One of my New Years resolutions is to complete quests or learning opportunities.
It’s always good to learn new things, but part of my past troubles was that I’d sign up for new things and then not complete them, or worse, complete them but not apply my new knowledge to anything useful.
Quick tangent here, I have a friend who is really good at Jeopardy because he has an impressive amount of random facts stored in his brain and is able to recall this knowledge relatively quickly.
On trivia nights, you’re best to partner with him. On non-trivia nights (read, 99.9% of the year), what good does having this knowledge do? No clue. He fully admits this bank of knowledge is useless.
Tangent over… but there was a point. I often find myself signing up for courses, learning things, and then not knowing what my next steps are.
Worse, I often feel like I’ve let down my family because I haven’t used the knowledge/skill that I had to pay to acquire.
Here’s a scenario that all too many of us can relate to.
The Cost of Improvement Goals
Imagine paying for a gym membership and a personal trainer and a fancy new diet.
Sure you lose the weight and you feel great, but what good does that do – especially if you don’t stick to it a year later?
Or worse, you gain back some, most, or all of the weight you worked so hard to lose.
It’s not even so much about the work effort you put in, even though yes, there was a great deal of that. It’s about the money you invested.
I feel like right now, that’s what the hardest part is for me. Why am I willing to invest money into myself, when I don’t plan to follow through?
I have big dreams, and soon I will share these with you.
But with these big dreams comes big fears.
I’m hugely afraid of failure.
I’m starting to doubt myself.
I’m asking myself ‘why bother?’ a lot more often than I’d like.
The interesting thing is, I never feel like I’ve wasted time.
When you read a book, that takes time… and at the end of the book, whether you’ve learned something or not, whether you’ve gained something or not, you don’t regret the time you invested on reading it to begin with… at least I don’t.
Did I waste money? Well using this analogy, the money ‘wasted’ was that which I spent on the book. If I didn’t like the book, do I regret the money spent? No.
But it’s hard to compare a $20 book to a $2000 course.
Improving Yourself Takes Time
For the record, those numbers are ball park and fictional.
This next two courses I’m looking at are higher up there in terms of initial investment. Is it worth spending the money? Do I even have the money to spend?
My husband posed the question – “what is your plan broken out into steps?”
He’s not unwilling to be supportive (both financially and emotionally), but he wants to know my game plan.
So over the next few weeks, I plan to do some soul searching.
Did you read that?
Over. The. Next. Few. Weeks.
This isn’t a one and done assignment. I’m happy to invest my time and money into whatever dream I might have, but I need to have some serious talks with myself about what I hope to achieve.
When I buy a book, my goal is to read the book. So when I’m finished reading the book, I have achieved my goal.
When I buy a course, I have the goal of having some life-changing transformation. That’s not really quantifiable.
Sometimes you can’t see change. How will I know if I have changed my life or that I’ve gotten what I needed from the course?
Clearly I need to write down some quantifiable steps.
And I have acknowledged that this list of steps can’t be written in a day.
Which means, I don’t actually have to decide TODAY if I’m going to invest in whatever my next course is.
Do you know how refreshing that is?
I can still choose the path, and not have to take the first step today.
That is my advice to you, and you can say this backwards as well.
Just because you haven’t taken a step today, doesn’t mean you won’t get to where you’re going.
You will get there. You will take steps when they feel right for you.
I look forward to sharing the next steps with you in the days to come.