The biggest barrier to re-entering a back-to-school state of mind is motivation. The allure of staying in bed until noon in the laidback summer is detrimental for the student who needs to get stuff done! But with fall creeping up, this is as good time as any to get back into the swing of things.
Finding ways to re-energize your passion for pets isn’t hard. Especially when you have a dog yourself and they’re due for a grooming appointment. And who wouldn’t fall in love with a sweet, loving pup? When you have your end goal in mind, you’ll be motivated for a while. But keeping your momentum going is a whole other story.
We’re going to share our best strategies to help you get back into your dog grooming courses. Stay tuned!
Scrap old goals completely… and make new ones!
We don’t mean scrapping your big dreams! But seeing old, unaccomplished goals that were tossed to the wayside can put a damper on your motivation. When you’re writing new goals, keep the old ones in mind. You probably still have the same rough timeline for graduation, the same short-term goals, and so on. But writing it all down fresh can make a huge difference.
Take a page from your college textbook and write SMART goals:
- Specific: Break down larger goals into smaller ones. Then, add detail so each goal is clearly distinct from the others.
- Measurable: Is there a way to track your progress on achieving the goal? How do you know when it’s complete? Measuring your goals could be as simple as seeing how many pages deep into the course text you are in relation to the final amount by the end of the session.
- Action-oriented: When you use specific verbs like “brush the hair” or “watch the video”, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.
- Realistic: Is the goal relevant to your overall goal? Is it achievable? Good goals are realistic.
- Time-bound: Specify a deadline. Make sure you can actually get what you need to do by then!
When you adhere to all these criteria, you’ll find achieving them much easier than just saying “Step 1: Take a Dog Grooming Course… Step 2: Graduate”!
Adjust your schedule
Motivation can quickly come and quickly go, often leaving a trail of abandoned projects in its wake. But it doesn’t have to be the case for you with your dog grooming course. If you’ve gathered from your years in elementary, middle, and high school that you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule your studies for 7 am!
Sure, when the motivation is going, you’ll find rolling out of bed bright and early to be easy. But you will quickly lose your steam if you’re not being practical and attuned to your own study habits. Grab yourself a digital or paper calendar and plan out what your typical day or week looks like. Mark down any unmovable commitments and block off time each week to dedicate to your course. If you’re a busy bee, you could list two potential blocks of time to study. That way, if the usual Wednesday night study sesh doesn’t work for you, you’ve still got a backup time later on in the week—no excuses!
Find an adequate study area
Everyone has a different preference for where they like to study. Some love doing it in bed, others at a dedicated office space in their home. The same goes for the level of the surrounding activity. Some love the silence of libraries while others need the hustle-and-bustle of a busy coffee shop. If you’re not sure what setting and level of noise work best for you, take the first week to go figure it out!
Monitor your concentration and level of productivity and go from there. The point is to make the most out of your time. If something isn’t working, don’t trick yourself into thinking it was a fluke. Seeing results is what’s going to propel you forward. When the results aren’t there, you’ll become stagnant.
You’ll also want to make sure you bring everything with you to your desk. Some procrastinators get up frequently to grab a drink of water, then a coffee, then some highlighters and pens, then their earbuds, and so on. Having everything you need in front of you from the get-go means you won’t waste time dilly-dallying!
Review your old work
Don’t be down on yourself because getting started again is harder than you thought! Unlike grade school, you won’t experience a drastic, sudden change to your schedule. As we mentioned, you should map out your current responsibilities first. Then, you can see where your course best fits into it all.
If you’re the type to throw yourself completely into a new schedule, that’s fantastic! But if whip-lash changes don’t excite you, ease in little by little. Go back and revisit previous texts, videos, and assignments you’ve completed. Take your time! Once you’ve completed your revisions you can press forward. Further down the line, if you’re completing an assignment and forget the specific techniques for grooming a border terrier, go back! The beauty of taking an online dog grooming course is that you can watch the techniques close-up over and over again!
It’s not all readings and video-watching—you need to do hands-on work, too! You can probably practice on your own dog and friends/family dogs for most of the assignments. But a good grooming course requires you to practice on specific breeds. After all, how can you call yourself a well-rounded professional if you’ve never groomed a terrier?
Finding dogs for your grooming assignments can be difficult for a number of reasons. Perhaps your family loves Corgis as much as the Queen and that’s the only readily available dog. Maybe you reside in a city or rural area where large dogs are preferred and you can’t find any toy dogs to practice on. Not to worry! It comes down to promotion. Offer discounted services or even throw in a free nail clipping to thank owners. Advertise by word of mouth, social media, and posters at dog parks. You may even wish to visit a shelter and offer free grooming services for adoptees. You’ll be rewarded for your diligence!
Share your best back to school tips below!