest. Learning how to learn in a way that works best for your mind is like a super power.
“I’ll take some wise risks and see what happens.”
There are some risks that teenagers might take that are completely irrational, dangerous, and misguided. But sometimes, when you’re younger, there are other types of risks that aren’t as big of a deal.
They say the most important asset you have is your time. Even billionaires like Warren Buffett will talk about how time is the most valuable thing.
Sometimes, taking healthy and safe types of risks can be a great way to grow as a person. If you’re 16, and you invest your savings into something, it’s a lot different than a 32 year old with a family who dumps their savings into some random token or digital currency. The point is that younger people usually have a little more leeway, since they don’t have all of the same responsibilities as an adult.
But it’s not just about investing in risky things, because that’s usually not a very good idea anyways (they’re risky for a reason), it could also be something like asking out a friend on a cute date, getting on stage and performing stand-up comedy, or taking on an advanced placement course
“I’ll set one VERY ambitious goal that means the world to me.”
We talked about staying on top of your classes, pushing yourself with some big goals for the year, but what about a big, super ambitious goal?
This is something you’ll work towards for, probably, years.
whether you have aspirations to complete in an Olympic sport, or you want to start a successful business, or you want to get a Master’s degree in your favorite field of study, you can do it but huge goals take time and huge commitments, so the sooner you start, the better.
Break it down into smaller bite-size pieces. For example, for a huge ambitious lifelong dream type of goal, you’ll need to break it down into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly milestones. You won’t complete this type of goal in a day or a week or a month or a year, but you will take the necessary steps and make progress.
Whether that means practicing 5 times a week at a musical instrument, or exercising and training for a sport, or whatever – there are things you can do to improve in the short term, that will help you reach your long term aspirations.
How To Keep Your New Years Resolutions for Students
Before signing off, I wanted to go over some ideas and suggestions for ways that you can ensure success with your resolutions.
Keep in mind that if one of your new years resolutions was to challenge yourself, failing is actually part of the success, to just pay attention to that way that you’re defining success and make sure that it aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish with that resolution in the first place. If your conditions for success don’t align with the purpose of the resolution, something needs to be shifted around a bit.
- Set realistic new years resolutions for students
- Plan ahead of time so you aren’t trying to come up with ideas the night before (But if it’s too late, that’s okay too – you’re in the right place!)
- Share your resolutions with close friends or family who can help keep you accountable
- Keep track of your progress
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall off, just get back at it
Final Thoughts About New Years Resolutions for Students
Do you have more of an idea what you’d like to focus on now? These New Years resolutions for students were curated to give you plenty of ideas of things that you can work on in the coming year, but even if it’;s the middle of the year, it’s always a good time to start. You don’t have to wait until January 1st.