After a break over the festive season, the new year is often a time when your motivation may feel like it’s at an all-time high. Whether you’re ready to conquer the year ahead or doing your best to prepare, we’ve put together our top advice for staying on track and motivated with your studies into the new year and beyond. To help get the year off to a flying start, read our best tips below. Set goals and break them down The new year is a great opportunity to set goals and determine what you want to accomplish in the future. Goals play a key role in your success, whether they’re short-term or long-term, or you set them daily or monthly. One of the most valuable goal setting methods is ensuring your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This can help you determine whether your goals will work for you. Once you have a clear idea of your goals, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the end goal and how you’ll feel once it’s achieved, rather than figuring out how to accomplish it in the first place. To keep yourself accountable and focused, break down your goals into smaller and achievable milestones with set deadlines. The more milestones you begin to reach, the more momentum and motivation you’ll gain along the way to achieving your end goal. Be flexible and try different study methods It’s important to remember not everything will always go to plan, no matter how organised you are. There may be circumstances out of your control that will have an impact on your progression and plans, or there may be times when you just simply feel uninspired. It’s ideal to start the year with an open mind and be prepared to be flexible and adaptable to different situations when you need to. If you’re struggling with motivation, try not to feel disheartened. A great solution for increasing productivity and motivation is trying different study methods to change up your routine. You can try studying in different locations or in a group. You can even test your knowledge and interact with other students in discussion forums. Do what you enjoy and what works best for you, as this can make a huge difference to your progression. Find a healthy balance between your commitments Juggling work, study and personal commitments can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. That’s why flexibility and balance is essential for motivation. Having a balanced routine may help you find it easier to stay on track. You can also find productive ways to add study into your schedule to help free up time. For example, you can study on your commute or during your lunch break. What may seem like short study sessions will add up to several hours over a week. This is valuable for progression and expanding your knowledge. Studying in short and frequent time periods is also beneficial for productivity and absorbing information! Identify your priorities and be organised Knowing your priorities and being organised is crucial. Getting into a good routine early on is beneficial for finding structure throughout the year and can help you to stay focused towards your goals. One of the best ways to stay organised is to create a study plan and highlight important dates and deadlines in advance. Knowing these in advance can support you to get ahead with your studies and prioritise your commitments during busy times. It’s also ideal to review your study plan and deadlines frequently. Ask for help when you need it If you’re feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed on a regular basis, it’s worth asking for help. Share your study journey with your family, friends and employer, so they’re aware of your commitments and what you’re working towards. They’ll likely do their best to support you in every way possible. While studying at Kaplan Professional, you’ll also receive proactive and personalised support. If you’re studying a higher education qualification, you’ll even be able to engage in online group study sessions and receive one-to-one tutor support. Celebrate your success Returning to study is a major commitment and it’s important to recognise your success and reward yourself, no matter how big or small the milestone may be. Whether you’ve completed an assessment early, received your best grade, or just generally feel like you’re doing well, celebrating your success can help you stay motivated. You may even find you strive for further improvement throughout your studies by acknowledging these milestones. We hope you find these tips useful for starting the new year full of confidence to achieve your goals. If you have any tips for staying on track and motivated, share them below to help others!