The end of winter break is fast approaching and probably has ended already for some of us. It's time to think about our strategies for next semester. If you didn't do as well as you wanted to last semester, you know you need a new strategy. If you did do well last semester and still want to improve, this will still be useful for you.
The first thing you need to do is get out of the "same old me, same old mistakes" mentality. Sure, it’s one thing to joke about your tendency to procrastinate. A majority of us do it and sometimes it’s needed. What’s not okay is taking it lightheartedly ALL THE TIME. Recognizing your shortcomings and taking the initiative to get out of the habit is the only way you’ll get to this goal. It doesn’t seem like it should make a difference, but it does. Stop retweeting those, “I’m gonna fall back into my bad habits after two weeks haha” tweets because they’re really not funny after a while. When you are trying to encourage yourself to change a behavior, trivializing it is the last thing you need to do.
Next, you need to take all the necessary steps to create the best environment in which to grow towards your goal. When making this environment, you should first target what activities consume most of your time. These can range from spending time with friends to watching Netflix to sleeping. No matter what people tell you, these are important. Well, maybe not Netflix. But, having activities to balance out all the hard work you’re going to be doing is important.
You will not be completely cutting out all interaction with friends, cutting back on sleep, or completely taking out all the things you like to do. You will, however, need to manage all those things. I suggest planning out every part of your day down to the hour. I'm not one for planning, I will admit that. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a burden to plan out every single part of my day because I don't like being restricted. But, planning ensures that you don't stray from what you have to do so I've started doing so.
I would recommend writing down all the things you have to do per week and then finding a place on the schedule for them. Regulars would include things like your classes, assignments, meal breaks, study hours and your New Year's resolution of exercising at least three times a week. You might want to assign each of those things a color on your calendar. After all the essentials are on your calendar, in the rest of the spaces you can add events, meetings, time with friends, chill time, and sleep if you really must.
The rest is completely up to you. You have your schedule all planned out and you know what has to be done. It is your responsibility to follow through and work towards your goal. If that means getting help, then do it. If it means periodical meetings with an advisor, then arrange it. All the resources are at your disposal and you sure pay enough for them.