New Year’s Resolutions – AAT students, this is the week…
January 10th (or the 15th depending on article you are reading), is the day that most people will give up on their New Year’s Resolutions! So, how are you doing?
It’s a busy time of year for us with people wanting to get started on an AAT course with a view to changing their lives in some way. For those already studying (but who wound things down for the Christmas break), the beginning of January is the time when many students think “Right, now we’re into a New Year, I’m going to get back to my studying with a vengeance!”
However, with the best will in the world, life sometimes just seems to ‘get in the way’ of all the carefully laid plans, be it illness, a heavy workload in the office that leaves you exhausted when you get back in the evening or the juggling you have to do each day with the various family routines and unexpected mishaps.
But… before you put off yet another study session, here are few reasons why to study NOW! and not later…
1. Have a really good think about why you wanted to undertake your course in the first place – what was your end goal? Try and visualise it – was it:
- To get a better job so you can earn more money
- Promotion and more money in an existing role
- To obtain formal recognition for what you already do at work
- To start your own bookkeeping business
- To learn how to do the books for your spouse or partner’s business
- Better job/career satisfaction
- The status that comes with a career in the accountancy profession
2. What is stopping you achieve your goal? Make a list of all the ‘barriers’ that are preventing you from studying. Put this list into a table with two columns (using the left hand column).
3. Go through your list in point 2. and make a list (in the right hand column) of possible solutions (you might find it helpful to enlist the support of someone else to help you with this).
4. Prioritise your solutions. Remember the 80:20 rule:
Prioritise first, those solutions that can provide 80% of the benefits and only 20% of the effort.
5. Get yourself into ‘study mode’ by:
- Preparing your study area – with as few distractions as is humanly possible – away from phones, video games, TV, Facebook, kids, friends, relatives, pets and any other annoying noise you can think of…
- Stocking up on your study supplies – pens, pencils, paper, calculator, highlighters, post its, ruler, rubber, lots of tippex for those questions that always seem designed to catch you out…
- Keeping yourself topped up with water (although tea for me) and brain food to keep yourself alert and fired up ready to deal with those tricky journal questions
These are all ‘hygiene’ factors that can simply make life harder if not dealt with.
- Setting yourself some goals for your study session such as “I’m going to cover these topics”, or “I’m going to complete my Progress Test or Practice Assessment” (going on the AAT Facebook page to see who’s on tonight, won’t cut it!)
- Reward yourself on completing a successful study session – anything from allowing yourself an (extra) ½ hour relaxing or watching your favourite TV show to buying a new pair of shoes (although I think you should pass an exam before you lavish yourself with something as expensive new shoes!)
- Tick off each stage of your studies so you can see the progress you have made.
There are many, many useful motivational quotes out there to help you get ‘in the mood’ for studying (go online and do a search – there are loads of them!) Write down the quotes that made an impact on you and then stick them on your wall or a noticeboard to help keep you motivated:
Here are a few motivational quotes to keep you going:
1. You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction (George Lorimer)
2. What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
3. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going (Jim Ryun)
4. Always do your best. Whatever you plant now, you will harvest later (Og Mandino)
5. If you can dream it, you can do it (Walt Disney)
6. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better (Jim Rohn)
7. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream (C.S. Lewis)
8. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you. Not much. (Jim Rohn)
9. Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. (Wayne Dyer)
10. What you do today can improve all your tomorrows (Ralph Marston)
And what of have we done about New Year’s Resolutions I hear you ask? Well, for a number of us, it’s all about ‘getting fit’, so we’ve signed up with a local gym.
And guess what, we’ve actually gone, and better still, we’ve even got beyond the 15th January! Hope your New Year’s Resolution plans go well. Until next time!