Becoming a lifelong learner is critical to personal and professional success. Science has taught us that without constant challenges our brains will start to lose their agility. What can you do then to become a lifelong learner? The answer lies in goal setting.
Goals provide direction and motivation and they don’t need to be complex and time consuming. Goal setting has been a big part of my life. Without a goal I find that I seem to float into a bit of a holding pattern. All aspects of my life are affected. I lose energy and focus.
For me, many of my goals are physical in nature; running a marathon, climbing a mountain, or most recently becoming a ski instructor.
I just finished my Level 2 CSIA ski instructor certification. In accomplishing this goal I will earn $2 more per hour when I teach skiing on the weekends and be qualified to teach a wider range of ski student, but these are obviously not the reasons I did this. Taking this course forced me to learn new skills and to hone existing skills. It made me think critically, it made me develop new abilities, and it gave me something to commit to and to focus on. I believe that something as simple as developing myself as a ski instructor will make me a better husband, father and business leader.
Some of you reading this blog know exactly what I mean and likely have many goals in mind or in action right now. Others may be at a loss for what to do. The easiest way to set a goal is to find something that you are interested in. Start a book club, take a course, develop a new hobby or think back to your youth and pick up on a long forgotten interest. The key is to pick something and make a plan. Keep it simple and make it happen. You will be a better person for it and you will be a lifelong learner because of it.