by Susane Pata
Many fitness professionals walk out of a live continuing education course on an incredible high note. They have gotten some clarity on a topic of choice, learned new and exciting concepts and techniques, and feel inspired. They are excited to use what they just learned as soon as they get back to their fitness job whether it is in fitness management, meeting with their personal training clients, or teaching group fitness classes.
Yet many of the very same course participants end up neglecting to do just that. So, what happens here? Did they attend merely to be entertained for a day?
In a sense, it is a “failure to launch.” This term typically has to do with young adults who are fearful to make the leap and lead a self-supported life due to lack of preparation or desire, or simply the inability to do so. They stay at home with mom and dad. It is just easier and less stressful. And they have not really established any goals or standards for their lives.
In this case, I liken the term to how people tend to stick to what is familiar and comfortable. They do not extend themselves to change routine and try new things. Even when inspired, they may feel the euphoria, but if they have not established any big goals or standards for their career, there is nothing to align with, and so new concepts, techniques or ideas fail to get “launched” into their business. The euphoria begins to wane.
Let’s face it, most people are not very good at applying what they have learned and taking it to the next level. Unfortunately so, because this is where a huge amount of value from learning yields itself. But there are things people can do to retain the value.
The very first thing to do is to develop or revise some goals for your career. Think big. Do not settle for mediocre. As Randy Hetrick, founder of TRX likes to say: “Make it a big, hairy, audacious goal.” The goals need to be compelling so that you are excited to get up every day and get after it. The very next thing to do is to come up with some action items that map back to those goals. Initially you need to decide on action items that get the ball rolling. And they need to consistently keep moving you forward in action toward goals.
Let’s say one of those action items is taking a variety of continuing education courses. Before taking the course, think about what your intentions are with the information gained from the event and how it aligns with your “big, hairy, audacious goal.” This is to motivate you for some homework. While the following list is not exhaustive, consider these three ideas for integrating and applying what was learned in a useful and meaningful way.