I try my best at the end of every year to spend some time looking back over the previous twelve months – sometimes beyond – and reflecting on what I have learned. I think this sort of personal after action review is an important practice for many reasons, but here are a few key ones:
- We know that learning requires repeated exposure. One shot rarely does the trick.
- We know that learning is strengthened if we are able to connect it into our lives – and going back to think through how we have – or might have – applied some of our learning helps greatly with this process
- Looking back is essential for looking forward. While you don’t want to live in the past, it is helpful to have a sense of what you have accomplished, to identify patterns, to figure out what it makes sense to build upon – or possibly to change or eliminate.
While there is not single best way to engage in review and reflection, here’s a high level process, grounded in research, that I thought readers here might find helpful:
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Hoping to up your learning game in the new year? Through this Friday, January 15 you can download 10 Ways to Be a Better Learner to your Kindle or Kindle app (on other devices) for free. 10 Ways covers areas like:
- Adopting the Right Mind Set
- Cultivating Your Learning Network
- Asking Questions Effectively
- Being an Active Notetaker
- Setting and Managing Goals
- Practicing, Deliberately
- Using Technology Better
And more! It’s brief and to the point – the kind of read you can get through in one sitting and then refer back to easily later. To get your free Kindle copy, just go to:
Happy New Year,
A while back I wrote a post called The Learning Walk: A Primer which proved to be quite a bit more popular than I expected. A recommend reading it – everything I say in it still holds true – but the main idea is that walking is a simple habit that can contribute significantly to learning.
Since that time, I’ve come across any number of articles and studies that confirm the benefits of walking. For the purposes of this post, I thought I’d highlight two: one that addresses the mental health benefits of walking and one that highlights its impact on creativity. Read more >>