1. Goal-settingOne of the biggest stumbling blocks to success is aimlessness. Every one of us need to set goals and then plan accordingly to attain them. What are your aspirations or ambitions? What are your short-term (weeks to a month) goals? What are your medium-term (one to six months) goals? What are your long-term (six months to five years) goals? And your life goals? They should be realistic. They should be clearly defined and precise. The accomplishment of your short term goals acts as a motivating factor in the completion of longer term goals.
2. DisciplineYour most immediate goal should be to find the best ways to discipline yourself to study. It has been said that if you do something properly every single day for 30 days it will become a habit for life. Make study a daily habit. Even on your days "off", do some type of "studying", even if it is reading over some summary notes. Be diligent to set aside about two to three hours every week night, and anywhere between four and nine hours over the weekend to study. Obviously, this doesn't include your lectures and tutorials etc! Take into account your unmissable things such as gym, certain TV programs, etc. Also listen to your biorhythms - whether you are a day or a night person for example.
3. Reward yourselfIncentivize. This is a new catch-word, but you can easily build it into your routine. But don't cheat! You will defeat the purpose of the reward! One of my rewards was watching myself conquer Russia! (By the way, I've just discovered that this is a legitimate way of reaching goals - it's called "Gamification" - see the link at the end of the post). If you reach a target, reward yourself. Make the reward worth it!
4. Understand How To LearnLearn how to learn. Read as many of the posts on this website as possible. Read books that go into detail about studying. But be careful - there are lots of books out there the simply rehash the same tired old boring techniques that everyone knows about. What you need are books that actually explain to you how your brain works with regards to the actual learning process. Books such as Mindset : How You Can Fulfill Your Potential by Carol Dweck, How Learning Works by Susan Ambrose and colleagues, The Trivium : The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph, Working Memory and Learning by Tracy Packiam Alloway and Dr Susan Gathercole, and even a book called The Well-Trained Mind : A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise are all excellent resources for this. I will place affiliate links to them at the end of this post. Experiment with different study methods, putting the different theories into practice until you find your "study muse".