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Staying organized, setting personal goals key to success

My entire academic life can be summed up with one image — me, in my bed, at about 10 p.m., stressing about an assignment that I have had for a month, but haven’t completed for whatever reason. 

My goal at the beginning of every semester has always been to stop procrastinating. In fact, it still is. I have not conquered it, but this semester, I am devoting myself to change.

Procrastination is always a popular new-semester resolution because a lot of students struggle with it. We might start off great in the beginning, but somewhere along the way, we lose the determination and revert back to old habits.

Olivia Malick UP staff writer

Olivia Malick
UP staff writer

So, what am I going to do differently this time around that will make me stick to my goal?

  First, I’m going to allot certain times of the week to school work. For example, if I have five math assignments due at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, I won’t wait until noon that day to start them. I’ll set aside one hour each day (Monday-Friday) specifically for math homework. During that hour, I’ll rid myself of my phone or any other device that will distract me.

Second, I’ll make little incentives for myself. I need some kind of motivation in order to stay on track. I’ll tell myself that if I complete all of my assignments for the week and turn them in on time, then I’ll treat myself to a movie or something that I want to buy. That way, I have something to look forward to. 

School work is  not always exciting and while we are being rewarded with an education, sometimes we need a more trivial prize (and that’s OK).

Third, I’ll make sure there are consequences for when I don’t achieve my goal. No more Netflix for the rest of the week (yeah it’s a bit harsh, but how else will I learn?).

Fourth, I  need to realize that I will never be perfect. For a long time I deluded myself to believe that I work best under pressure. But, honestly, it was  just an excuse to be happy with average work that I churned out in two hours. It  would definitely be closer to perfect if I spent a whole week or more on the assignment.

Five, I’ll ask for help when I need it. Sometimes it is frustrating when we don’t understand something and so we ignore it all together. I’ve certainly taken part in this because I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t understand something. Through maturity, I’ve realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help, because I’ll finally be able to learn what I didn’t know before and it won’t frustrate me anymore.

Six, I need to keep in mind how happy my success will make me. Procrastination causes stress which can lead to depression, which isn’t good for anyone. By actually dedicating myself to something and achieving it, I can be proud of myself, which creates a good habit of reminding me that I am capable of success.

Lastly, I’m going to make my friends and family hold me to it. In the past, I have always kept these resolutions to myself so I was the only person I had to face if I didn’t succeed, and by that point, I was used to facing myself with disappointment. By telling people my plans, extra pressure is added to make them proud of me, too. 

This plan will always be a work in progress, but I’m ready to change and reach my full potential.

And I’m not waiting until tomorrow to start. 

Story by Olivia Malick, UP staff writer

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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