5 Reasons You’re Not Reaching your Study Goals

Stop me if this seems familiar…

You’ve been really focussed on your work and spending hours at your desk studying.

You’ve even made studying a priority, cutting back on work and your social life to hit the books.

All your friends think that you’ll be getting straight As with the amount of work you’ve been doing.

But your results just aren’t seeing any improvement!

How does that make you feel?

Like you’re wasting your time?

Like you should just give up?

Like you’re just not smart enough to succeed?

I get it. You’ve made all these sacrifices for no reason and the only thing that’s changed are your levels of exhaustion and frustration!

We know you have the best of intentions and you’re putting in the effort and doing ALL the things.  So, what’s going wrong?

‘I’m working really hard, but my marks still aren’t improving’.

Throughout my 32 years of working with High School students I’ve heard this complaint a lot of times.

Lucky for you, I’ve learned a thing or two about why students don’t always get the academic results they want.

Often it comes down to one of these 5 reasons.

(Pssst, if you want more tips on how to improve your study habits, be sure to connect with us on all our social platforms).

#1. You Compare Yourself to Others

You must have heard that comparison is the thief of joy, right? That’s exactly what’s happening when you measure your actions and results against those of another person.

Every person is different and every student is different. That means that what works for one student might not work for you.

Your family situation, your interests and goals, your external commitments and even your personality all come into play.

You might be a visual learner, while they’re verbal or kinaesthetic.

You’re a night owl and they’re a fowl who would prefer to work early in the morning.

While it might look like they have it easy, you never actually know what’s going on for them.

You can only see people from the outside, and in the modern world that is often a sanitised, manufactured persona. You don’t see the internal struggles, the sacrifices and the difficulties they faced in getting there. You just see the end product – their success.

The only person you should ever compare yourself to is you.

Make sure that each day you are doing just a little bit better than the day before.

Focus on your own journey. Set your own goals. Run your own race.

This link is a great insight into why we should never compare ourselves youtube stop comparing yourself to others 

#2. You Have a Tendency to Procrastinate

Hey, friends, this is a judgment-free zone, so you can level with me on this.

Do you have things that you need to do in order to improve, but you’re happily ignoring them?

Maybe they just seem too hard? Too boring? Or too time consuming?

I thought so. It’s time to rip off that bandaid and get stuck in.

Chances are, once you start addressing these tasks they probably won’t be as hard or time consuming as you feared and you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.

Never put off until tomorrow things that you could do today.

If procrastination is a real problem for you, we have a great workshop that will help you get on top of it Managing Procrastination

#3. You Don’t Understand Your Goals

In order to get top academic results, you have to get clear on your why.

Let’s face it, you’re going to have to make decisions and sacrifices along the way, and if you don’t have a definite reason for doing so, it will be all too easy just to give up when the going gets tough.

I like to map my goals out at the start of each year, and then again at the start of each term so that I am motivated to stick to my path no matter what obstacles may be thrown in my way.

If you haven’t already done so, here’s a quick activity for you.

  1. Write down all the things that for you signify success.
  2. Now put a circle around the ones that are most important for you in the next 10 weeks.
  3. Put these into your personal order of importance.
  4. Beside each goal, create an action plan of how you will go about achieving that success.

Do you need some help with this? We have a great workshop all about goal setting that will step you through the process. Click here to learn more

#4. You’re Not Working Smart Enough

Whoa, hold your horses there. I’m not saying you’re not working hard enough.

I know you’re putting in the hours and the effort.

But there’s a difference between working hard and working smart.

Can you think of an area within your study routine that could benefit from being a bit more focussed and streamlined?

I know that for a long time with my studying, it was really hard to move forward the way I needed to.

Even as a teacher I face the same issue.

If I had a batch of marking to do, I would sit at my desk knowing I would be there for a few hours and feeling as if I would never get through it all.

It wasn’t until I started implementing the Pomodoro Method that I managed to use my time more effectively – and remove the feeling of resentment and overwhelm.

Never heard of the Pomodoro Method?

Basically, you set a timer for 25 minutes and work in a totally focussed way until the timer goes off. Then you take a 10 minute break before settling down for another 25 minutes.

This way you break your work up into manageable chunks and never have that sense that you are drowning in work. You also get to reward yourself every 25 minutes for how much you have accomplished.

This is just one method you can apply to help you work smarter, not harder. But there are many more we could teach you.

So, try to step back, be objective, and look at ways you can improve your study methods to make them more effective and less overwhelming. Your future self will thank you!

#5. You’re Going It Alone

Do you insist on doing things your way – the way you’ve always done them.

And how’s that working out for you?

I’m guessing you just keep replicating the same habits and getting the same marks.

As Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results.”

Perhaps it’s time to reach out to the experts and get some new tips on how to study more effectively.

It’s not your fault. Schools rarely teach us how to study. It’s just sort of assumed that everyone knows how to do it.

But the truth is, they don’t.

But there is a solution. Working with study skills experts can teach you a whole lot of time saving tips and tricks to help you study smarter, not harder and start getting the results you really want.

Key Takeaways

You may have noticed that all of these reasons for not achieving success with your study habits have something in common – they are self created problems.

At first, that may make them seem impossible to fix.

But the great thing is, that means YOU can easily fix them.

Just a few simple tweaks to your study habits could help you see some marked improvement in your results – probably with less effort.

If you want to work on your study methods and learn to study smarter, not harder, you can contact us here and we can help you put together a course of action

Not ready to seek professional help?

Download our free guide Overcoming Procrastination today to help you study more efficiently and improve your results.

You can also follow us on all our social channels for more hints and tips.