Taking an online course can be a pretty solitary thing. It can also be a pretty passive one if you let it. It’s important, when you know you’re going to be sitting in front of the computer by yourself that you come up with ways to be accountable to yourself for learning the material and then implementing it.
The thing is, for the most part no one knows you are enrolled and would never know if you did or didn’t take any action. That’s one of the things that makes it so easy to collect a bunch of digital coursework on your computer and just let it sit there. The only way courses are going to get done is if you create some accountability to yourself.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a hard one for me.
Experts say that creating self-accountability isn’t really hard. You just need to come up with a strategy that works for you.
Here are 6 ways to be accountable to yourself when you’re doing online courses:
1. Preview the course before making a purchase
When you are considering a new course, do more than read the sales page. Sales pages are designed to get you emotionally triggered to buy. This is important because you don’t want to be bored or underserved by a course, but it’s also important to be realistic about whether or not a course is right for your business needs. It may be the coolest thing since sliced bread, but if it doesn’t fit with your current business model, it’s not worth the time or money you’d need to invest.
2. Do something with the course right away
Be accountable to yourself by digging into the work right away. Making the commitment beforehand can help you set aside the time and resources to work the course as it is designed.
3. Set up a schedule to complete the content
Whether there are classes or groups to attend, or a series of videos to consume, don’t become a passive participant. Schedule live coursework on your calendar rather than watch a replay. Participate in group chats or support groups to build relationships and get feedback and support.
4. Add daily action steps to your calendar
Add action steps to your daily calendar. Be sure to incorporate coursework and implementation with the same commitment. It won’t do any good to commit to learn the content but then fail to apply it to your business and take appropriate actions.
5. Find an accountability partner
Most people do well with an accountability partner. Having someone taking the course at the same time can be ideal, even if your business goals differ. If you can’t get a buddy in the course, consider telling a colleague or friend you are taking the course and ask them to support you for accountability.
6. Don’t buy more courses until you complete current ones
Most people rack up tons of courses hoping to get to them one day. Don’t allow yourself to buy more courses until you complete what you have. Creating the habit of seeing one thing through at a time is a healthy way to manage courses and make sure they have the desired impact on your business.
Having a clear pathway for accountability can help you sign up for courses with the confidence you’ll consume them and implement them rather than forget about them.