Forming Good Habits
The habits you develop in your teen years will influence your future success or failure. As a teenager, now is the time to develop good habits instead of waiting until you are older to try to undo bad ones.
Here are some tips to help you form good habits.
Start by identifying the habits that you want to improve.
Study Habits – Never underestimate the importance of studying, even if you are not struggling in class and have great grades. Good study habits improve your learning and understanding and this is beneficial to your future. Your success in high school and college is dependent on your ability to study effectively and efficiently.
Set yourself a study schedule – determine the best time to study (every day), the best place and prioritize subjects, tackle the hardest subjects first.
Sometimes you may want to stay after school and study in a quite environment with classmates. Depending on the subject and your objective you may want to start a study club. If you are studying at home turn off all distractions – television, radio/cd player and your Smartphone (yes, especially your Smartphone). Essentially you can study anywhere, some places being better than others. NO matter where you study, focus on your goals, have a schedule and do not let distractions get in the way of your studies.
Develop Strong Reading Skills – Read actively and frequently. Why? Strong reading skills and good comprehension help to expand your knowledge and vocabulary and you will most likely find it easier to comprehend college level courses. Make sure you understand what you read and if you don’t go back and read it again or get assistance.
Exercise – Start now to take good care of yourself. Get up from the television, computer and Smartphone and do something physical. Regular exercise is good for your mind and body. It does not have to be strenuous and long, just 30 minutes a day is beneficial.
You just want to get out and get moving – do it with friends and family, walk the dog or your neighbours dog if you don’t have one. Gardening and yard work is also a form of exercise. Develop an exercise schedule and routine and stick to it. Regular exercise is good for your skin, hair and your figure. You will look and feel good and have more energy. You will think more clearly and be able to concentrate on your school work.
Eating – Just like exercise eating the right foods and having a balanced diet contributes to your overall well being. Never skip breakfast and make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast (the most important meal of the day). Resist the urge to eat the wrong foods. Always have fresh fruit and healthy food to snack on. Avoid soda’s and sweet drinks. Pack a healthy lunch. Learn how to make basic healthy meals on your own (salads, stir fry veggies, steamed fish, easy make at home wraps, quick pasta and chicken etc. ) and avoid frozen processed meals and take out fast food.
Sleeping – Teenage bodies are different from adults and as such teenagers require more sleep than adults. Successful learning requires good sleep. Poor sleep can cause poor grades because you will have trouble concentrating and you are less alert and you may sleep during classes. Additionally, lack of sleep can increase stress, moodiness, irritability, cause immune system weakness and even bike accidents (if you are just learning how to ride and are tired).
Have a good sleep schedule and take a short nap when you can if necessary. Align your work, study and social schedule with your sleep schedule. You should be getting at least 9 hours of sleep per night and with that in mind have a bed time that will allow you the required amount of sleep so that you can stick to your morning schedule. Sleep is important to our physical and emotional well being.
Communicate – Turn off the TV, video games, Smartphone and talk to someone face to face. It is important to have strong communication skills to be successful. Face to face communication will improve your listening skills and will teach you how to make eye contact and the benefits of doing so. You will also become comfortable and confident when speaking in public.
If you spend three hours a day communicating via your Smartphone or computer, get in the habit of spending equal time with people. In addition, disconnect from electronics for a specified period of time every day and focus on studying or community service.
Get prepared for the real world and what to expect. Have strong moral values, be responsible and have strong study and work ethics.