Last month I received the email that said, “Congratulations, you have successfully completed your certificate IV in Life Coaching.” The relief was huge, yet the sense of achievement was monumental. There were times when I wasn’t sure I would finish and frankly, didn’t want to. Yet I kept at it and can say with confidence it was worth it. Studying is challenging at any stage of life, but when you have young kids at home with you it is (a lot) more challenging. But it can be done and you can be sitting proud at the end of achievement, skilled up and ready to embark on a new career. Here are my top tips on how to do it.
- Focus only on what is next. It is easy to become overwhelmed with coursework, and all that needs to be completed. Keep your focus narrow and only on what needs to be done next, the next report, assignment, lecture.
- Schedule your study time. Live lectures/webinars are in our diaries and so to should the rest of the study. Turn up to your study ready to learn and to get it done. If it isn’t scheduled in as an appointment that must be honoured, it will never happen.
- Be flexible. Everyone has a lot going on in their lives, so be gentle on yourself with study. If you need to call it a day, do so, if your study is interrupted, come back to it later. Even ten minutes adds up to progress.
- Have a return date. Most courses now are flexible, understanding that life happens. When you do need to step away from your study, set yourself a return date. Even if you have to push that date out further, it will stop you drifting indefinitely.
- Get support. It takes a village to raise a child and support to finish a course. Whether partnering up with another student to keep yourselves accountable or talking with your partner to plan your schedules to factor in your study time, you will need support. Even putting the kids in daycare one day a week to have uninterrupted study time. Take a look at all your resources and pull support from them. You are never alone.
- Celebrate each win. Every pass, and each progress step completed, celebrate. Pop open bubbles, watch a movie, whatever works for you, do it. And when you do, take a moment to review your progress and pat yourself on the back for how far you have already come. Seeing your accomplishment to date is a great motivator to push you to keep going.
- You can do it. There will be times when it will seem overwhelming and that the course will never end. But when you cross that finish line you will be so proud that you did. When you feel down and want to throw it away, remind yourself of all the reasons why you wanted to study the course in the first place, and all the wonderful benefits you will experience when you finish.