Crafting Learning Habits in 2024: Unlock the Power of Learning Intention

Think of a time when you’re signed up for some amazing courses or training programs or you start to build a new habit. At the beginning, you are feeling charged up and ready to tackle them head-on. But let’s have a real talk: how often do we actually stick to these plans and see them through to the end?

If your answer is “not many”, you are not alone and that’s totally okay! It’s super common to start something with a burst of energy and then… well, life happens.

But when things don’t go as planned, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of doubting yourself. You might even start feeling like you’re a total failure, worse, like you’re an imposter.

But hey, let’s hit the pause button on the self-blame game and take a little trip down memory lane to our childhood days!🌟🚀

A woman and a young girl are smiling and reading a book together at a desk in a room with bookshelves and a bright, cozy atmosphere.

Remember when we were kids, or if you watch the little ones around, there is this adorable thing they all do — they’re like walking, talking “why” machines. “Why’s the sky blue?”, “Why do I have to eat veggies?”, “Why does it rain?”

We weren’t just asking to be annoying (well, not always); we were genuinely fascinated and keen to learn. Our minds were bursting with this thing called ‘learning intention’. We wanted to understand the world, and every question was a step closer to that goal.

Fast forward to our school years, and something changed. Suddenly, it was all about grades, not the joy of learning. Our wonderful ‘why’s and our journey of discovering the world around us got overshadowed by the chase for grades.

In the professional world, it wasn’t about growing anymore; it was about collecting certificates like Pokémon cards. Don’t get me wrong. Grades and certificates have their place, they are the rewards like the cherry on top, but not the whole sundae. Our learning is about aligning with our life’s goals, our passions and finding that deeper intention — that’s the real deal.

I’ll admit it, I lost sight of my ‘why’ for a long time too. But then, I stumbled upon the McKinsey Forward program, and it did open my eyes (or rather, reminded me) about the power of ‘learning intention.’

So, what is this “Learning Intention”?

It’s pretty simple, actually. Learning intention is about digging deep and finding what really gets you excited about learning. It is rediscovering the ‘why’ behind our learning.

Setting a learning intention isn’t just about ticking off a list or some fancy phrase; it’s about genuinely enjoying the journey. ✅

By asking these questions below, you can find your learning intention:

  • What’s the big picture?
  • What drives you in life, and
  • How can this learning program help you get there?

If it seems too massive, break it down into bite-sized pieces. This way, you can dive in without feeling overwhelmed and keep the momentum going.

Plus, every little achievement gives you a boost of dopamine — it’s like getting a high-five from your brain, keeping you motivated! It is the “reward” behind your learning habit.🎁

A guide to set your learning intention:

If you’re in search of a framework to shape your learning intention, feel free to use this handy pattern:

I intend to <learn something>,

therefore I can <reach my dream/bigger purpose in life>.

Examples of Learning Intention

If you’re looking for some inspiration to kick-start your learning journey, check out these awesome examples of learning intention.

Professional Development:

  • “I intend to learn Python programming to enhance my data analysis skills, enabling me to take on more complex projects at work.”
  • “My intention is to master public speaking to become more confident in presenting my ideas in meetings and conferences.”

Personal Growth:

  • “I aim to learn German to improve my fluency for basic conversations, which will help me in my travels and in connecting with German-speaking friends.”
  • “I want to study the basics of gardening to grow my own vegetables, promoting a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.”

Academic Objectives:

  • “My intention in studying physics is to gain a deeper understanding of the laws that govern the universe, which fascinates me.”
  • “I plan to learn about world history to better understand current global dynamics and my place in the world.”

Creative Pursuits:

  • “I intend to learn digital photography to capture the beauty of nature and express my artistic side.”
  • “My goal is to master playing the guitar, so I can write and perform my own songs.”

Health and Wellness:

  • “I aim to practice yoga regularly to improve my physical health and mental well-being.”
  • “My intention is to learn about nutrition and healthy cooking to enhance my family’s health and enjoy meal times together.”

A little extra tip:

Picture yourself genuinely enjoying the journey as you work towards these goals — watch your dreams turn into reality!

Now, it is time to set your own learning intention!

Here’s the best part: We’ve all been masters of learning intentions as kids. So, what do we need to do now? The key is to reconnect with that inner child who asked ‘why’ about everything.

“Why am I curious about this? How does learning this make my life richer, better, or get me closer to who I want to be?” Once you figure that out, you’ll find the drive to stick with it, no matter the hurdles.

So, let’s not just learn; let’s learn with intention. Rediscover that childlike wonder. Ask the ‘why’s’, chase the dreams, and make learning a thrilling adventure again. Trust me, it’s worth it! 🚀📚

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