The world we are living in has changed over the years. People want to have something as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter if this is the latest iPhone or an answer to a question that feels important right now.
Like the song of Queen wrote: “I want it all, and I want it now!“.
If now is not possible, we really want to have same-day delivery.
In the late 90s, Amazon did something revolutionary, known as next-day delivery. And that only a couple of years later, they delivered for free when you had Prime?
Or let’s go back even further… Do you know (for all you young people out there) we had a building filled with books called a library? If you wanted to learn something, you could go there! That’s right, no internet that gives you an instant answer.
My point is this.
People want to have things right now. Companies are making this easier every year. But there are limitations. When you want to study, get a promotion, learn a new language… you have to be patient and do the work (yourself).
Patience will help you to be, do, and have what you want and need. The solution you want to start using in your life is Baby Steps. Here’s what it does…
Baby Steps Thinking
Would you rather have USD 1 million right now or a penny that doubles every day for 4 weeks?
Most people take the million dollars right now. The wise thing to do is wait for the penny to grow. In fact, in 4 weeks, that penny is worth about $2.7 million!
Or take the principle called Compound Interest. Let’s say you put money in a bank account or index fund. Each year you get returns on that money. You will end up with a lot of money if you let that money grow.
Example: put USD 1000 in an investment account. Let it grow with a 10% interest rate (they historically average).
- In 1 year you have USD 1100.
- In 5 years you will have USD 1610
- In 25 years you will have USD 10800
- Put it in the bank right now for your child and let it stay there for 60 years. Your child ends up with USD 305,000
Let’s go back to studying.
What if you want to learn a new language? Do you go all in and try to do as much as possible? Is that easy to do while running your normal life with work, study, and a family?
Most people get burned out after a while and stop learning.
Focus on daily growth, but this time with baby steps.
A few words each day are easier to memorize and handle. Let’s say you work on 5 words each day. In a year, you know almost 2000 words! Does that look like a nice success you achieve? And all it takes is 5 to 15 minutes each day.
You could make it an even better learning experience. Learn 10 words, and use them in standard sentences. This way you can talk a little bit in that language as well!
Example: you learn the words Apple, Bread, Today, Eat… etc.
You can make sentences like:
- I ate an apple today
- I ate bread today
Not that difficult. Combined with many other words over the next 365 days, you speak a language!
(Did you know that it takes about 2000 words to feel confident and hold conversations?)
Take a small step each day and the results over time can be amazing!
Wait… this is important!
Are you familiar with goal setting? A good way to set goals is to use the SMART goal method. SMART is an acronym meaning:
- Specific – I want to pass my Psychology 101 exam
- Measurable – I want to pass with a B+
- Attainable – I have the books already in my home
- Realistic – I have 2 hours to study each day (next to my work)
- Timely – The exam is in 4 months
Combining everything, this goal states:
I pass my Psychology 101 exam on March 14 2022, with a B+ studying 2 hours each day
Once you’ve written down your goal, you can start, right?
Goals give general direction. They should not keep you up all night. At night you should sleep. During the day you work.
You do not work on your goal. You break down that huge goal into a small daily task. Work on that task, and finish it daily. By doing this you have small successes on a daily basis. That’s what successful people do!
They focus on small wins, achieved consistently. They know that a daily small step creates long-term success.
Now you know that the goal is only for the direction you are heading. It is all about the action step you daily take.
From our goal, we could say that over the next 3 months we go through 10 pages each day. This single step alone helps us to study 10 pages x 30 days x 3 months is 900 pages!!!
If your book is only 400 pages, you can do 5 daily pages and study your book in 3 months.
Baby steps help you achieve a large goal!
It is about daily wins by taking action consistently.
Always focus on your daily actions. They help you to create amazing outcomes over time.
How You Can Use this
The most important thing is of course the baby steps. Break down your big goal into small daily tasks.
Next, don’t worry about the big goal. That will almost take care of itself.
Be consistent in your daily actions
Understand that small actions usually need a small investment in time. You don’t need to study for 4 hours each day. There can be done a lot in just one hour.
One hour of studying doesn’t need to be one hour in one sitting. Spread this out over the day. Read and summarize 30 minutes in the morning. Re-read your notes in 10 minutes during a break. In the evening you take another 20 minutes to memorize or work on an assignment.
You may not become an overnight success doing this, but you will make a real change in your own life.
The baby steps and mind mapping
Finally, I write about mind mapping. I know you were wondering when I would say something about that 🙂
A mind map is a visual overview of your information. It is information transformed into knowledge and wisdom.
A mind map is almost never finished in one sitting. You add new information, you remove or re-arrange the map. The result is a visual map that gives you an understanding and overview of your topic.
This is exactly the reason I always say that you should not create many mind maps. Create a few that you continue to work on. When you are learning a new language, you don’t take a new book every couple of weeks. You stick to what you have and you make it a success.
The same applies to mind maps. Create a map and add, remove, and re-arrange so that the map shows your level of understanding of the content.
My small question for you is:
What will you change when studying?
Do you continue to work towards that exam or finish the book? Or will you enjoy the daily task and finish your book before you know it?
The Next Step in Studying
Would you like to learn more about studying smart on a daily basis? My “Studying Made Easy” is something you will enjoy.
In this training, we work closely together. We focus on creating new habits, finding the right amount of work to do, and learning new study skills.
I will be your personal Study Buddy you can ask anything, but I also keep you accountable.
It will be a great experience to study like this, together.
I look forward to seeing you set your goal, have small victories, and achieve large goals.
If you have any questions please let me know.