5 Ways to Make Sure You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

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1. Make it Measurable

It’s great to create larger, general goals like “I will get in shape” or “I will read more,” but it will be easier to figure out whether you’re meeting your goals if you create a game plan for it and know how to measure your progress. What would being “in shape” mean? Does that mean being able to bench or squat a certain amount? Or does that mean meeting a specific weight measurement? How much reading would qualify as “more”? Define what “success” looks like and then work on the metrics for it.

2. Keep it Visible

We tend to make New Year’s resolutions to accomplish harder tasks –things we already have trouble staying motivated to do or things we constantly forget.  Set up reminders for yourself to make good on your goals. This could mean putting a post-it note on your mirror as a reminder to see while you brush your teeth, setting a phone alert that recurs each day/week/month, or even changing your desktop background to some motivating image. Seeing the hints and mini pep talks everywhere will help you keep up with your resolution.

3. Have Fun

The actions you take to accomplish your goals should be enjoyable in and of themselves as well. If your goal is to eat healthier, don’t just suffer through “rabbit food” without enjoying it. Take the opportunity to look up healthier recipes for the foods you already love, substitute healthier ingredients and make the change gradual rather than immediate.

4. Find a Buddy

It’s hard to be the only one working toward a goal, so why not partner-up with a friend to achieve a common goal? Don’t just fly solo if your goal is to “read more,” why not start a book club and help your friends expand their reading horizons as well. Get your buddies to train for a marathon with you to get in shape. Join a meetup for developers or graphic designers so you have a network of mentors to support you as you lean new skills. You’ll not only make faster progress, you’ll also feel more motivated!

5. Make it Public

Research shows that making public commitments to achieving your goal will help you actually achieve it, especially if it’s a long-term goal. Don’t be afraid to share your resolution with the world. Having friends and family asking about your progress can be really motivating. Who knows, your public commitments can even help you accomplish your goals — consider the power of saying that you’ll find your dream job and then hearing about a new job opening as a result! To that end, we’ve created a gallery of New Year’s Resolutions to help you share yours! Check out the samples below and click here or follow the link on our homepage to find yours!

NYResolution13 NYResolution6NYResolution19 NYResolution5

 

 

Accredible Contest Hack #9: Leveraging the Power of Peers

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With the end of the #AwesomeSlates contest less than a week away, we’re ready to reveal perhaps the best contest hack yet:  how going social can help you gain endorsements on your Slates (and make them even stronger contest candidates!) and how a strong network can help you stay motivated!

As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates, we thrive when we feel a sense of belonging and feel respected. These very needs easily explain why “peer pressure” and the “bandwagon effect” can be so influential. While these might have negative associations, if we acknowledge the power of peer accountability, we can then leverage it to build networks that help us stick with a course of study, providing inspiration, motivation, and thought partners.

Find Study Buddies

Finding a group study with in college or in MOOCs is a great way to meet people that share your interests and can help you better understand the material you’re learning. Even if you are really confident in your own knowledge, if you find yourself in the position of explaining concepts to others in your group, you’ll find your own understanding solidifying and becoming more nuanced (Teaching is one of the best ways to learn!) So hop on a study forum for a MOOC or host a study session for some classmates.

Go Public

Accredible endorsements are simply quotes from colleagues and peers that attest to your knowledge or skill. After creating a Slate, and filling it up with your impressive collection of evidence, you should ask for endorsements! Asking for endorsements for your Slate can be a intimidating, but the rewards vastly outweigh the initial nervousness. Gaining endorsements boosts your credibility; this is especially valuable for people who may not know you as well or know you within a particular context. Besides the main benefit of gaining credibility and looking even more like the rock star you are, you gain…

  • Increased motivation to continue adding evidence and build out your strengths. The more people see your work after you’re done and shared your Slate with community, the more motivated you’re to put much more into it – creating Slate and learning itself. Accredible helps you to create a portfolio of your mind with every Slate representing your capabilities, talents and value. Accredible allows you to share your achievements with the world and document all your knowledge, making it timeless and enduring.
  • An avenue for feedback about your learning. Feedback is crucial for improvement because it allows you to take a deeper look at yourself and spot weaker areas.  You can get many ideas for improving your work, and even get suggestions for other topics to look into, by sharing your knowledge profile publicly and sharing your Slates.
  • An expanded network. This was an unexpected discovery for us. Some users found new friends based on interests when they shared their Slates with community.

 

Our educational journeys are enriched by the people who cheer us on, critique our missteps, celebrate our achievements, and endorse our strengths.  Don’t be afraid to share your new slates with the world — even if they’re still “blank slates,” you’re inviting others to follow your journey.

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox, an Overview

7. Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm

8. Adding Creativity to your Toolbox

9. Leveraging the Power of Peers (current)

 

 

Accredible Contest Hack #8: Adding Creativity to Your Toolbox

via flickr: Eddi van W.

Creativity is a key that unlocks doors of great opportunities, innovative products, and original solutions for different problems in a variety of fields. It is one of the main skills for 21st century… the question is, how do you develop creativity?

Practice thinking outside of the box
First, you need to develop the habit of seeing things differently, Thinking outside of box is a mindset that once developed is hard to lose, and like any skill, it gets easier with consistent practice.

