"Failing to plan is planning to fail." - Alan Lakein
Having a plan increases your chance of success dramatically. Many students have fantastic goals and well-intentioned desires, but no plan to be able to follow through on. Success is calculated and constantly worked towards. If you don't have a plan, you can't expect to be very successful. Here are 5 easy steps you can take to prepare for success.
1) Write down your priorities. Many students have clear, attainable goals but don't understand why it is so difficult to reach them. They are starting backwards! Before you write your goals and decide how you will pursue them, you need to have your "why." Your priorities tell you what is most important to you. Write down your priorities so that everything you do is purposeful and with strong intention.
2) Create and write down SPECIFIC goals. It is very difficult to achieve the goal of "I want to be a better student." How do you achieve that? What steps do you take to get there? Instead, how about "I want to attain a 3.0 GPA this semester." This is specific and measurable. You know that if you have a B or higher in every class, you will reach your goal. If you are falling short, you can immediately check your goal and readjust your actions to reach it.
3) Create action steps to reach your goal. You can have a spectacular set of priorities and very specific goals that will help you nourish those priorities, but if you don't have a plan of action, it may still fall flat. Action steps should be daily, small actions that will lead to big results. Planning time to study more, exercise, sleep, or even planning to sit at the front of the class are all examples of small steps that can set you on a better path of achievement.
4) Plan your resources. You might have heard that "showing up is half the battle" but if you don't show up prepared, you will not get the maximum results out of any activity. Write down what you need throughout your day (for school, study groups, etc.). Bring extra materials if you can. Show up ready to for anything!
5) Plan your energy. High-achieving students often fall victim to being overambitious. Yes, you could pull an all-nighter studying and cramming for a test, but will you get the best benefit out of that study session? It might be more effective to budget a half an hour of extra studying per night, and consistently give the little extra, instead of fitting it all into one day. If you have to exert more energy on a certain day, make up for it with exercise and healthy eating to give you an energy boost (instead of energy drinks and heavy doses of sugar/caffeine).