Making study resolutions a reality
Many sources reported that Monday 18th January (Blue Monday) was officially the most depressing day of the year, as people come to terms with the new year not being as […]
Many sources reported that Monday 18th January (Blue Monday) was officially the most depressing day of the year, as people come to terms with the new year not being as rosy as had been imagined. However, more often than not, success and achievement lie in your own hands – if you make a plan and stick to it.
When it comes to studying for professional qualifications, you might feel like you’ve not quite got going yet this year – what with recovering from a bit of overindulging during the festive period, and getting back into the swing of things at work and daily life. Maybe you’ve already been really organised and set some goals or a study plan for the coming weeks and months. But have you opened those books yet?
Believe it or not, what’s probably stopping you is negative feelings: we tend to put things off if we’re not in a good mood. Indeed, even the best-laid plans can fail to take mindset into account. Chip and Dan Heath, in their excellent book Switch, explain that emotions are essential to executing any plan. Hence why, now Blue Monday is behind us, it’s an excellent time to start making strides on our goals, whether that’s health, career or the pursuit of continual professional development via a professional qualification.
Best foot forward
So our first piece of advice is to think positive – get yourself into that happy place where you’re able to view things as exciting and achievable, rather than a chore. For some that’s exercise, spending time with family or cranking up the tunes. As soon as you’ve found what works for you, don’t delay. Get back into your studies with a positive frame of mind and a can-do attitude.
Before you do anything else, think about how much you’ve already achieved, and allow yourself to have a moment of pride in your progress to date. Harvard’s Dr. Teresa Amabile has researched extensively into the motivation that lies behind making and marking progress, and it can make a massive difference in your overall productivity. Make sure to reward yourself when you hit those milestones, whatever they are that you set for yourself, and take time to review how much you have achieved, before looking ahead at what’s still left.
Give yourself the guilt trip
Still not managed to get going? Get in touch with a friend, classmate, or someone you know who’s ahead of you on the course and find out where they are at. Chances are you’ll know someone more proactive than you, whose progress you can benchmark against your own. Even a tutor can help you work out where you should be. Once you hear the words from someone else’s mouth who knows what they are talking about, we’re sure you’ll jump to it.
Next week we’ll talk more about goal-setting, and charting your course beyond that first step.