New Year Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

New year resolutions are easily broken and the reason is – they are often unachievable. We set the goal post too high or too far away. We say we will shed 2 stone, which may be desirable if overweight but we might be better saying we’ll eat healthily and exercise more and as a consequence lose weight. Students might say they want to get straight A’s in every subject which is a very good aim but it depends where your starting point is. How much pressure will you need to put yourself under? How do you perform under stress? Do you need to lower the bar a little and move it up when you’ve achieved the lower target.

Is school all about grades though? Obviously students need to achieve but that piece of paper is not everything. Carrying on with sport, extra curricular activities and meeting friends is also important. I can think of examples of past clients who have given up sport, often under parental pressure, in the belief that they can devote the time to study. Sport teaches so much else beside the skills of the game. What many students lack is perseverance, the ability to follow through and complete a task. If you want to be part of a sporting team you have to persevere, turn up for practice, on time, and put in effort to give a good performance. if you don’t you are off the team! So time management, reliability, team skills- or working with others, and self esteem can all be developed by playing a sport not to mention possibly fresh air and certainly exercise. The skills are all transferable and marketable and with university admissions officers and employers looking for extra attributes you cant miss out on these valuable assets.

The same goes for other activities such as Drama – time management, working with others, plus learning lines, exploring plots, developing characters, voice projection etc. etc. Duke of Edinburgh, Guides, Scouts, CCF, and a host of other activities take up time but develop the whole teenager. they are vitally important. Some sixth formers have jobs too and although it would be detrimental to be working every evening, fitting a job can also be a useful developmental tool. it provides an insight into the real world of work and might provide an incentive to improve results if for instance, the teenager doesn’t fancy being a shelf stacker for life!

It is tough to try and juggle many strands and teenagers certainly shouldn’t overburden themselves to the level where they feel they can’t cope but with skilful time management they should be able to manage their academic studies and an extra curricular activity. I did say activity and not activities. I can think of several occasions when pupils have had so many activities on the go that i wondered how they found the time to come to school. Academic work does have priority but it shouldn’t be the only thing in a teenagers life.

So what of New Years Resolutions? Aim to be the best you can but make sure that you are a well rounded person. If you don’t have a passion, a hobby, an interest – get one. It’s important to get really fired up about something. If you are sporty, enjoy that activity and be enthusiastic. For those who don’t excel in this area be enthusiastic about the theatre, about art, about scientific discoveries, mathematical theorems, Bertollt Brecht anything… have an interest you can talk about. So have a good year and may you achieve your goals, however high the bar is set!