Begin by relaxing and emptying your mind. Consider the problem that you want to solve and approach it from as many different angles and perspectives as possible…even nonsensical ones. When you’re brainstorming in this way, associative thinking is your greatest ally. And remember, if you get in the habit of thinking from multiple angles often, you’ll begin to see new associations and ideas on a regular basis! (Another great way to develop this skill is to take a course on it — Try NovoEd’s A Crash Course on Creativity)

Be Observant & Take Notes
Even the most mundane things, such as personal routine, can give provide many insights and new ideas. Notice patterns in the world around you, write down your observations, and reflect on why those choices were made. Applications like Google Keep or Evernote are useful for capturing thoughts on-the-go. If you make a practice of writing down your thoughts, you’ll not only start to see hidden details that you might have missed if you weren’t paying attention, but you’ll also find yourself becoming better at articulating your thoughts in everyday conversation and discussion. You can also review notes and combine and mix different ideas. To optimize the creation of new ideas and connections, use brightly colored pens or markers and plenty of images. Though they may not be the tools associated with a “serious” workplace, they can help create a more visually compelling brainstorm and help us see connections we may not have considered.

Rediscover Your Inner Child
Do you remember being a child and thinking that the world was full of wonder and magic? Kids are filled with curiosity and a desire to explore. Rediscovering your inner child can help you to recapture that sense of endless possibility. Keep asking “why,” always staying curious. In his famous Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs reminded us to, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Turn Everything into a Game
Games can be useful for your work and studies they help you to do things more productively without losing enjoyment. Games are enticing because even when you’re working towards a goal, the gameplay itself is energizing and fun. Games are also enticing because “failure” can easily be fixed; there’s always a way to restart. Bringing this optimistic mindset from gaming to your coursework or career goals is greatly beneficial; this mindset can transform your work and studies from labor to an amazing journey which will set you free of any fears you may encounter. Moreover, it brings freedom and ingenuity into your work – no more faking and hardships, as there’s no losing in the end, only winning.

Try creating Accredible Slates for different skills and areas of your life to help you stay motivated and track your progress; turn your goals into a game. Next time you get stuck, take a walk through our gallery for inspiration on how to create awesome Slates (and don’t forget there’s still time to enter the #AwesomeSlates Contest and win $150 for each winning slate you’ve made)!

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible

6. Skills ToolBox, an Overview

7. Filling Your Skills ToolBox: How to Brainstorm

8. Adding Creativity to your Toolbox (current)

 

Accredible Contest Hack #5: How to Make the Most of Accredible

In the last few blog posts we gave you some insights about general creation of Slates. Today we’ll show you how you can use all the features of Accredible to make truly Awesome Slates.

 

Step 1. Organize.

Like a book begins with a prologue, your Slate begins with aSummary. We’ve already talked a lot about it but it’s crucial for reviewers of your Slate to see the right Summary.
First of all, they should cover the most important points of your learning experience.
Secondly,
your Summary should be readable – people will appreciate your work more if the summary is pithy and clean. Try to include only the most relevant information and to use bullet points for dividing the knowledge/learning.


Work.One of the most useful features for organizing the work is the ability to move position. Put the most important, like Statement of Accomplishment or Diploma, at the top. If some documents are important, but you cannot place them in the top you can use either – change the size or highlight them.


Keep the similar docs together (like homework assignments in one place, quizzes in another, your reflections and essays in a third, etc). The alternative is to use labels for particular types of work. Earlier you could use only defaults such as “course work”, “notes”, “grades”, “extra work”. Now Slates have evolved and you can edit labels which makes your Slates more flexible and personalized.

 

Step 2. Beautify.

For making  beautiful Slates you can use the following ideas:

  • Position work wisely. Put one size docs on a row, larger size pictures or mind maps on another row. Highlight the most interesting and beautiful pieces of your Slate and place them in a particular pattern. When you are polishing your Slate, remember that people like symmetry.

    image

  • Edit the image of Slate. For formal and informal learning we introduced all the MOOC platforms and most universities. But what if you do a Slate for a skill you’ve learned but there aren’t any images in the library? Don’t worry, you can upload your own image which will make your Slate more creative and personal.

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  • Beautifying Slates- have fun! Don’t stick to one course of action or take beautifying as a requirement. Just play around with your docs, change the sizes of pictures, move positions, try different images. Some people already submitted Slates that impress us with a beautiful overall appearance.

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Step 3. Make it Accredible.

Some people believe that it’s impossible to achieve perfection. We believe that everyone can do their best and be exemplary. When you have uploaded all your notes, homework and statements, the only last piece that separates you from perfection (exemplary Slate) are endorsements. Share your achievements with colleagues via Linkedin, with family via email, with friends via Facebook or with the whole community (including the Accredible community) via Twitter.Show what you’re worth. You’re more than numbers or obscure lines in CVs and this is your chance to prove it.


Moreover, you can talk  about what you know.
It’s better one time to see, than one hundred times to hear. Grab your webcam and shoot a video of you explaining different concepts from your Slate. Or tell people about your work experience. Or what you learned beyond official syllabuses. That will sound persuasive.

 

Your Slate is a piece of you, which shows your intellectual identity. Also, it’s your chance to save what’s really important to remember. We live in a century when overabundance of information makespeople to forget significant things. Accredible is your personal wiki which allows you to remember everything that matters. In the next few hacks we’ll open you a ToolBox of skills that will help you to be in shape, unlock creativity, plan wisely and play with work.


If you have any question, ideas or feedback, feel free to comment or drop a line to hello@accredible.com. What features do you like the most? What would you love to have? What are you struggles connected to self-learning?

Share it with us and Accredible community on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ or in comments.

 

This post is part of a series on the Hacks to Create Winning Slates:

0. Contest Announcement

1. MOOC Slates

2. “Saylor category for self-paced learning” Slates

3. Formal Learning Slates

4. Knowledge/Skill Slates 

5. How to Make the Most of Accredible (current post)

6. Skills ToolBox. Overview