Reach your goals faster – 5 steps to a personal learning plan

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For many, spending around 15 years acquiring education is enough. Graduating from post-secondary studies usually signals the end of formal education. But in today’s competitive and fast-paced world, what you learned in university or college may not be enough. Watch this video from the Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning to know why you need continuous learning:

The illiterate of the 20th century are not those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler

“Lifelong learning your way” by the Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning.

Based on the video, we need to continuously learn because of the following demands on modern life:

  • Life expectancy is getting longer. In fact, it has more than doubled in the last millennium. To continue living productive and enjoyable lives, we need to use our minds and learn new skills.
  • We are experiencing advances in technology more than any other generation. To keep up with these changes, we need to acquire new skills and new ways of thinking.
  • An average person may expect six to seven career changes in their lifetime. Because of technological changes, jobs are not for life anymore. People can expect their careers to be in constant flux.
  • We expect more career changes and life transitions in these times. This requires developing the capacity to re-invent ourselves.

It’s a good thing that learning is easier than ever before. Various learning options are available for newcomers to Manitoba (and to everyone, really). You can learn formally through schools or institutes; non-formally in a variety of environments outside the learning institution. Examples are webinars, or trainings and seminars from community organizations, libraries, and other organizations; and informally when you learn from everyday experiences.

With the many options available, this is where a personal learning plan can come in handy. Here are five tips to start off:

  1. Do a self-assessment

    An honest and thorough self-assessment will be a good foundation for your learning plan. Knowing your skills, values, and preferences is a good start. Read the article Self-assessment: Your first step to success to know how to do a thorough assessment.

  2. Study your ideal career path

    Look at the job description of the position you want to get (or promoted to), and identify the required skill set and credentials/qualifications needed for that job.

  3. Compare your skills to the skills needed for your goal

    You can list these down, based on your self-assessment (#1) and the skills on #2.  Then identify which skills you need to acquire and study/train for.

  4. Make an action plan

    Write down what you need to achieve using action statements, and then the smaller steps that will lead you to achieving them.  It will look something like this:

    Action plan: Improve language proficiency

    • Enroll in online class with English Online – September, 2021
    • Volunteer at the community center – October-December, 2021
    • Read one book every two weeks – Starting September, 2021
  5. Make your plan SMART

    For your plan to work, it must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (or Relevant) and Time-bound. Your plan must contain as much detail as possible and should be set within reasonable time limits.

Article updated September 15, 2021.

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Community Resources

English Online instructors can help you draft your own learning plan. Register with us and start realizing your learning goals.

Join one of our monthly Setting your Smart Goals seminars on Skype. Learn tools and strategies to make goals and surefire ways to achieve them. Registered clients may join simply by clicking on a link on the EO Community Chat when the seminar is offered.

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