3 Lessons Learnt After Taking 3 Years To Finish a 300 Hour Certification
and learn from my mistakes.
This is it! I have struck gold! Once I manage to get my hands on this certification, I will be invincible! That’s what I naively believed at the time three years ago when I enrolled into an online programming course.I was overflowing with excitement and passion, tantalizingly visualizing myself building the next Facebook…I quit two days later.
The initial motivation wore off quicker than lightning on steroids.How comes? Were my intentions of becoming a professional programmer merely wishful thinking? Who knew discipline was required to achieve long term goals? Similarly to the new year resolutions, I didn’t get back to it till a year later.
I just got done with the certification yesterday but that’s not important because its just a small certificate.Whats Important is what I learnt from the process of getting it and how it can help you in your daily life. Besides, getting better at programming, I learnt quite a few things about myself and life in general. So as promised, here are the three lessons that I learnt after taking up to three years to finish a three hundred hour course.
1. A Goal without plan is just a dream
Any goal that you might have be it a short term goal such as setting monthly weight loss challenges or long term goals like buying your first house requires you to have at the very least a mental plan in order for your plans to come to fruition.
In my case, my goal was to finish this certification.I didn’t have any executable plans and merely used my finite motivational oomph to drive me to code through the challenges in the course.I would try to blame it on being distracted by life events but those are just that, distractions.
Goals should have a traceable set of action plans that should be executed in order to achieve them. What you spend your energy on is what you end up getting in life.
“Cultivate your craft. Water it daily, pour some tender loving care into it, and watch it grow. Remember that a plant doesn’t sprout immediately. Be patient, and know that in life you will reap what you sow.”
― J.B. McGee
2. Forming good habits is more important than you think
Studies show that habits usually take up to 40% of our day. Habits range from small chores such as brushing your teeth every morning to harmful habits such as excessively smoking cigarettes.Therefore, having a good set of habits goes a long way in achieving your long term goals even when your motivations have diminished.
The habits I had formed were not on par with the habits it required to finish the course. I had productive habits but were not contributing towards finishing this course.This included habits as working out two hours everyday and finishing university assignments. Beware of productive procrastination, which is another form of procrastination. Productive procrastination is being legitimately busy with other life events while procrastinating your desired goals. This can be dealt with by having a good set of routine habits making sure each day you are closer to your goal than yesterday.
3. Quit quitting when it gets hard
Sticking to mundane tasks can be tasking especially when it gets progressively harder. You already felt good fantasizing about achieving your goals. Now that the motivation has dwindled, why should you be continuously torturing yourself with a series of mundane tasks that It takes to reach your goals?
I came to a realization that, no matter what your goals are in life, not all the tasks that you have to work on is going to be exciting. Its not everyday that you will be working on your favorite project in your workplace. Therefore, exercising mental resilience in times of doing low level tasks in your projects allows you to be more productive and creative in what you are doing.
- Goals without plan is just a dream.
- Forming good habits is vital to achieving your goals.
- Mental resilience to important to overcome mundane tasks in your life.
To sum up, long term goals can be scary(as so should they!) but with optimal strategy and healthy habits, you will surprise yourself as to how fast you can hit your goals. In my closing remark, I would like my readers to ponder over this takeaway question and perhaps think of it as a food for thought. How are you productively procrastinating today?