These 5 ideas can help you get there fast:
Start with a learning list.
- First, write down all the things you want to learn and that sound interesting to you. Be sure to list every activity, regardless of how long your list may be.
- Next, select the top 5 things that make you feel most excited when you learn about them. Ask yourself why they are so important to you: are you tapping into something you’ve always wanted to do since you were young, is it something more new that is a good fit for the skills you have or for a particular talent of yours?
- From the 5 things, select the top 3 that you cannot imagine your life without ten years from now. To make this easier to do, think about your how learning about these subjects will benefit your future self. What can your future self do with them? Can these subjects impact your future lifestyle, or career, or a passion that might turn out to be a lifelong one? Making an initial connection between what you choose now and what you can do with it later can help you in gaining better focus.
Take a look at your skills.
- Write down your current skill set: what are you really good at, what do you excel in, what is a skill that you’ve worked on developing for a long time and that you devoted many years to?
- Next, write down which skills you are developing: what are you making progress in, what are the activities that are already underway that you are working on consistently?
- Finally, add the things you consider to be your strengths and that have proven results from your past, both personally and professionally (awards you received, top grades in school, a public or professional recognition of some sort, etc.). Now you have increased you focus on your skill set and narrowed down where you may need improvement.
Match up your passion for learning new things to your skills and strengths.
- Look at your list of the top 3 things you cannot imagine your life without in 10 years, then figure out which skills and strengths you can pair them up with. For example, if your passion is learning languages, match this up with your self-discipline, your past performance in passing a course in a programming or other language, or time management skills that have helped you design a study plan so you can develop your skills.
- Determine a timeframe for making progress in each area you’ve selected.It’s important to have a can-do attitude that you can learn what is exciting to you, and it’s also important to be aware that it will take some time to master something. Be prepared to put in the hard work and to practice getting better every day. Think about how quickly you want to make progress: six months, one year or two?
Make a goal-oriented and actionable plan.
- Create a goal for each area of learning: Once you’ve determined your timeframe for each area you want to focus on, write it down and add a deadline for each one. Then make your goal very specific. Write one sentence that includes your selected learning area, which progress you want to make in it, and the date by which you want to complete it by. For example, if you’re learning a new language, write, “I want to be proficient in [level of proficiency: basic, intermediate, advanced] in [your target language] and accomplish this by [target date].
- Make an actionable plan: Create a monthly plan and divide your time for each week, and then each day, when you can focus on the areas you’ve identified. Don’t feel like you must devote hours and hours each day to every area. The key is to be consistent: make sure to devote some time, even if it’s 30 minutes a day, to work towards your goals. If that is still too much time commitment, start with a session of 15 minutes to work on a small task. Once you get into the habit, you will see it will be easier to increase the time to bigger increments, for example 30 minutes or one hour.
Mark your progress and celebrate each small win.
- Help your brain stay motivated by marking each step you take in a positive direction. Why is this important? Your brain doesn’t know the difference between progress and perceived progress, so you’re better off giving praise for the small steps you do succeed in. How do you do this? Once you’ve completed a section of your daily plan, check it off your list. Then think about how it feels to have accomplished something that gets you closer to your goal. Allow yourself to feel proud of your work even if it took only 15 minutes! Because this will all add up to something much bigger for you in the long run.
- Treat yourself when you finish your weekly goals by doing something you enjoy: spend an evening out with friends, go on a long bike ride, play guitar or another instrument that gives you pleasure, dedicate one hour to read a book you’ve wanted to start for a long time, or write about your progress in achieving goals that are most important to you. Rewarding yourself on a regular basis is a key element in every goal achieving process, because it helps to keep you motivated and focused, and adds more positivity and happiness to the work that you do.