Learning

The Power of Self-Control in Learning

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You probably have plans for your future that drive you, but find it difficult to keep up your motivation to achieve these plans. These problems we all face with our self-control can negatively impact our personal learning journeys.

Comparing the short-term reward (e.g. Watching TV) versus the long-term reward (e.g. Studying to learn knowledge for your future) is often a challenge.

Short term rewards give you immediate satisfaction, and the emotional part of your brain loves this, whereas the logical part of the brain knows the long-term reward is better as it will benefit you much more overall.

How does your brain decide which is best? It differs for each scenario, but is often related to the timeframe and size of each outcome.

Like a muscle, we can train our self-control, making our brain prioritise long-term over short-term outcomes.

Higher levels of self-control are linked to better outcomes, so this is certainly worthwhile.

Heres some ways you can train your self control and boost your personal learning journey:

Setting Goals

By planning out your personal learning journey and setting goals you can keep track of where you are at.

Goals allow you to hold yourself accountable for your learning journey, and help you to stay motivated.

A great tip for setting your goals is to write them down, thinking them can work, but only if you are already well self-motivated.

Emotion

One major key driver pushing you to select short over long-term rewards are your emotions.

A way to get around this is to associate emotion with the long term rewards. Reminding yourself of the positive outcomes of working towards long term goals in your personal learning journey can build the positive thoughts you need to motivate you.

Typewriter with the word goals written on it

Monitoring

One major problem towards working towards long-term goals is that progress can often feel slow, putting you off working on them.

By monitoring your progress towards long-term goalsit can boost your motivation. This lets you visually see how you are doing, and show you getting closer to your goals.

Accountability

Having someone to hold you accountable to your goals can ensure that you stick to them. Often we end up giving up on our goals, because only ourselves know about them.

By having a mentor, tutor, or coach to help you along your personal learning journey, you can have a person who helps motivate you and push you along on your learning journey.


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