The more things change, the more they stay the same

This week I spent a lot of time thinking about how I motivate myself to accomplish what I need and want to achieve. Goals and process are very important to me; in my professional life goals and process are central to success.  I have had some big professional changes this year. In the midst of this hectic period I often ask myself why I accepted additional professional responsibilities. My husband reminds me about the options and choices I will have as a result of this 18 month professional effort.  I am reminded daily of how my studies with The University of London International Programmes made this great opportunity possible, and how the skills I develop in the course of self-directed study contribute to my professional success.

 ‘Professional Success’ is a big topic in the University of London and Goldsmiths’ College Alumni social networking groups.  Since I am both an alumnus and a current student, I thought my unique perspective might help new students and recent graduates realize how valuable their degree and the specific process of self-directed study can be. My experience inspires me to study even harder while managing a full-time job, being a partner in a business and running a home and family.  When my professional colleagues hear about this program, they are fascinated and motivated about the possibility to achieve some of their own elusive goals. How we study opens up conversations that address productivity, management, and measurement. It demonstrates that I am self-sufficient, can work independently and manage multiple, complex tasks.

 Being self-sufficient is extremely important in our kind of study; it is also something I find incredibly appealing. I like  problem solving, including solving the problem of creating a study process and managing study resources. In my experience this has proved to be a valuable professional skill; as valuable as mastering my academic subject.  Luckily for me my husband also appreciates the value of being self-sufficient. He loves that I am engaged in this intensely productive period and would think I had taken complete leave of my senses if I did not commit to excel in each of the demanding arenas that now define my days; my job, my business and my studies get the best part of me on most days.

 Deciding what gets the best part of me each day is one key to my time management. The other is making certain I am not pulled from my objectives. My husband, who is such a marvelous, patient supporter of mine, advocates for the 3 D’s: Determination, Discipline and Detachment. Do not underestimate ‘Detachment’. It helps me set ‘smart’ goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely),  appreciate what kind of professional skills I am developing, and how to best position myself to achieve the goals that are important to me professionally and personally as well as academically.

 My academic rewards are very satisfying; I had no idea how satisfying the professional and personal rewards of this degree would prove to be.  This week the  Alumni Newsletter contained a link to The University of London International Programmes YouTube Edu Channel. There are some wonderful conversations there about goals, processes, and possibilities. While I consider how to manage this year, with all the changes in my professional life and studying the Advanced Units, I began to realize what I have accomplished in my course of study and that I would not change a thing, just continue learning and achieving.

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