Does your New Year resolution include
If you are like me, this happens every year around this time of the year; we make a list of things we want to accomplish in the upcoming year. The typical ones are lose weight, exercise more, travel more, be in a meaningful relationship, reconnect with friends, save more money, start a hobby, get a better job, etc. Why not learn new skills and become CCDE-certified? How do you stay motivated to achieve your goal? Well, everyone is different, but this is what works for me and I hope you can relate.
Establish SMART goals
Do you want to grow your career? Get a better job? Make your current job easier? Get a promotion? Everything worth doing requires some degree of effort, and if you can’t articulate why you want to achieve your goal in the first place, chances are you won’t get motivated to do what it takes to achieve it. A small trick to establishing goals:
Specific – What do I want to accomplish?
Measurable – How will I keep track of progress?
Achievable – Is the goal realistic? What is the plan to achieve it?
Relevant – Is it aligned with my career goals?
Time-bound – When do I want to achieve it? Does it have a phased approach?
How to make it happen
Check the latest blueprint and take the time to realistically evaluate your strengths and areas for improvement. Your plan should include how to tackle the improvement areas using various types of preparation resources: books, Cisco Live presentations, Cisco Validated Designs, courses, etc. but remembering less is more! To keep yourself motivated, track your progress as you go. Take a look at the Streamlined Preparation Resources at the CCDE Written Exam Study Material page to help you self-evaluate, inform you of the prescriptive preparation resources tailored to your needs, and track your progress.
What not to do
My day like yours has only 24 hours, so to make sure your plan will be indeed achievable you may have to minimize some things. Don’t cut out things that make you happy because you’ll need to keep spirits high, but I’m sure there are things that you can reduce or change to accommodate your goal. Excessive TV or Facebook can easily eat precious minutes/hours from your day, time that could be used in the pursuit of your goal. Avoid procrastination.
Keep it up
Just like exercising, it’s easier to keep the pace if you get a companion. There is a proverb that says, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, get someone to go with you. Chances are, there are other people out there with the same goal as you, so find a study partner. You can start looking on the CLN CCDE Study Group page. In network design, it is especially important to have someone you can bounce design ideas listen to their pros and cons, and make adjustments to the plan as necessary.
If your New Year resolution involves becoming CCDE-certified or simply become a better network designer, this Unleashing CCDE blog series aims to help you on your journey.
What are your New Year resolutions? Is there a topic you want to hear about on my upcoming blogs? Add it to the comments field!
Elaine Lopes is the CCDE and CCAr Certifications Program Manager and Team Lead for the CCIE program team, and she’s passionate about how lives can change for the better through education and certification.
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