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6 Rules Successful People Live By to Learn Faster and Better Than Everyone Else

6 Rules Successful People Live By to Learn Faster and Better Than Everyone Else

While we were all born with a desire to learn, somewhere along the line, many of us lose our passion for learning. The pressure to excel in life with emphasis on exam scores takes away the joy that comes from learning. Whatever the reasons, once the basics are covered, many people tend to stick with what they know.[1] They also avoid the difficulty in learning something new. Successful people are so because they learn in a systematic and result-oriented way. Thus, they learn faster and better than everyone else.

Many people wonder how they can be successful. They do not know they hold within themselves everything they need to succeed.[2] Successful people set rules and standards in their habits. Habits determine 95% of one’s behavior; as a result, a unique learning style. These rules incorporated into the behavior of successful people make them do things differently. They lead to a remarkable learning style that in turn makes them learn faster and better. Thus, we have compiled six rules successful people live by to learn faster and better than everyone else.

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They don’t memorize information but connect things together

Human beings are capable of forming patterns and connections. Computers can perform calculations at rates of millions per seconds. We can form connections, patterns than we can memorize information. Successful people don’t memorize! Learning via connections makes learning any subject easier. It is important to make connections between ideas. Learning faster isn’t magic. It is a process of figuring out what you do when you learn well and trying to repeat that more often. It’s about avoiding the trap of memorization. Thus, successful people learn faster and better by connecting patterns in a task.

They don’t multitask when they learn

Multitasking is an unfortunate pleasure we’ve developed in this era.[3] This era of constant notifications and mo bile applications. Text messages and emails might seem harmless, but they can divert one’s attention from the task at hand. John D. Rockefeller wrote,

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“Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things fail because we lack concentration — the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else?”.

From checking emails to scrolling through twitter, this prevents one from learning faster. Think about your own computer. When you have 15 different tabs open on your browser, your computer begins to slow down. This takes longer to process every action. Successful people learn faster and better by setting their devices on airplane mode. So, no distractions.

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They learn difficult concepts by repetitive practice

Mastering anything faster requires practice.[4] Learning requires persistence in performing the same skill over and over again. This is until one can do it without thinking about it, that is to say it becomes automatic. Successful people understand this “secret” to learning faster and becoming the best. Remarkable-level performance is the result of repetitive practice, not due to innate talent. Successful people know that repetition of concept improves assimilation and speeds up learning.

They consult experts to save time and effort

Another learning style of successful people is not to master it alone. They save time and effort by getting help from someone who’s already learned it. To achieve mastery faster, it is important to consult the top players in the field. As Robbins puts it:

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“Many great leaders have proven that the fastest way to master any skill, strategy or goal in life is to model those who have already forged the path ahead”.

Successful people find someone who is already getting the results that they want. This is to take the same actions they are taking, to get the same results. There is a saying that experience is the best teacher. Some people interpret it as learning from their own successes and failures. Successful people focus on learning from others to learn better.

They make use of the 80/20 rule

Successful people reconstruct the task they see. They see it at its basic, fundamental components. They break the task down into parts and find the most important things to practice first. This is a remarkable learning style. They use the Pareto principle. This describes getting 80 percent of result by putting in 20 percent effort. The goal is to separate the 20 percent of our learning materials that will give one 80 percent of the result. As it turns out, fast-learning experts have already embraced this ideology. Learn the most important subset skills within that time frame to get the greatest of impact.

They always keep a student mind

They don’t refer to themselves as “experts” in any field. The expert status assumes the position that one has reached the fullest potential. It implies one has attained a thrilling pinnacle in one’s career. Also, that your thirst for knowledge in a particular area has reduced. Successful people learn faster and better by their continuous willingness to learn and inquisitiveness.[5] Having the mind of a student! That’s what sets successful people apart: They never stop learning.

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Amber McNaught

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on June 3, 2020

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals

refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

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What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

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Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

Specific

First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

  • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
  • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
  • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
  • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
  • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

Measurable

The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

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Attainable

The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

Relevant

For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

Time-Bound

The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

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Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

The Bottom Line

Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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