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    Start on Track: 6 Steps to StudySTRONG This Year

    You may be making other resolutions in the new year like fitness and healthy eating, so, why not a resolution to study stronger? Turn “I think I can” into “I knew I could" by nailing your resolutions and staying motivated all year long. Here are 6 steps that we think might help.

    Train yourself to be a list maker.

    Lee Iacocca, an American business leader, said that “the discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” Whether it’s reviewing resources, setting aside dedicated study time, or getting family buy-in, put your requirements in writing.

    What better place to have a to-do list than right next to a chart of important dates! Print this out and put it on your fridge or inspiration board as a reminder throughout the year.

    Gather the items on your list.

    Obvious as this step sounds, you can’t skip it! Deciding on and purchasing your study resources takes research and an investment. Gaining family buy-in requires a conversation or two. Sorting out time to study may take some creative planning and reshuffling of your calendar.

    Not to mention, if you think that attending a Review Course would aide in your prep, you may want to request time off and make travel arrangements sooner, rather than later.

    Let off steam by writing.

    Don’t let your anxious thoughts that take up space in your working memory and make it harder to focus on the task at hand. Left unaddressed, anxiety can lead to procrastination.

    According to the University of Rochester Medical Center Health, “One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy outlet in which to express yourself, which makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health… Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns.”

    Once you acknowledge your stress, you’ll be in a better position to focus on prep.

    Get hauling with some Q&As.

    Start the year strong with Q&As on various topics to see where you stand. Previewing topics gives you an idea of what you need to study most, but it also prepares your mind for more information. (Pro tip: Add areas where you need to study stronger to your to-do list from Step 1.)

    Stay on track by creating a study calendar.

    If you need help with this, read through the StudyWise Guide, to learn how to create a study plan tailored to you that will send you emails outlining what topics you need to study, and when.

    Your assessment in Step 4 will guide how much time you build into each specialty. Be realistic about your start date, keeping in mind that the earlier you start, the more relaxed your studying pacey will be.

    Reward yourself to stay motivated all year long.

    Stay positive by remembering the value of what you are taking on. Keep in mind the goal you are working toward, for example, passing the boards or becoming an expert-level physician.

    For more on value and influencers of motivation, download our FREE guide on The MedStudy Method. Don’t forget that a key component to staying positive is to reward yourself for your achievements, no matter how small. So, make sure to add breaks and rewards to your to-do list.


    Once you have taken these steps, you’re on your way to turning “I think I can,” into “I knew I could!” Check out our guide to the MedStudy Method or follow us @MedStudySTRONG for more tips and tricks to optimize your review.

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