This post is a Smart Student Secrets members exclusive.
I was just reading a book about habits that discussed an interesting quirk scientists noticed when comparing people that maintain new habits to people that don’t.
If you’re looking to build the habit of studying regularly, there are a lot of these ideas that I’ve already introduced in older articles. (I love when I read about experts proving my points years after I figured them out through experience!)
When you notice it’s time to start studying, just start studying.
By using time as the trigger (or cue) you’re making it easier and easier to continue studying.
By keeping your study session reasonably short, you ensure that you just get the enjoyable brain stretching aspect of studying. This is all stuff I discuss more thoroughly in other articles.
I’m going to be introducing an idea I haven’t before. It’s something I’ve conceptualized a little but I couldn’t quite form it into something worth trying to explain.
The classic 12 step programs are not scientific but they’re some of the most commonly used strategies people use to break addictions. The 12 step program is not designed to directly break addictions. It’s designed to replace old negative habits with new positive habits.
For years, 12 step programs outperformed many scientific behavioral strategies of changing habits.
Sure, science could break habits pretty effectively.
The problem usually came when the person hit adversity in life. As soon as the person starts to face adversity their new better habits are shaken up. Regularly, this leads to a relapse. Researchers noticed that this phenomenon was less common among 12 step program graduates.
Eventually, they found one of the major differences that seemed to make the difference.
12 step programs encouraged a certain amount of faith or belief. Whether a person was in a 12 step program or not, when a crisis hit, the people with more faith in something (be it god or just some spiritual reason to be better) usually did better.
By all means, I haven’t dug into the data of this research at all. At this point, I don’t plan to but this idea actually makes a lot of sense to me. Most of the students that succeed long term with their study strategies have one or two major factors working for them:
1. They have faith (at the very least, in themselves. They might just be cocky enough to think “I’m not AVERAGE.” Even though, statistically, they probably are.)
2. They’re cyclical and always get back up after they screw up.
So… they might replace their bad habits with good ones for months. Then, something might go wrong causing them to break those habits. At that point, this kind of student, for some reason or another comes back from the screw up.
Faith in themselves?
Have you ever sabotaged your success doing this silly little thing?
You only procrastinate the stuff that sucks. You don’t say, “Ahhh… I’ll read that text from my crush later.” Nope. Now… Any pause is intentional and coordinated to respond better.
Here is the problem with academics:
You probably think most academic stuff sucks – at least a little. (Especially compared to other things you could be doing.)
And the thing is:
FORCING YOURSELF TO STUDY JUST MAKES IT WORSE!
You’re slowly hardening your association of school and being miserable.
You need to create positive associations with academics. You want your brain to be getting hyped up and positive when you’re thinking about studying and giving into this internal oligarchical instinct to force yourself to studying – ain’t helpin’.
Chill the internal dictator for a moment…
A big secret: You need to STOP forcing yourself to study so much.
But, if you’re not forcing yourself then how are you going to see those killer straight-a’s that you’re always dreaming about?
Get your copy of my book about How To Get Happier Straight A’s.
It only costs $4.99 (and if these strategies don’t work like magic like it has for thousands of other students then you can get a full refund.)