February is usually the month of love, but honestly we should be celebrating love throughout the whole year. I don’t mean the “Oh I love YOU significant other!” kind, I’m talking about self- love. The kind of care you give yourself to help create a balanced life. What better way to celebrate yourself than to indulge in some personal development. Learning is one of those things we tend to forget about after college or outside of formal training and its important to carve out time for education.
That is why this month’s inspirational theme is Discovery.
Each month I’ll be sharing a word to live by, something to carry with you over the next 30-ish days. Last month we worked on Rejuvenation for the new year. Now that it’s February this is the perfect time to learn, explore and discover new insight for your personal and business life.
Learning + Self Discovery
While we are super lucky to have this amazing technology called the internet at our fingertips, it sometimes can start to suck you in. (Be honest, you know it happens to you!) Sitting down to check email for what you hoped would only take five minutes now turns into 2 hours sifting through blogs, Pinterest, Facebook and cool videos. The internet is a great tool to help us discover, but it can also suck away your precious time. To help you focus, set up a timer on your desktop or mobile phone to limit your play time.
Here are a few other great ways to learn, find new inspiration and discover:
Duh. Those things with actual pages can be a nice break from screens. I recently started a virtual book club for this very reason. My brain just feels better after reading- right?
- Enroll in an online e-course
There are so many awesome courses if I could just take 2 weeks out of my life and spend all the money in the world that I DON’T have, it would be on learning through online courses. Take a class from anyone of these fab ladies (Molly Mahar, Jenny Blake, Leonie Dawson, Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte, Laura Roeder or anything from the Alt Summit) and it will be the best investment of your time and energy. Or, check out a local course from SkillShare where you’ll learn from experts in your area for no more than $20. Some courses are even offered online, just in case you can’t meet in real life. Plus, the courses vary in topic from designing your own sneakers to learning how to code your first webpage. Seriously, go check it out.
The best way to learn is to teach others. Trust me. Coming from an adjunct professor, I can honestly say I learn more when I teach than when I have the semester off.
- Host a focus group
Except, don’t call it a focus group. Call it a brainstorm, fireside chat, coffee connect or something cute and fun. Focus groups are an awesome way to get feedback on an idea and learn from others in a similar space.
- Create an RSS feed reader
If you don’t know what RSS means, it stands for Real Simple Syndication and basically any website or blog on the planet has a feed. When that site is updated, you get a copy of the newest post or entry dropped into your reader (library of all your RSS feeds.) It’s a cool way to stay updated on news and blogs without having to individually visit them. This saves TONS of time on a Monday morning. I recently unsubscribed from all my newsletters that kept infiltrating my email inbox and now rely on RSS instead. Google makes a reader that connects with your Gmail or Google Plus account.
- Interview your role models
Create a list of inspirational movers and shakers you want to know. Reach out to them and ask to connect over the phone, Skype or in person. You will be surprised at how many people accept! P.S. Get excited I have a HUGE goal in 2013 to interview 100 awesome women doing things to change the world so stay tuned.
- Go somewhere
There are literally hundreds of conferences, workshops and special meetups and events for any industry taking place RIGHT NOW. Again, thank the internet and search for your niche and I guarantee you’ll find an event, maybe even a local gathering to attend. Or, better yet use this month to start planning personal development and education for the entire year. Watch for an upcoming post on suggestions of my absolute favorite conferences and events.
So what will you do this month to show yourself some love? A learning opportunity is just around the corner.