Motivation and achievement blog

Your Guide to Motivation and Achievement this September

As we prepare ourselves to wave a final goodbye to summer many of us will be returning to work after a holiday, time with family, or a well-deserved rest. Heading back to day-to-day life can feel a bit disappointing but it’s also the perfect time to set new goals and focus on motivating ourselves to achieve them.

Setting goals

The first step to finding motivation is to set your goals. Consider what it is you want to achieve and set a SMART target to make it an achievable goal.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

Using the SMART target formula is proven to make goals more achievable by ensuring they are realistic and that you have considered how you will approach each goal in advance.

Setting inachievable goals is a quick way to destroy your motivation, so it’s important to take the time to adjust your gaols with the SMART formula. Remember, you can always set further goals once you achieve your initial set, and you can adjust them as you go if your circumstances change.

Stay organised

Now that you know your goals, it’s time to organise how you will work towards achieving them. You might want to:

  • Create a schedule – determine the amount of time you can dedicate to your goals and when you’re able to do so
  • Plan – consider your overall approach to achieving your goals and plan the steps you need to take to work towards your final goal
  • Follow a timescale – as your SMART target/goal will be time-based, you may want to give yourself a timescale to achieve certain steps towards your goal to stay on track
  • Keep a diary – a diary can help organise your thoughts and can be a great way to vent any frustrations when you feel unmotivated or like you’re not on track
  • Track your progress – don’t forget to reflect on the progress you’re making and celebrate everything you achieve, no matter how small

Enjoy the process

Empowering yourself to grow and achieve your goals should be an enjoyable and positive process.

It’s important you take control of your goals and work towards them in a way you enjoy. If you lose motivation, and are not enjoying the process, you are less likely to get back on track and achieve.

You may be pushed outside your comfort zone while working towards your goals, but this should also feel like a positive step giving you new confidence and capabilities. You shouldn’t, however, be filled with dread at the thought of what you need to do in order to achieve. If this is the case, consider re-evaluating the steps you have given yourself and slow down the rate at which you expect to achieve.

Share success

Don’t be afraid to share your success with others whether it’s in your personal life or in a professional environment. The smaller steps you take towards your overall goal are just as important as the final achievement and these successes should be celebrated.

Don’t panic

No matter how well you plan, schedule, and track, you may still fall behind or lose sight of your goal. Don’t panic! Making mistakes and losing motivation is all part of the journey and you can always take steps to get back on track and achieve.

Keep the process a positive one and reflect on what’s changed – why have you lost motivation?

Pick yourself up and start towards your goal once again while thinking about all the successes you have had so far.

Get inspired

If you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to building skills, knowledge, and confidence, why not look at our selection of online continuous professional development short courses?

Early Years Excellence Awards Finalists

Early Years Excellence Awards Finalist

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for an Early Years Excellence Award for our Laser Short Courses in the CPD category.

Being shortlisted for this award means a great deal to us as the early years and childcare sectors are very close to our hearts.

Each of our CPD short courses is written by an industry professional to ensure the course content is relevant, accurate, and useful. Our short courses content manager reviews every aspect of each course before ensuring they are edited and formatted to meet our signature Laser Lesson style.

We work with Canal Wharf Studios to film a fresh tutorial for each short course which introduces the topic to the learner. Our tutorials are filmed with a professional presenter who is tasked with ensuring the learner begins their course with a positive outlook for learning.

The majority of our early years and childcare short courses are also endorsed by the awarding organisation, NCFE CACHE.

NCFE CACHE Endorsed

NCFE CACHE review each endorsed short course on a regular basis to confirm the information within the course is still relevant and accurate, as well as making sure the information is provided in a satisfactory way throughout the course for the learner. Learners who complete an endorsed course can also request a certificate from NCFE CACHE.

We couldn’t be happier to receive recognition from both the Early Years Excellence Awards and NCFE CACHE for our Laser Short Courses.

See a full list of Laser Short Courses or find out more about our early years CPD short courses below.

Early Years and Childcare CPD Short Courses Info
Festival of Learning Week 2018

Festival of Learning Week 2018

This week is Festival of Learning Week (previously Adult Learners Week).

Throughout the month of June, The Festival of Learning encourages people to ‘have a go’ and get involved by learning new skills or sharing their skills and others.

Providing opportunities to learn new skills and share our skills aims to remind us all that it’s never too late to learn something new or improve ourselves. Building skills and investing time in our own progress is an important part of both personal and professional development.

