How to set yourself up for a successful year

2017 has the potential to be your best year ever. Your future is in your hands, so now it’s up to you to go and create it. 

Looking for some inspiration? Here are some tips on how to make this your most successful year to date.

  1. Reflect on your previous year. This is the first step for a successful year ahead. Self-reflection is a great way to remind ourselves of what we have achieved, and may point out some areas that need improvement. Without taking the time to reflect, it can sometimes be difficult to determine where you are heading with your future. As a student, this can assist you in identifying where you might need to put in place some good habits to help you reach your goals for the year ahead. Almost more importantly, it can also help to identify and eradicate any previous bad habits that you want to change.
  2. Make a list of your goals. Setting goals is a great way to keep yourself accountable and on track to achieving what you want. You might have heard this before but make sure you make your goals ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. And once you make them, don’t just leave them in a notebook never to be visited again, revaluate them regularly throughout the year and make adjustments to your strategy if necessary.  It can be frustrating when we don’t accomplish our goals in the timeframes we set - when this happens you may need to think outside the box and come up with some new ideas to kick those goals.
  3. Create positive new habits. One habit that I find particularly helpful is to read something positive and inspirational before coming to university every day. Set aside some time each morning, even if the only time you can spare is reading while you are commuting to uni, (of course, this is not recommended if you drive to campus). Try to only read positive, constructive and inspiring things that will get you in a good mind frame and get you geared up for a great day. Give it a try and you will notice that you become more productive, creative, and resilient - and of course more mentally fit. I’d also recommend that you avoid eating foods containing a high amount of sugar in the morning. Instead, choose healthy and nutritious foods like fruit, oats, or eggs to prepare your body and mind for a productive day.
  4. Consistency. When you are trying a new exercise routine, studying for a new course, or working on an important project, consistency is essential to achieving and maintaining any kind of success. It’s normal to sometimes find yourself in a situation where you feel you can no longer carry on and that you want to give up. Remind yourself that any progress – no matter how small – is still progress and that if you stick with something long enough, it will pay off. Abraham Lincoln said “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” If you want to have a successful year then you have to create and stick to your vision even when it might seem impossible.
  5. Leave poor decisions in the past and master positive thoughts. Everyone makes mistakes and no doubt you made some decisions in 2016 that were good and others you may rather forget. Accepting and moving on from poor decisions and mastering the power of positive thinking is key if you wish to have a successful year. In order to achieve what we want, we sometimes need to shake off that negative self-talk and  consciously direct our positive thinking towards what is important.

Study hard, stay focused, and remember to keep revisiting how you are tracking towards your goals. Here’s to a great 2017 – hopefully the best year yet!

Last updated:
31 January 2017