Date: January 7, 2022
How to get started with your course in 2022
Happy New Year from a wet and wintry Bournemouth!
As I’m fond of mentioning 😉 I live close to the beach. Like five minutes walk away. And over the summer and autumn, I swam in the sea fairly often.
But until a few days ago I hadn’t done a bona fide winter swim.
Yes, I talked about how I was definitely going to do it. Soon. But on any particular day, I always had a good reason not to actually do it.
Do you know what finally got me started? I got some cold water swimming gear for Christmas. Thermal socks and gloves and one of those fleecy ponchos to warm you up after your swim.
Let’s face it, I could hardly have all the kit and then not use it.
So on Sunday, with my little boy on the beach shouting “Come back, Daddy!” I ran in and took the plunge. Wearing just the socks and my swimming shorts.
I was only in for a couple of minutes and it was… invigorating!
The thing is, getting started is difficult but sometimes it just takes one thing to help you overcome the inertia.
So if you’re struggling to get started with your course (or restart after a break) here are a few quick ideas to help:
Find somewhere to “lurk” where you can learn more about your target audience just by observing. Facebook Groups are a great place to start. What are members confused or frustrated by? What are they asking peers for help with? What achievements do they celebrate?
Dig out the last thing you worked on relating to your course — a rough outline, a lesson draft, a page of scribbled notes — and highlight the best bits. It’s easier to be objective after some time has passed. Using these fresh insights, create a new, all improved version of it.
Draft an email or social media post announcing your course as though it already exists. Allow yourself to live in that future moment for a few seconds. What does it feel like to have reached that point? Now jump back to the present and work out what needs to happen to get there.
Book one hour in your weekly calendar for working on your course. I recommend Monday mornings before the week has had a chance to take hold, but pick any slot you know you’ll stick to. (If you can’t spare an hour a week, it means courses aren’t a priority right now, and that’s just fine.)
Brainstorm 10 titles and taglines for your future course. When something has a name it takes on a life of its own — it becomes a real thing, not just a vague notion. Pick your favourite title. Then, just for fun, ask a few other people for their favourites. And remember, you can always change it.
Write out a list of reasons that you didn’t make more progress with your course in 2021. Capture every conceivable explanation, even if it seems whiny. Highlight the three reasons most likely to derail you again in 2022, then make a mini-plan to tackle each one. Just hoping this year will be different isn’t enough.
Finally, thinking about your target audience, brainstorm a few ways you could help them get started on their goals. (Feel free to adapt any of the ideas in my list.) Share it on social media or anywhere else your audience hangs out. Write a short article and post it on Medium. Just get your ideas out there.
Here’s to getting started (or restarted) in 2022. Hope it’s a great year for you!
See you soon,
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