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10 tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolution


Have you decided to make online learning your New Year’s resolution? Congratulations! There’s never been a better time to start improving your career and adding some qualifications to your CV as employers are increasingly seeing the benefits of online learning1.

However, the latest research shows that an incredible 63% of UK adults actually fail to keep their resolution each year. And 66% of those people give up within the very first month!2

Here at University of Essex Online we want all of our students to succeed on their chosen course, even after the initial rush of New Year’s enthusiasm, so we’ve come up with 10 easy ways to make sure your resolution sticks throughout the year – and beyond!


1. Start now

Starting a new course can be extremely daunting, and sometimes it’s easier to put it off than to get started. But as soon as you take the plunge and get stuck in, you’re sure to find that the reality of studying is much less scary than the picture you’ve painted in your head.

2. Make gradual changes

The sudden change to academic life can be jarring; where you once had time for TV and leisure activities, you now have to work on assignments and read textbooks. To make this transition easier, make a timetable and schedule in time for your hobbies and family (particularly in the first few weeks).

3. Set realistic goals

While a big and bold New Year’s resolution like “I will get an MBA this year” sounds catchy, committing to several years of studying can feel overwhelming. Focus on smaller goals like completing your first module or drafting your first assignment and you’ll find that your end goal suddenly seems much closer.

4. Celebrate each achievement

Graduation day is the target for most of our online students, but when you’re at the start of a course that can take many years it can seem like a distant dream. Take the time to appreciate small achievements like a good mark on an essay or the end of a module.

5. Be positive

The rewards for studying are obvious: improved career prospects, a self-esteem boost and a higher salary. But all of this is easy to forget when you hit an unexpected obstacle. If you lose your positivity about studying, read our blog post about 10 quick fixes for 10 common study problems.

6. Reach out for support

Here at University of Essex Online, we pride ourselves on our student support. In fact, we have consistently received outstanding overall student satisfaction ratings from the independent National Student Survey, scoring 93% for overall student satisfaction in the 2017 National Student Survey. If you’re struggling with anything technical or personal, reach out to your dedicated Student Adviser.

7. Chat to your classmates

Online learning can sometimes feel like an isolated experience, but it doesn’t need to be! Your fellow classmates are just a few clicks away on our discussion forums and will help you to understand a difficult new topic, discuss a key concept or sympathise about an impending deadline.

8. Share your problems

It might be a cliché, but bottling up your problems never helps to resolve them. Many of our students experience time management issues, financial worries or other personal problems. If this happens to you, don’t suffer in silence! Get in touch and we’ll try our best to help.

9. Look back

If you’re finding your new course overwhelming, take a moment to think back to a time when you conquered something else that you found difficult. Whatever it is, try to remember how pleased and proud you were when you finished. You’ll feel that way about online learning soon!

10. Look forward

It can be a terrible feeling to lose motivation for a course you were previously so excited about; if this happens to you, try to remember why you started in the first place. Start to think ahead to the benefits your qualification will provide and imagine the covering letter you’ll be able to write once you’ve conquered all the obstacles you’ve overcome.


Inspired to start studying online? Download a prospectus today.