Learning is not a spectator sport.Anonymous
You want to speak Chinese in six month? You want to fly an airplane in four weeks? You want to moderate your own workshops in two days? Everything is possible — but it requires a certain effort. You need to learn a number of things before you achieve the required level. The same applies when you establish a plan for your participants.
Establishing a learning plan
Each plan has — you guessed it already — a goal. Goal setting is absolutely necessary. Once you have an overall objective you are able to divide the big, overwhelming aim into small, realistic and manageable steps. These small steps can fit into your weekly as well as daily schedule. Let’s assume you can find three 2-hour periods of free time each week. Then you should block this time in your calendar and work on your goal — regularly.
You will need time for repetition. Be realistic in the quantity of work that you can achieve. You won’t simply be able to learn 1,000 words a day for example. No human being is able to do that. Each individual has his or her own pace. Find yours and accept it.
…and Rewards in your learning plan
You need breaks and rewards. Celebrate milestones in between. Let’s say you learn a new language. In order to speak basically you will need around two thousand words. If you reach five hundred you have gone a long way already. That’s one fourth! Time to party!
It’s not enough to think of the learning plan. It’s not enough to write it down on a sheet of paper, but you must write it down and block the time in the calendar — week by week. You will only reach Mount Olympus if every step you take is in the right direction.
Set the learning strategies
Test different learning strategies and mnemo techniques (Learn to learn). Apply the ones, which suits you the most, where you get the best results. You can measure it during your testing. These strategies and techniques should then become part of your learning plan. This will be also a reference for your future endeavours, on which you can base on.
An objective, a learning plan and self-discipline will get you where you want. When planning please be realistic! First, you won’t always be in the mood to learn. Second, there will be disturbances. Try to eliminate them as much as possible (switch off your mobile, find a room for yourself, take time away from friends and family).