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At the beginning of a new year, many of us have resolutions that we strive to keep during the months ahead. One of your New Year’s resolutions for this year may be to put steps in place to further your career in project management by obtaining a PRINCE2® certification.

Yet, we understand how it is: after a long and challenging day at work it can often be difficult to return home and start studying in preparation for your exams. With over 25 years’ of experience in Project Management training for both individual and corporate learners, we have come up with the following to help motivate you to learn:

1. Career goal

Whether you’re working towards a promotion or envisaging a career change, keeping your career goals in mind can be an important way of making sure you achieve them.

2. Competition

If your dream job is highly competitive, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Your peers are likely to have obtained an impressive certification portfolio so keeping your own certifications and learning up-to-date, is key to differentiating yourself and ultimately helping you secure your ideal job.

3. Learning road map

It is common to base course choices on eye-catching publicity, vague ideas, and appealing prices. This can often leave you studying for the wrong course. To choose the right course, think about what you want to achieve from your studies and make sure you choose a subject that interests you. Devise a learning route to cover the next few months by noting down your goals and the steps you can take to achieve them. Not only will you have a clear plan for the coming months, but this can incentivise you to study.

4. Why am I learning this?

Sometimes when studying, it can be easy to become de-motivated and forget why you started. Keeping your career goal in mind will remind you of the importance of persevering, and if your company has put your name forward for a course, it’s important to understand why? What is the expectation? How do they perceive it will improve your contribution to the organisation?

5. Employer support

If you have signed up to a course under your own initiative, your employer’s understanding and backing could be an important part of your success. Show how the course will help you, your manager, and the organisation in order to gain their support.

6. Peer support

Your support network can be crucial when learning. Getting your colleagues on board is important, and making use of online learning communities, digital and collaborative learning environments , free downloads, blogs, and social media channels such as Twitter and Google+ can help provide the support you need.

7. Tutor support

Make sure that your chosen learning provider’s tutor support reflects what you require. For example, many of ILX Group’s e-learning students have found the remote tutor support useful in keeping them on track and motivated.

8. Personal mentoring

Alongside your peer and tutor support, finding a personal mentor amongst colleagues or friends can help keep you engaged.

9. Inspiring course

Nothing will send you to sleep faster than a boring course. Finding a course that is engaging is vital in keeping your motivation high. Additionally, think about which form of learning works best for you. All options available have their advantages: online learning allows you to study at your own pace and at a time that suits you. The more traditional method of learning in a classroom means that a tutor can guide you through the course as you learn. Blended learning is a mixture of online learning and classroom, giving you the best of both worlds.

10. Maximise learning

Planning a learning schedule around existing commitments before starting your course can keep your studies on track. This will help you to utilise your free-time effectively and maximise your time for learning.

11. Achievable milestones

Set yourself key milestones throughout your learning journey. For example if you have a 500 page book to read for your course, trying to complete it in one sitting can be overwhelming. Setting achievable milestones and goals will make your learning manageable and less daunting.

12. Preparation

When you’re studying, it’s important that you don’t fall behind. It is essential that you complete any pre-reading or work that’s been set, before starting your course. .

13. Peak learning time

We all vary as to when we are at our most productive. With this in mind, make sure you understand when your peak learning time is to ensure you remain engaged and motivated whilst studying.

14. Revision

There is no escaping revision when you have exams. Allocate sufficient time to revise before the exam and make the most of revision tools such as exam simulators and games.

15. Timely breaks

Whether it’s a short break for a coffee or a quick walk, a break can help you relax and return to your studies with a fresh mind.

16. Small celebrations

When you reach a milestone, however small, it’s important to celebrate. This can help improve your engagement and inspire you to finish.

17. Responsibility

With your career, it is your responsibility to see everything through to the end. Remembering this will help to keep you motivated throughout your studies.

18. Finish line

Regularly remind yourself of your career goals and reasons for studying your qualification to help keep you motivated and eager to learn.