We often make excuses for the things we do or do not do.  That’s not to say that some reasons are not good excuses, but we should be working towards mitigating or completely eliminating excuses that could easily be avoided.


We’re two months into the year – are you at least 16.5% complete towards your 2015 goals?  If not, what’s preventing you from success and how are you going to make up the time?  I find that many people will start the year motivated, but as the first month passes some start to lose focus.  If you remember from last year we started with very specific and attainable goals that we could measure against and complete within a timeframe.  We’re not trying to boil the ocean here, we want to be very realistic with what we will accomplish.


Though my focus on today’s blog will be on certification, many aspects can be used for other goals.  One of the most important things for me when I study is my environment.  For me, my optimal environment is one of complete silence.  Others may prefer music or other background noise, but I find them distracting.  I prefer to be in a quiet isolated environment.  Another important area that helps me is to remove distractions.  This can be TV, your cell phone, video games, etc. – something that you might easy spend more time focusing on rather than studying.  The next thing may sound weird, but I create silly incentives.  For every chapter I complete or milestone I reach, I give myself a treat/snack.  I did mention it’s silly.  J  This can also be in the form of taking breaks.  We’ve likely all sat in trainings or meetings that ran way to long and stopped focusing… make sure your take breaks.  But of all the things I do, the one thing that helps me the most is to drill and review (repeat).  I review all the time and after breaks, I will go back far enough to make sure I understand the concepts and when I lay in bed before I go to sleep, I reply what I learned in my head.  It may sound crazy, but it helps me retain what I learn.


I’m really just doing 5 things and think about how you might apply this to something else, let’s say exercise.


  1. Environment = Gym
  2. Remove distractions = Don’t play with your cell phone when working out
  3. Create incentives = Maybe you can have dessert one night for working out all week
  4. Take breaks = Don’t work on the same muscle group day after day
  5. Review (repeat) = Do more sets


Maybe not the perfect example, but you get the point and for the record, I’m not saying it can be applied to everything.


What are things that help you achieve your goals?  How disciplined to you feel this year?  What might prevent you to achieve your goals and what are some workarounds?  Have you started making excises on your progression? I’d love to hear from you!