"Choosing to learn something new everyday will give you a reason to grow and change." - Anonymous.
Learn Something New! - Part II
No matter your learning style, whether visual, audio, or kinesthetic, follow these six steps to improve your knowledge acquisition.
1. Determine what you want to know
Start by defining what you want to learn, like a hobby, knowledge about a subject, or a professional skill set. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider pastimes that already give you pleasure or that you enjoyed as a child but put aside due to other priorities. And if nothing comes to mind, trial and error is OK. Try an introductory class or course to test out activities and subjects without committing to them. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Meditation: The Mayo Clinic states that regular meditation can help you feel calm and manage your emotions. If you can’t access a meditation training center, find guided meditations online or via streaming platforms to start.
Time management skills: Developing your time management skills means you’ll better meet deadlines and accomplish your goals. Try using an online or physical planner to prioritize tasks and block out time for each item.
Public speaking skills: Delivering a speech or business presentation gives most people the jitters. That’s why Toastmasters International, an organization that helps people improve their public speaking skills, is so popular. You can also find free public speaking resources online or practice with your friends, asking for constructive feedback to ensure you know how to improve. May I also suggest joining the PowerTalk Power Club through PowerTalk Seminars, LLC. It’s a professional speakers club, a small business networking club, and a social club. You can learn more details here: www.powertakseminars.com
Cooking: Feed yourself while learning new skills by learning how to cook unfamiliar meals and cuisines. You could take classes, spend your free time with someone proficient at cooking, or watch social media tutorials to acquire these skills. Also consider going to new restaurants and evaluating the ingredients in and techniques used to create each meal.
2. Set goals
Once you know what you want to learn, chart the necessary steps to reach your goals. Make sure you create SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely — to increase your chance of success. And divide larger objectives into small items to maintain your motivation and avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you’re not sure about the steps necessary to master a skill, speak to your instructor or other students. They can help you establish realistic milestones and provide encouragement on your journey.
3. Use multiple mediums
Consuming something in several mediums increases your chance of acquiring this knowledge. If you’re learning to cook, you could watch a YouTube video once a day, cook something new once a week, and watch a family member cook once a month. Using different modes of learning can also keep you engaged and provide alternatives when pressed for time or energy. If you’re too tired to go to class, you can read a book on your commute home or tune into a podcast before bed.
4. Leverage online learning sites
Don’t feel like you have to do this alone — so many online learning platforms exist that let you learn at your own pace. Here are some of the most accessible options:
Coursera provides a wide range of learning opportunities, from personal-interest lessons to university-accredited professional certifications.
Main topics: Business, software design, health and wellbeing
Cost: Free for a basic membership, then $79/month
Average lesson time: It varies greatly depending on the course
Skillshare offers on-demand courses broken into short tutorials and taught by industry experts.
Main topics: Marketing, design, cooking, software
Cost: $15/month, $99/year
Average lesson time: 30 minutes
Big Think showcases interviews and articles written by some of the world’s greatest thought leaders on today’s hottest topics.
Main topics: Current events, science, technology, culture
Average watch or reading time: 5–15 minutes
Udemy offers more than 210,000 professional and personal development online video courses with new additions every month.
Main topics: IT and software, marketing, web development
Cost: $12.99–199.99 per course
Average lesson time: 7.7 hours
LinkedIn Learning offers personalized learning opportunities via articles, lessons, and certification courses.
Main topics: Business, technology, creativity
Cost: Free one-month trial, $262.80 annually
Average lesson time: Depends on the course
Duolingo is a foreign-language-learning platform that includes lessons for over 100 languages.
Main topics: Language
Cost: Free, $7/month for premium
Average lesson time: 5 minutes/day
5. Phone a friend
Having a study buddy improves your chance of learning success. Find someone who wants to know what you do and bond over the learning process. You and your friend can hold each other accountable and motivate one another to keep learning. Another option is to pair up with someone who’s already proficient in the skill you want to learn. You can benefit from their hacks and experience while giving them the opportunity to reinforce what they know by teaching you.
6. Reflect along the way
Remember to learn from your learning process by self-reflecting regularly. This involves acknowledging accomplishments to increase your confidence and motivation as well as addressing weaknesses and learning from your mistakes. You can keep a journal to track your progress or document the different stages of your development with photos. No matter your chosen method, what’s important is that you have a record to chart your course toward your goal and boost your spirits when you feel discouraged.
Today you learned something new - Working toward building the habit of learning something new every day is progress toward this goal. With every new skill set or information acquisition, you grow personally and professionally. You also fuel an inquisitive nature that your friends, family, and coworkers will appreciate. You’ll ask more questions about their lives and hobbies and show managers you want to grow within the company.