A few years ago, I spent a significant amount of time in San Francisco.
I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but SF is a massive gold mine of good food. Coming from London, this was a revelation and gourmet emancipation of epic proportions.
Of course, this didn’t bode well for my waist line. Upon returning to London, my doughy, pudgy, sorry self decided to properly get in shape, and go running every day.
My experience in the months that followed taught me something: a simple but powerful lesson that you can implement, today, to make sure you increase your studying discipline in your CFA prep.
At the start of my running efforts, I had to contend with a powerful demotivator – I hated running. I am not one of those types that naturally love to run or exercise – I am probably the laziest slob on the face of the earth. I detested running fervently, made worse with the less-than-stellar London weather. However it was the easiest and most convenient way to exercise, so I decided to stick with it and instead, see how I could motivate myself better.
My observations after a week or so were interesting: the majority of the barrier to overcome my demotivation to running is to simply make time, put on my running gear and get out of the door. Once I forced myself out, I found that motivating myself to run became much easier. After all, I was already out, the time was already spent, so I might as well run and get some exercise out of it.
So from then on, I’d motivate myself this way – every day, I’d tell myself to just get on my running gear and get out. If I really didn’t feel like running after doing that, I would allow myself to just turn right back home, and take the day off. No hard feelings.
The result? For 3 months, I never took a single day off.
I eventually switched to a combination of gymming, running, and others, but for that 3 month period, this simple motivational tool worked wonders.
How can this extend to your CFA prep?
What is the ‘barrier’ that is most difficult to overcome in your CFA studies?
For me it’s actually getting started – getting my books out, clearing a space, actually dragging my lazy ass to the table.
If you can just tell yourself to get started, and focus less on how much you have to get done, your success rate will grow by leaps and bounds. I guarantee it.
For every day you do manage to ‘set yourself up’ and put some quality time into CFA studies (even if it’s a little bit), mark your calendar with a big fat X. Eventually, your calendar may look something like this:
Small, simple tweaks like these are the key to changing your routine to becoming a more effective CFA candidate.
Do you have any similar habits you use to enforce CFA studying? Tell us in the comments below!