Do you ever wonder how some people can do so much, get so much done, or go so far? It’s as if there is some super-human secret to accomplishment that no one told you.
Well, it’s not super-human and it’s not a secret.
Here is how it works:
Decide what you want to do.
Write it down. Make a list of everything that you want to do from now on in your life.
List those items that you want to do this year.
Decide which ones you want to start on right now. Be sure to keep it doable. Don’t put thirty-two items on your list and try to work on all of them. You will get discouraged and quit. Pick the most important and/or the easiest to get done.
Plan your steps.
Let’s say you want to learn to paint, or to play an instrument. What is the first step you need to take to begin to accomplish your desire? Do you need to find a class or a teacher? Take that step. Then take the next step.
Say you want to clean the garage, plant a tree, do a craft, and learn photography. Each item on your list has steps to accomplishment. Figure out what those steps are and get started today.
Once you make up your mind to do something, don’t go back on that decision. Being wishy-washy guarantees that you won’t follow through. If you’re on today, and off tomorrow, your motivation will go out the window. Stick with your program.
Celebrate your success.
When you have accomplished what you set out to do, give yourself a pat on the back, or celebrate with something that makes you happy. In fact, you can build the reward in when you start.
A deferred treat for accomplishing your goal makes for good motivation to keep going when you start to run out of enthusiasm.
If you need help with any or all of these steps, you will love The Wish Plan. It takes you through a series of easy exercises to reveal what you love most, and helps you make a plan to bring more of those things into your life.
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I work with a lot of writers and I have taught art classes, led writing workshops, and tutored both artists and writers.
Sometimes people ask me if they should take a class or a course, either online or locally, in person. Here is my answer:
It depends what your goal is.
Yes, you should take a class, or some kind of instruction if you want to improve your work. This can be done in a myriad of ways. When I began exploring watercolours my first step was to borrow books from my local library and study what different artists recommended.
I learned early on that there are many different approaches even in this one medium. Since my goal was to increase my skill level, i.e. become more professional, I enrolled in a studio class that I continued to attend for a couple of years. In that class I learned many techniques how to use the medium to produce work that reflected my own style.
(Coincidentally, in the studio next door, another class leader taught all the students to copy the style of the instructor.)
During that same period I also decided I wanted to develop my writing skills. I followed the same pattern. First, library books, and then writing classes. Both were beneficial.
All this took place before the advent of the Internet and online courses. Now, I’m a big fan of classes online. They are easy and quick to access and you can start almost immediately after you’ve made the decision. You can generally work at your own pace without leaving home.
Among the disadvantages of courses online is that you will likely be working alone and unless you’re self-motivated, you may find that life gets in the way of finishing what you started. However, a well-done course or leaders will usually also offer follow up, a forum, or Facebook group so you stay engaged and motivated until the end.
A local class or course offers the benefit of social contact but requires you to show up at a specific time. It is fun to get together with others who share your interest and to learn as a group. The downside can be heading out on a dark and stormy night may put you off getting to the class.
So, here is my question:
If you wanted to pursue either a writing course, or an art course, which would you prefer: online or in person?
Please leave your answer as a comment below as your choice will help me to develop some programs that I have in mind. Thanks.
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