For centuries the human race has been on a quest to improve themselves and their lives at the start of each calendar year.
Whether you believe in new year’s resolutions or not, the idea of setting yourself a goal to make yourself a better and happier person throughout the course of a year is motivational to many. So I decided to ask the office what their new year’s resolutions were, so let’s start with the boss:
“I’d like to keep healthy and get more sleep.”
Sleep is really important in order to keep physically and mentally healthy. It allows the body and mind to rest, so we can remember more and focus better – exactly what students need who have exams coming up! Check out our blog on why sleep is important for school success.
“I’d like to spend less time on my phone, especially in front of my son.”
As society becomes ever more reliant on technology a great many people are settling goals to help them ‘switch off’. Whether they’re having a digital detox past 10pm to help them sleep (see link above) or not answering work emails on a weekend, it’s now understood that we humans need to get our heads out of our phones and look up and out at the larger picture. Dan recently interviewed learning and behaviour specialist, Noel Janis Norton on how we can help keep our children safe online and the importance of limiting young people’s screen time. Take a look at the interview here.
“I want to learn to play the Ukulele. Yes, you heard right.”
Sarah’s first goal was also health based and far too highbrow for this article. So when she mentioned taking up the Ukulele it was greeted with much fanfare in the office. Playing and listening to music is a great way to relax and switch off (see above). Listening to music is a great study aid and revision tool that can help students concentrate. Music can also be used as a memory aid. For example if you’re listening to one of Sarah’s new ukulele tracks and revising ‘The Search for International Peace and Security’ as part of your History A-Level, you’ll be sure to link the two! If you’re looking for music to revise to, here are some suggestions. If Podcasts are more your thing, check out some of these subject-based ones that we put together.
“My goal is to incorporate daily meditation into my routine, as I think that’s a great way to start the day.”
As meditation is becoming better understood it’s being incorporated into many people’s daily routines. Some schools, having realised the importance of its calming effects, have also started regular sessions. In the office we also take a bit of time out once a week to meditate. Meditation is a great tool for students. It helps the mind focus, approach tasks in a calm way and builds up a sense of self-awareness. Dan recently interviewed Mindfulness expert, Rosalie Dores and they discussed how Mindfulness can reduce students’ stress; have a look here.
“I don’t have any new years resolutions as such, but as ever, I do have a long list of goals for the year. One of which being to interview Ruby Wax.”
Many of us don’t have resolutions for the new year but keep ‘goals’ in mind. I’ve been using ‘goals’ throughout this blog. Dan has done a lot of work over the past year to start training the tutors on our books in how to recognise the symptoms of a range of mental health problems. By incorporating mindfulness and positive psychology into their teaching, tutors can help students manage their emotions.
As an agency we are continuing this work into 2018 and have some exciting things planned such as a Charity Event on Tuesday 27th February at The Sylvia Young Theatre School. The aim of the event is to help raise awareness of mental health problems in young people and hopefully raise money to donate to Prince William’s Charity, Heads Together. Dan is also continuing to volunteer as a facilitator at Ruby Wax’s Frazzled Café in Westfield Stratford, helping to establish an open dialogue about mental health. So Ruby, if you’re reading this, please get in touch so Dan can complete one of his 2018 goals!