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Back to School Resolutions

10 ways to be your best self this fall

Sep 09, 2021

Fall is here and you're settling into a new routine. For many people, the beginning of a school year feels like the perfect time for new beginnings. You have a fresh clean locker, a brand new backpack, and empty notebooks and binders just waiting to be filled. What will you do with this opportunity?

It takes 30 days to create a good habit and at least 20 hours to learn a new skill, according to the TED Talks you've probably seen a thousand times already. We've come up with a bunch of tips to help you start the year off on the right foot when it comes to taming a crazy morning routine, getting organized, getting your schoolwork done on time, and having the best school year ever!

Back to school resolutionsBack to school resolutionsCourtesy of SOS Safety Magazine

Start Your Day off Right

Most kids -- and adults, too -- find getting out of the door on time the most stressful time of day. But here's the thing: your morning stress is just an old habit that you have the power to change in as little as a few weeks. Your morning routine doesn't need to be complicated or stressful. It just needs a few important elements: Eat a good breakfast, brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair and put on clean clothes before you head out the door. If you find you're always running late, try one or all of these easy fixes:

  • Lay your clothes out the night before
  • As soon as your finish your homework, pack your school bag and have it ready by the front door for easy pickup the next morning
  • Have a no-excuses no-cook, energy-boosting breakfast (something quick and easy) in the fridge or on the counter so you can grab it and go
  • Set your alarm clock five minutes earlier
  • Put your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to shut it off
  • Keep a hairbrush and mirror by the front door so you can give yourself a once-over before you leave the house
  • Set a timer for five minutes before you have to leave

Starting your day without stress helps set you up for success for the rest of the day. Plus, when you put your best face forward at school, your confidence will shine through. You may find the teachers and your fellow students will begin to treat you differently when you feel more confident and look your best.

grumpy cat is not a morning personHow do you feel about mornings?Courtesy of MemeGenerator

Take Care of Your Space

How often do you get scolded about cleaning your room, losing things, being disorganized, or forgetting to clean up after yourself? Taking care of yourself and the space around you at home and at school is an important part of being a better family member, better friend, and ultimately a better member of your community. Plus, a clean room will not only get your parents off your back, it will also help you get organized and stay that way. If you're like most kids and have trouble keeping your space clean, try these tricks:

  • ​Every night before bed, place dirty clothes in the hamper. You can even make a game out of it by treating your hamper like a basketball hoop and seeing how many "baskets" you can make
  • Take a moment to clean up after yourself before moving on to the next task. Take your dishes to the sink (or dishwasher) after you finish a snack, put video games back in their cases when you're done using them, put away toys, games and craft supplies. Make it fun by challenging yourself to see how quickly (and efficiently) you can clean up. Ask your family to make a game out of cleaning up by creating a chart to see who in the family can check off the most items. Whoever wins gets to pick dessert or a movie at the end of each week.
  • A work in progress can be hard to clean up and take out each time you come back to it. Create a special space for your special projects -- crafts, legos, building projects,  Pokémon cards, homework assignments, rockets, or art projects -- where it's out of the way. If you have a multi-use space, like the dining room table or coffee table in the family room or your floor, you can pick up a piece of plywood at Home Depot or another big hardware store -- they usually will cut it to whatever size you need -- and use that as your surface. Push it under a bed, in the garage, or off to the side when you're not working on it.
  • Keep "like" things together. Library books in one place, schoolwork in another, crafts somewhere else. When you have a place for everything, it's easier to put - and keep - everything in its place.

messy roomHow messy is your room?Courtesy of VeryWellMind

Stay on Top of Your Schoolwork

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to make sure you get ahead -- or at least don't get behind!

  • Write everything down in a notebook or planner, even if you think there's no way you can forget it
  • Clean out your backpack and organize your binders and notebooks every Sunday night
  • Review your week ahead and check in with your family to make sure you know what to expect in the coming week (and what's expected of you)
  • Treat deadlines as "drop-deadlines" -- as in the absolute last possible minute you can do something -- and then set a softer deadline for yourself 10% earlier
  • Break large tasks into smaller tasks, whether it's studying, a large chunk of homework, or a big project. Check in with yourself to make sure you're on schedule
  • Get a homework buddy (or two) for every class. Remember the rule "ask three before me" and ask three friends before going to your teacher about forgotten assignments or for clarification on the day's lesson.
  • Before you sit down to do your schoolwork, make a list of everything you need to do. Include big and small items, as well as things that are quick and easy to check off
  • If something is going to take two minutes or less, do it right away, whether it's emailing a friend to ask about homework or grabbing supplies for the next day. Checking things off your list is really satisfying and it inspires you to see how many things you can check off your list
  • If your schoolwork is going to be late, check in with your teacher and explain the situation. See if you can get an extension or find out what the consequences will be for late work
  • Take advantage of as many extra credit opportunities as you can. You never know when you'll need a grade boost!

Making changes to your daily routines will not only help you through the beginning of the new school year, but it will also get ready to take on new challenges and growth in the new year and beyond.


Have Your Say!

What areas of your life are the most cluttered and out of control? Do these tips help? Let us know what resolutions you need help with in the comments below -- we may feature them in a future Kidzworld article!