The persistent problem of the human condition is that very few of us actually follow through on our goals and live our dreams, particularly when faced with constant obstacles and difficulties. Studies show that 95% of people never set clear goals for achieving their dreams by committing to them and writing them down. A big reason that so many people fail in online learning is because they don’t set clear goals for learning and they don’t have a self-directed learning plan. The reality is that learning a new skill is difficult and it requires a lot of focus and determination to succeed, particularly when you’re doing it on your own.
Start with why you really want to learn a new skill.
This is a really important first step that is overlooked by most people. When you’re a self-directed learner, you don’t have an authority figure that has created a system of rewards and punishments to motivate and grade you.
Set clear goals about what you’re planning to learn.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting framework to set really clear, actionable goals.
Structure your time and schedule your learning sessions.
This is crucial step is you want to be a successful self-directed learner. Going to school forces you to structure your time because you have to show up for class. When you’re learning online, you need to create a similar structure by committing yourself to a weekly schedule.
Find a learning accountability partner or start an online study group
The key to building a self-directed learning habit is to make yourself accountable. For most of us, being accountable to ourselves simply isn’t enough to be successful. So that’s why learning a new skill with a close friend, colleague or family member is recommended.
Follow these steps to create your own self-directed learning plan, you’ll have a strong foundation to learn and master new skills throughout your life.