5-Steps To Schedule Your Own Success


Does the following dream sound familiar?

You are back at your high school or college.  You are running through a familiar building seeing familiar faces of old friends and asking each one where the exam is being held.  No one seems to know and even if you get directions, you can’t seem to find the room.  As the clock keeps ticking by and the pressure mounts, you realize you are going to miss the exam…and you haven’t even studied!

Although I am not an interpreter of dreams, I have a theory about what your subconscious might be trying to tell you: you need to get back “on schedule.”  

You were once scheduled for success.

Even though you were a teen, you got a lot done with the same 24 hours you have now.  How were you able to be so productive even with each day of school possibly requiring daily exercise, musical instruments, math, english, history, the practicing of languages, sports and social interaction?  You had a precisely defined schedule and some level of fear ingrained to make sure you stuck to it!  Maybe it was fear of not graduating, not passing with A’s or just a fear of your parents, but either way, you showed up and got the job done.  Whether you have a high school or college diploma, that paper proves you had the ability to show up at the scheduled times and do the work to make the grade.

Maybe the “real world” should have a real schedule too.

Does your schedule seem a little more haphazard than back when you were in school?  If you aren’t sure, ask yourself if your life is neatly broken into scheduled, 1-hour blocks with distinct learning objectives and consequences if you don’t continue to grow.  You can also ask what topics you are currently studying, skills you are developing, books you are reading and or sports you are playing.  How about your social life?  Do you see your friends and family on a regular basis or does life now seem like an endless series of distractions and stress?  Do you feel there just isn’t time to do the things you want to do?  

I hope you will let me take the brief role of both your guidance counselor and principal to help you organize your schedule and hold you accountable.  As your success guidance counselor, I want you to imagine we are sitting down and going to select your upcoming schedule according to your interests and goals.  Your job will be to create a one-year plan according to my 5-Step process below and then commit to sticking to the schedule:

5-Steps To Schedule Your Own Success

STEP 1:  Select Your Major

What are you interested in right now?  Is there a certain skill or knowledge that, if you had it, would make you more valuable?  Is there a topic you would be excited to learn? 

ACTION ITEM:  Write out a list of potential “courses” from which you could benefit over the next year.  Here are some immediate classes I would recommend you fit in during your education:

Physical Education:  Get a gym membership and get consistent.

Business Finance:  Because you run a business called your life, learn to budget and account for it.

History:  Learn from your history and the mistakes of others so you don’t repeat them.

Creative Writing:  Take time to journal and write out your goals or next novel.  

Social Studies:  Improve your communication skills with family and friends.

Current Events:  Learn why you pay taxes, what you get for them and why you vote every 2 to 4 years.

Electives:  Pick up a new language, musical instrument or sport.

STEP 2:  Select Your Teachers and Class Times

Where are your open times to devote to learning?  Where can you find some time?  Do you like to learn on your own or in a group?  And if you cut some Netflix, social media or emails, you can find a few hours to be a student.

ACTION ITEM:  Identify the places in your schedule in which you will hold “classes.”  Pick times that can work for getting to the gym, reading necessary books, or actually taking a class.  Block them out in the calendar.

STEP 3:  Register

What is something you could do right now to get started? Powerful ways to get started are to make your class official by either signing up for your first class, purchasing a book or attending with a friend.  

ACTION ITEM:  Stop procrastinating and whatever the next step is to getting started, take it.

STEP 4:  Monitor Attendance and Grade Yourself

The best way to develop the habit of consistency is to track your behavior.  As you prove you can be a good student, you will start to be proud of that identity.

ACTION ITEM:  Just like your teachers kept “roll” for you, now it is time to keep track of your attendance and progress. Keep checking off your schedule and grade yourself on your performance. 

STEP 5:  Graduate To The Next Class

Once you have reached the goal of your class (read the book, mastered a topic or movement) then it is time to take on the next course.

ACTION ITEM:  Start at Step 1 again and select either a new class, program or book in a related topic of interest.  

Which school do you have time for?

When you were in school, you had to read, calculate, think and move.  Why was it so easy?  Because everything was scheduled and you had to show up.  Why is it so difficult once you graduate to the “real world?”  Because setting the schedule and accountability becomes your responsibility.  Yes, I know you have work.  I know kids and their own schedules can also get in your way too.  But I am challenging you today to GO BACK TO SCHOOL.   Whether it is adding daily activities like you had in high school or weekly classes like in college, I am challenging you to set your schedule for success and hold yourself to it.  Heck, even if all you have time for is “night school,” I challenge you to add one of the recommended courses to your schedule and stick.  And if you say you can’t, know this:

You are only going to be as successful as your schedule allows.

Yours In Strength,

Martin Rooney
Founder, Training For Warriors