No great accomplishment has ever been achieved without planning. When Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Mount Everest, he wasn’t out for a stroll and all of a sudden found himself at the summit! To make a change to your life you have to plan to make the change or it won’t happen.
Before you embark on your studies, you’ll find it valuable to set yourself a series of goals or targets to help you complete the course. Spending a little time planning these goals will pay dividends down the road. To have a chance of reaching your goals, they should always be S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Targeted.
To really get involved at an emotional level with the successful completion of your studies, compose a contract for yourself using the following headings:
DEFINE (what you want out of it) e.g. the exact car, house, number and type of holidays, income level for partner to give up work etc. Be specific or you won’t know when you’ve achieved it. Re-enforce it with photographs and put them up around where you plan to work.
DESIRE (why you’re doing it) e.g. personal challenge, get out from where you are, you owe it to yourself to have a better job, to prove to someone you’ve got what it takes, to take control of your destiny. This needs to be something that stirs an emotion within you.
DEDICATION (the commitment) How much time will you spend studying each week and when? Put it on a calendar, in a diary, or on the fridge! You’ve made an appointment with yourself to fulfil your future, so keep it; it’s really important to put specific time aside to study. Let the people in your life know when that is, so they won’t expect you to do other things at that time (just as they don’t when you go to your job). Psychologically you’ll also find it much easier on yourself if you do this. It means when you’re relaxing you won’t be feeling guilty that you’re not studying, and when you’re studying you won’t be feeling you’re missing out on some other activity.
DETERMINATION – The will to stick to the plan until completion and see it through. This is your contract to ensure that you won’t let yourself down.
Having a plan and targets to work towards gives you a DISCIPLINE that helps you to power through the tough times that will occasionally strike you.
Your contract is the beginning of your new life. Those who write down their goals in a specific and realistic manner, then work diligently and consistently to achieve them, have proven to be amongst the world’s most successful people. Read your contract every day, and add positive new jottings and pictures to it that will help you when the going gets tough. Plan your work, and then work your plan with commitment. In two years time your life could be unrecognisable to those who know you now.