5 more attainable and positive new year’s resolutions for international school students
Who has ever managed to keep a new year’s resolution for a whole year? And is it really beneficial to point out our weaknesses at the very beginning of a new year, when we should be riding on a wave of positive, renewing energy? This year, we challenge our students to make productive resolutions based in soft skills that will benefit them not just in 2020 but for years to come.
- SET A READING CHALLENGE
Most students like to read, but it is also an activity that gets put aside nowadays to make way for technology. A good way to bring reading back into the spotlight is to set a challenge: define an attainable number of books to read before the year is up and get started! Goodreads is a great place to track progress. However, if time feels too short, it would help to slot designated reading times into the weekly calendar. This will add organisation and time-keeping to the benefits students could derive from this challenge, on top of an appreciation for a good book.
- GIVE MORE PRESENTATIONS
You’re probably thinking no thank you. And it’s true, presenting can be nerve-wracking even for the best of us, but it doesn’t have to be! If students can make the time to present something, even just once a month, in the classroom, during assemblies or in front of friends or family, the novelty of presenting will wear off. They will grow more comfortable with the exposure so that every time they present, students will take on confidence and better habits.
- CHOOSE ONE SUBJECT TO PUT EXTRA EFFORT INTO
The new year is often a great time for a mental reset, allowing us to see things with more clarity. So rather than resolving to improve in all their subjects, it may benefit students to focus their renewed energy on one at a time. By giving themselves a smaller goal, they may have more faith in their possibilities of attaining it. Seeing themselves going up a grade in a subject they find particularly tricky will be a great motivator for them to keep putting the effort in. The results will serve as proof that what can be done for one subject could be done in others, so long as they maintain manageable goals.
- GET CREATIVE AND EXPRESSIVE
Some of our greatest ideas come when we relinquish control of our thoughts and let our creativity flow. Trying out for a drama or dance role in one of the school shows may be nerve-wracking, but developing self-expression and creativity is a great confidence builder. Seeing our risks pay off is rewarding and allows us to open ourselves up to new experiences. However, quieter souls could also try to keep a daily diary or write a story, setting part of themselves free through the pen instead.
- WORK WITH YOUNGER STUDENTS
This applies notably for older students, but sharing the load and giving children appropriate amounts of responsibility at any age can be beneficial. However, contact with younger children in particular can be a very positive experience for teenagers, as the merriment of their younger peers rubs off on them. The innocent joy of children is contagious. Spreading that around may give older students some perspective on what is truly important, especially when exam stresses arise.
Younger children show us how little we need to be happy, and perhaps that is the greatest lesson we must take with us into 2020.
Written by Katie Harwood