Here it is, 2019! Happy New Year everyone! But with the start of every new year comes those glorified ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. The tradition whereby a person resolves to change, improve and be even better than the year before. Often these goals will be forgotten about after the first week of the new year. But I want to help you guys make 2019 the year you ace your IB Diploma! So, this week’s blog is going to provide you with the best new year’s resolutions for IB students!
1. Tackle your Most Challenging Subject
I’m the first person to admit how easy it is to focus on your favourite subjects and neglect the ones you don’t enjoy or you might be struggling with. When I was an IB student, I took Spanish B and it was by far my most difficult subject. During my first term of the IB I would often deal with my Spanish homework last. But I soon realised that this didn’t give me enough time to really tackle this subject, and I wasn’t improving. So I forced myself to devote a significant amount of time to this subject, and gradually, I could see positive improvements! If any of you relate to this, I encourage you to make this one of your new year’s resolutions. Try to devote half and hour each week to working on your weakest subject. If you stick to this resolution throughout the year I’m sure you’ll see a significant improvement.
If you’re like me and aren’t too confident with foreign languages, perhaps your resolution could be to spend 10 minutes a day on the Duolingo app or the Babbel app. Or use the great app Quizlet (a Lanterna favourite!) to test yourself on the subject you find most challenging for 10 minutes a day.
2. Plan Ahead and Stay Organised
Who left any pieces of work to the last minute in 2018? Were you pulling an all-nighter the evening before the deadline? I confess, I’m 100% guilty! Well, 2019 is definitely going to be the year you stay on top of your IB deadlines and assignments! At Lanterna we love the saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, as it emphasises how important planning ahead is with regards to success. Set yourself the resolution of not leaving any important assignments to the night before the deadline. Give yourself 10 minutes every Sunday evening to look forward at the following week. Use this time to plan ahead with your deadlines, activities, and general studying, and aim to start those big assignments prior to the night before
Don’t forget to order our Free Lanterna Wall Planner to help you organise those deadlines!
3. Make 2019 the Year you Remember CAS!
As an IB graduate, I know all about pushing CAS to the bottom of the pile. When you have so many other assignments with imminent deadlines it’s all too easy to leave CAS until you’re up to date with the other stuff. But then you find that a couple of months have passed and your CAS coordinator is chasing you down the corridor. So why not make CAS a part of your 2019 resolutions! It depends on how your school arranges CAS, but some of you might like to aim to spend 45 minutes every week writing CAS reflections. Or maybe set yourself the goal of participating in at least one hour of CAS experiences a week. Perhaps you want to try something new this 2019? Maybe you want to give a new sport a try, or take up a new hobby like scrapbooking, origami or baking. If this is the case, have a think about whether this new activity could count towards your CAS!
If you’re looking for more CAS inspiration, check out this other blog post. Or sign up for our Free IB Resources to take a look at our IB Survival Zine, which contains awesome CAS ideas as well as other tips for doing well in the IB!
4. Eat Well and Exercise
These are two of the most standard new year’s resolutions. “This year I’ll do more exercise”, and “I’m going to make more healthy food choices this year”. Whilst these might not seem directly related to the IB, I think they’re two significant things that can often be forgotten about when completing the Diploma! As the IB can be so full on, we sometimes forget to look after ourselves. But it’s so important to know when to put yourself first. Taking one hour to go for a run, or play a team sport is so important for our wellbeing. I often found that exercise was just the break I needed when work got overwhelming.
Similarly, when you’re right in the thick of a hectic week, eating sensibly can be the last thing on your mind. I’ve certainly had instances where I’ve been so busy with studying that I’ve not eaten enough during the day as I don’t want to ‘waste time’. But in reality, by the late afternoon I would only focus on my hunger, and would be seriously lacking in energy and concentration! So, do make sure you’re eating enough for breakfast and lunch, to keep you energised throughout a long school day. Foods such as nuts, bananas, eggs, and oily fish are all supposed to boost your brain power!
I hope these suggestions will help you own that ‘New year, new me’ saying, and make 2019 the year you ace your IB Diploma! But just before we finish for this week, I have one small point. It’s really important to be realistic when setting yourself goals, or new year’s resolutions. Make sure you follow the SMART acronym!
The worst thing is being too ambitious with your goals, and then not being able to achieve them. You want to feel encouraged by setting yourself resolutions – not downhearted!