I typically am not a big fan of New Year’s as a holiday. I already have this annoying personal habit of getting really enthusiastic about new projects, finding a passion for them, making a plan….and then fizzling out. Look it up–my Insights Discovery results were basically 23 pages of detailed explanation on why I’m a great idea machine. And how I really need to work on followthrough. So New Year’s, with its focus on resolutions, kind of just feels like any other Tuesday to me, you know? But there is something I’ve been wanting to work on, so while I won’t call it a resolution, I’m definitely hoping it’ll stick.
I’m very passionate about learning on Trailhead. The gamification really vibes with me. I’m a true yellow/red, meaning I really thrive when I’m recognized for my accomplishments. In other words, bring on the badges. But usually, I find myself operating on Trailhead in fits and starts. I’ll just get *that* feeling, and in a couple of weeks, blow through thirty badges and a superbadge. Not a terrible thing. In my career and elsewhere in life, however, I’d like to work on my consistency. So when the 100 Days of Trailhead challenge for 2020 popped up on my feed, it was the one New Year’s thing I actually wanted to participate in.
To make this easier for myself, and for you, I’m offering up five tips to make consistent learning easy and attainable. Whether you’re already a pro, or just hoping to make it through the next 100 days, give these tips a try and tell me what you think!
Prepare for Time Pinches
I don’t know about you, but I already know that I am going to have at least one day, even in this next week, where I forget to do my hour of trailhead until, say, 10pm. Or when I have an event that night. Or when I’m traveling. Lucky for those of us with an iPhone, Trailhead Go is at the ready. To prepare ahead of time, I recommend making yourself a Trailmix of modules that are great for mobile learning. You can use mine for inspiration, or start doing these badges yourself!
Blaze Your Trails
My favorite area of Trailhead is the homepage–where they show me my in-progress Trails and Trailmixes. As a person who’s definitely a completionist in any video game (side quests ftw), I love having completed trails, and often, you might find that the last module of a trail offers some great side information you might not have thought would be useful. Using these extra badges for content will not only help round out your learning, but make it easier to say “What’s next?”
As I mentioned before, I have been a dabbler in the art of procrastination, so I can see myself easily waiting until the last minute to log into Trailhead each day, especially since, with the challenge, it’s prescribed work to do. So think ahead! During the week, know when you’re going to work on Trailhead. I plan on going into work half an hour early each day. Maybe you schedule blocks of time around lunch to learn. Or book your favorite conference room for that time. For weekends, know which modules or projects you want to complete so you can learn, but also have time for life with family and friends.
Don’t Sweat a Day
What’s the saying? Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game? Similarly, don’t let missed one day derail your Trailhead Train. The hardest part of any resolution, New Year’s or otherwise, is getting back to it if you start to slip. So if you miss a day, plan to make it up later in the week. Don’t force yourself to do double work the day immediately after, because you’ll perpetuate the negative feeling of the missed day by a forced longer day, and it’ll cause you to crash even more.
I could cite some scientific sources, but trust me. If you celebrate your wins, whether it’s by tweeting out your success, joining TopTrailblazers, or just having a group chat with some Trailbuddies, your brain will associate the positivity of the celebration with the learning–meaning, you’ll want to continue learning more!
So what are you waiting for? Get blazing! You can head to 100DaysofTrailhead.com to join the challenge (I promise, you can join late and catch up!) and learn more. And feel free to subscribe to Right Up My Allie for more Salesforce, Tech, and #GiveBack content every week!