The New Year is a great time to learn something new. Research shows that learning at any age can sharpen the brain and encourage growth in a career and personal life. Picking up a new skill and applying it is not only fun but gives a great sense of accomplishment.
With the many methods of education available today there is an option to fit almost everyone’s lifestyle. Is time a challenge and you don’t want to leave home? Then taking advantage of the internet may work. Most colleges and universities offer online classes that can be taken for credit or audit. There are also websites that offer a variety of topics for training by video. Lynda.com and Udemy.com are two examples with large depths of content. “Readers” can visit their favorite bookstore or website to find a curriculum of interest. Many come with workbooks and online resources to enhance the learning experience. For those more comfortable in the classroom environment the local college or trade school can provide these services.
Start your path to increased knowledge by making a plan and deciding what you want to learn. Self-improvement can include a focus on speaking, coaching or organizational skills. If there is a desire to change careers or make an upward move in a company, look for available technical or business tracks. Perhaps a new language would be beneficial.
Next decide how much you can or desire to spend. If the budget is tight, there are still ways to pick-up a new skill. The public library can be helpful along with the multitudes of YouTube videos readily available. Set some clear goals that include start and completion dates. To ensure success make the goals achievable and not overly ambitious and plan to celebrate when each milestone has been met. Finally put the new knowledge to work. If appropriate, add it to a resume or job plan. Discuss what has been learned with employers or managers to figure out an application. No matter what your area of study, the plan should include execution steps to ensure time has been well used and this new education will be retained.
Be prepared, after completing your first training project, you will likely be motivated to move on to a new area of growth as the habit of lifetime learning takes hold.