The 2014 Resolution Reboot - Easy & Proven Tips to Reach Your Learning Goals
Do you ever feel like you need a New Year’s Resolution 1.1 or V2? Whether you’re one of the many who have fallen off your New Year’s resolution path or you were just too busy to make a resolution, it’s not too late to set some real goals to make 2014 a success!
It’s estimated that by February 1st, 36% of New Year’s resolutions have already failed. Ouch. While we all know that life happens, most time our goals fall the unfortunate victim of a shaky plan, too much monotony or just that missing commitment. But, with some easy-to-use tips, you can make a Resolution Reboot to stick to, have fun and see some real results. Start your Resolution Reboot this week with some proven tips we've found to make it all happen:
Work Towards Something Measurable ( And Know When You’re Winning)
This one might not sound like an aha moment, but it’s the little extra something in the beginning that will go a long way. Pick goals that you can put concrete measurements around. You can break it down by time increments (watch one course a week or watch three lessons a day) or work backwards from your goal and set milestones (e.g., learn a step of the pipeline by a specific day). Goals to work backwards from could include anything:
- Skills you need for a promotion
- Skills you know you need for your first job
- Add a software to your workflow
- Find 2 applications you think your organization could use
- And so many more
This might be an exercise in discipline for you, but it will outline your goal(s) with a real plan. Even if you get tripped up, or if life happens, adjust and stick with it.
Lean on Learning Paths (or Create Your Own)
You’ve got a goal and your time commitment, and now you need the content to get there. Runners train for a marathon with a plan, and your goal needs that structure too.
If you’re goal is to learn a new software or subject, lean on our Learning Paths with handpicked training from our expert tutors. Or create your own path to follow by using your Backpack or playlists. Whichever route you take, the early planning or a proven path will help you stay focused and leave more time for learning than just searching.
Immerse Yourself in a Community
We cannot express this enough: become an active member in local and online communities. Local communities and events are a great way to connect with other people and network; both of which lead to great opportunities for personal and professional growth. Find just one event or group meeting to attend and see what they have to offer when you attend, even just once.
Every single interview we do with industry professionals seems to come back to one piece of advice for tips on breaking into the industry: post your work and create a digital presence. The Digital-Tutors forums are a great place to connect with others and you can find many more, plus advice to get better help, in our recent post on The Art of Getting Great Feedback.
Top industry professionals usually love to give back, it’s how they rose through the ranks too, and it’s not uncommon to get feedback from professionals who have literally worked on some of the highest profile projects in your industry.
Make It Easier to Find Inspiration
What inspires you? The options are endless. Surrounding yourself with what inspires you will help you stay motivated during the year and your Resolution Reboot. Find sites, get new books or even old books, read blogs (cruise Alltop) and more, and setup an RSS reader (like Feedly) to keep the inspiration flowing.
Go social with Behance or even start using Twitter lists to add and organize people, companies and media outlets.
With a steady stream of inspiration and surrounding yourself with motivation, you’ll push yourself further then you might have thought possible.
Keep Things Fresh and Goals Will Never Get Boring
Variety is the spice of life, and your goals. As your plan to reach your goal starts to feel almost forced and less enjoyable, mixing it up will help you immensely. Keep things fresh and try new things:
- Practice a completely new discipline you've been interested in
- Watch training or practice in a new environment once a week
- Find something that inspired you and break it down or add to it
- Make time to keep sketching and drawing
- Try one new thing every day or week
If you stretch your learning, or any other goal, outside your comfort zone you'll start to see better results from what you learn and from new interests from trying new things!
Try New Applications for Free
This might be a continuation of the previous tip, but it's deserving of its own section. Trying new applications is a great way to add new skills and speed up your workflow - two things any artists or designer strives for.
As companies and clients want better work, and usually faster, being more equipped with the right applications will make your life so much easier. Learn more about the importance of adding new applications, both big and small to your workflow in Why the CG Artist Who Only Knows One App is Dying.
What's great about adding new applications is most of the time you'll have the chance to try it for free. Before you invest, you can try new apps to see which ones are right for you. Find free trials on the software provider's site or check out our Resources for Accessing Free Creative Software.
Try a completely new application or go for test drive if a version update offers something your main applications can't achieve (or achieve fast enough).
Make Extra Time Where There Once Wasn't
Where do you lose the most time in your day? Commuting, waiting or possibly even just searching for the right thing to learn. While we will always be challenged to make the most of your own time, think should I watch another episode of Breaking Bad or turn the TV off, there's ways to take advantage of time that was once lost to not having the right resources.
If you're commuting and you're the driver, how are you not listening to podcasts yet! Do a search and you are going to find podcasts on topics that relevant to you. Download them and subscribe to them. If you're not the driver. we can help with your learning too. Our offline player, iPad app and mobile options give you a way to always keep learning. Watch training on the bus, subway or while waiting.
Turn a boring ride home in traffic, waiting for an appointment or even your lunch break into learning time you used to not have. Over time it will really add up in both more time and better results.
Invest in What Matters Most: Yourself
Whether it's with time or money, improving yourself needs to be at the forefront of your mind in any creative industry. We got into this because we love what we do, but there's also a responsibility to keep learning and growing even when we feel like we're hitting a wall. You might even see how to move those walls by investing in your goals.
Free is a good route, but make sure you don't always just go with the cheapest option. Go with the options where you'll see the best return on your effort. Surround yourself with the right resources, free or paid, and you'll reach your goals. Learning and education are a powerful thing and something when you stop, so do new opportunities.
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” ― Albert Einstein
Use these tips to start your Resolution Reboot - whether for education, self improvement or any other goals. If you do want to make Digital-Tutors part of your resolution reboot, you can start for free with a demo account, or keep learning with one of our subscription plans.
Make the most of 2014 and start your Resolution Reboot! Let us know what you want to learn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #ResolutionReboot