New Year resolution ideas for students in 2021

Did you find yourself setting yourself a host of goals when the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 2020?

With the global pandemic still very much taking its toll on day-to-day life and restrictions firmly in place, it is likely that you may have felt unable to tackle your resolutions with the same optimism as previous years.

To help, we thought we would revisit some vital advice for students to help when it comes to new year goal setting.

New Year resolutions for students

At the start of a new year, many people like to reflect and look at where they can make improvements in their life. Although you can make changes at any point throughout the year, there’s something about the start of January that makes people feel like they can have a fresh slate and set new goals and resolutions for the months ahead.

For students, it can be difficult to have specific goals as you often have a lot on your plate already, but resolutions can help to make those goals clearer.

Firstly, it’s important to set goals that are SMART:






You don’t want to have a goal in mind that’s out of reach and unattainable, otherwise you will be left feeling like you have failed. Instead, make a plan for success with a clear route, whether that be in your academic or personal life. To help you consider some things you would like to achieve through the remainder of 2021, here’s some ideas that may spark some inspiration.

Consider your grades

First and foremost, the most obvious goal for a student is to achieve a specific grade. Whether you need the grade to be accepted into your chosen university, or just want to prove to yourself you can do it, setting a goal to receive a certain grade is a popular resolution for students. It’s important to focus on the learning and actual knowledge you’re gaining too. You don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself for a grade if it’s going to see you fall behind in other subjects or impact your mental health.

Have a healthy work-life balance

This is something that most people think about at some point in their life. If you get too bogged down with grades and homework, your relationships and personal life can suffer, in the same way that your grades might suffer if you put all of your energy into friends and personal interests.

Find a part-time job

This can be a great way to improve your CV and showcase your strong work ethic and commitment. Not to mention, it gives you extra money to either save or spend however you choose.

Reduce time on social media

There are plenty of ways to track how much time you’re spending on social media apps. Not only can social media have a negative effect on your mental health, it can also be extremely distracting. You may find yourself picking up your phone when trying to complete an essay or not participate in the hobbies you love because you’ve wasted so much time scrolling. It’s easily done, but it’s also easy to monitor if this is something you feel you need to focus on this year.

Join a club or start a new hobby

If you feel like all you do is study and go to classes, it might be nice to join a club or even start a new hobby you can enjoy at home. Whether you’re the sporty type or more creative, there are hundreds of clubs and hobbies you can have a go at.

Plan for your future

If you already know what it is you want in the future, start planning for it. Whether you take an extra class that will look great on your CV for the job role you want, or you start saving for moving to another city after your studies, it’s never too early to put a plan in place.

Take time for YOU

It’s important to take care of yourself and do things that are just for you. Self-care can benefit every area of your life and make you a happier person, so don’t feel selfish for being kind to yourself and focussing on your needs. Whether self-care to you is taking a day away from studying to relax and reflect or cooking your favourite meal and watching a film you love, it can make a dramatic difference. If that's not enough to convince you to take care of yourself, see here the importance and benefits of relaxation.

Give up a bad habit

We all have something that we would consider to be a bad habit. Whether you have one too many on a student night out or you never find the time to clean your desk and your mind feels cluttered, you can make a resolution to get rid of the habit.

Seek help today

If you are struggling throughout lockdown and finding goal setting a challenge, or would like to find out more about mental health issues and how you can help others struggling with their mental health during lockdown, be sure to see our tips on how to help someone with depression.