As we enter the workplace and get comfortable in our job roles, it can be easy to lose sight of things we wanted to learn or areas we wanted to improve because we are so focused on our daily tasks and responsibilities. However, Festival of Learning Week is devoted to promoting the importance of lifelong learning and reminding us all that there is no point at which we stop learning.

What holds people back from lifelong learning?

Installing a culture of lifelong learning in people is not as easy as it sounds. For some, taking on new challenges simply fills them with fear and dread, rather than the desired excitement or inspiration. There are different obstacles for each of us when it comes to learning later in life, and it’s important to recognise these when establishing learning programmes.

Fear

As already mentioned, one of the most common responses I was met with when working in the apprenticeship sector was potential learners being terrified at the prospect of writing essays or sitting an exam.

The apprenticeship itself and on-the-job learning wasn’t an issue, but when they were faced with the thought of coursework, they were thinking back to the days of sitting in a classroom trying to write about something they found difficult to understand. Similarly, they were also thinking about sitting the English and maths exams they felt entirely unprepared for.

However, explaining to learners that their coursework would be about their day-to-day job began to put them at ease. Once they realised it wasn’t a case of writing 2,000 words, but instead about demonstrating their knowledge and experience, they felt more able to succeed.

The prospect of an English and/or maths exam was harder to sell, but again, I would stress that gaining the essential English and maths skills was to develop them in their role and would benefit them in the real world. These foundation skills were life skills, not exam skills.

Commitment

Classroom learning brings back difficult memories for a lot of people, and one of the reasons for this is that they were inescapable. The positive side of this, however, is that people didn’t have to ‘make time’ for learning. Once learning becomes an additional part of your life rather than the centre of it, it’s more and more difficult to commit to it.

Guided learning hours (GLH) can sound like a prison sentence, particularly if each GLH needs to be found between work, family commitments, care commitments, and any other commitment a learner might have.

Reassuring each learner that their time is well invested doesn’t take long when they know the result of their learning will be worthwhile.

Accessibility

Commitment isn’t just about GLH, it’s also about the time it takes to participate in learning. If a lesson is at a building half an hour’s drive away, that’s already an additional hour of commitment.

Online learning automatically removes the question of additional time commitment and it also makes learning accessible to anyone who isn’t able to travel to a classroom. Travel might be more than a commitment in terms of time, and online learning means there are no additional travel costs or arrangements for those with additional needs.

It does, however, require people to have the necessary computer equipment and internet connection. The UK government confirmed the Universal Service Obligations (USO) for broadband internet services in 2015 and continues to support online learning as essential to upskilling the UK workforce. Hopefully, this means the access to quality internet speeds will only improve in the near future.

Job satisfaction and support

Choosing to improve your skills is usually a choice made by those with the confidence to do so. Lifelong learning requires a level of confidence and commitment that some people struggle to find when they are in a job role that provides little satisfaction. Even though increasing skills, confidence, and knowledge is an important step to moving into a new job role, without support from an employer, this can feel like a waste of time for many potential learners.

There are still too many people in job roles they have outgrown, feel unable to excel at, or feel unappreciated in. This situation actively discourages them from making positive changes and will often lead them to believe that additional learning later in life is something they cannot achieve.

Having positive conversations with potential learners like this at events, trade shows, through social media and/or email, or even in the workplace can instantly boost a person’s confidence. It’s essential that learning providers act as ambassadors for learning, taking the time to answer questions and reassure those who might currently feel unable to achieve for whatever reason.

Additional support

Vulnerable learners may feel like learning later in life is out of their reach. Learners who require additional support may need further encouragement at enrolment and may want reassurance that further support will be available to them when they start and at any point throughout their learning.

Taking the steps to begin a course later in life should be simple and accessible to these learners, with no additional obstacles. Learning providers should sign post learners to the courses best suited to their individual needs without disadvantaging any learner or damaging their possible achievements.

Costs

Lastly, the most obvious reason for not starting learning in later life is the cost of starting a course. Many employers are not in a position to subsidise learning for their staff, and many staff are not in a position to pay for learning themselves.

Making learning available at a reasonable price for individual learners is more important than ever, and it’s just as important that they feel their money is well spent. The quality of resources provided and the knowledge and skills learners gain from their commitment to a course must be worth the price.

Putting an emphasis on lifelong learning is justified, but it’s also vital to consider all the possible obstacles to learning for each individual learner. We aim to support learners with these obstacles in whatever way possible and we hope the sector will gain further support from the government in the future to do so.

Find out more about our Laser short courses and start yours today.