New year, new skill: Make education your New Year’s resolution

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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This year make a resolution you’ll want to keep – learn a new skill.

Every January we make promises to ourselves that we’ll transform our lives – sometimes in radical ways. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, around 1 in 2 Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The numbers for Ireland are likely to be similar. You could probably guess the most common New Year’s resolutions – they include getting healthy, being more organised and spending less.

Why many New Year’s resolutions fail

If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution and failed, you’re not alone. Most of us manage just fine for the first two weeks. However, by February we begin backsliding into old habits and behaviours.

The shrinks have found several reasons for this. Firstly, many of us make resolutions in an effort to motivate ourselves, but we are not ready to change our behaviour. Just because you decide to eat carrots instead of chocolate, it doesn’t follow that you really want to do this.

Another reason is that we take on too much. Take getting healthy for example. This can encompasses a whole slew of resolutions such as exercising more, eating less junk food, cutting down on alcohol and quitting smoking. Now, we’re not saying you should do these. Each is a laudable goal. However, you’re more likely to stick to a resolution if you do one at a time instead of all of them together.

Furthermore, we sometimes expect too much of our resolutions. We can fool ourselves into thinking that if we get more organised or spend less our entire lives will be transformed for the better. That’s not necessarily true. If you succeed, you’ll be more organised or less in debt – both big improvements – but your life won’t be free of the worries and stress that plague us all. Sorry about that!

Finally, many New Year’s resolutions are often about depriving or punishing ourselves. After a Christmas season of gluttony and parties, we believe we should subsist on shredded wheat and cross-fit for atonement. However, if you see diet and exercise as a punishment instead of a pleasure, you’re unlikely to keep your resolution for the next twelve months.

Taking a part-time course is different. You’re not depriving yourself – you’re learning a new skill, brushing up on an old one, undertaking a hobby or improving your career.

Finding the course to suit you

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that should be your first port of call for finding a part-time or evening course. Firstly, we are Ireland’s leading online resource for part-time courses, evening classes and adult education. We are a national database of courses from hundreds of colleges and educational institutes across the country. Whether you want to study art or animal science, beauty, constructionDIY, or variety of disciplines all the way to zoology, we’ll help you find the course for you.

Searching for courses couldn’t be easier. In the search bar towards the top of the page, you can search by course name or keyword. You can narrow the results in a number of ways too. You can search by counties, categories and qualifications. In addition, you can filter these results by course type. These include classroom based courses, distance education and workshops. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, this will give you the most precise results.

If you are unsure of what course you should do, you can search by category. Let’s say you’re interested in doing something creative, such as painting, jewellery making or pottery, this will help you refine your choice. You may even find a course you hadn’t considered before, such as stained glass or digital photography.

You can also search by location. Checking out what’s available nearby can pique your interest. Finally, you can also search by awarding body. If you want a course certified by CIPD or VTCT, or a variety of other organisations, this is the best way to find them.

Once you have found the course you want, you can request a college prospectus through Easy!

Stay in the loop

As well as our nationwide database will keep you up to date and informed. We have a wide range of articles on studying a number of disciplines to give you an overview of what to expect when you undertake a part-time or evening course. In addition, we include useful information on our blog such as college information days and details of new courses.

This New Year, make a resolution you want to keep by finding a course you want to do. We can’t promise to help you get fitter (although there are plenty of courses to help you do just that) but we can help you find the right course whether you want to improve your career, take up a new hobby or learn for the joy of learning. Happy 2017 to you!

Anne Sexton

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