goals mindset Jun 05, 2023

Too many people are certification sluts.

They’re frequently seen on the seminar circuit. Have a heap of unfinished online courses. And just bank up certificates to frame and hang on their wall.

Now, doing lots of continuing education is, in our opinion, a really good thing. A huge props to people who invest their time, effort, and money into wanting to be better at what they do. After all, the best investment you can make is on yourself.


What’s the point investing all these resources into learning if you can’t retain the knowledge? Or more crucially, actually understand it and know how to apply it and communicate it to your clients?

Because of that, we start our Online Program Design with a video on ‘Learning How to Learn’.

Over the years as educators, we have found some really useful (and effective) blueprints for learning how to learn, and we want our students to get the absolute most out of our education. So below, we share our top tips on how to best learn so you retain, understand, and easily use new knowledge.

First up:

Handwrite your notes!

The research shows that handwritten notes will help cement information into your memory more than typing.  But don’t stop there – go one step further! Re-write those notes, this time using abbreviations and condensed versions. When you have them refined make sure to create a digital copy so you will always have your (succinct) notes at your fingertips. 

NB: Someone who has got this down to a fine art is Brian Johnson, the genius behind the online resource His site distils books down into condensed nuggets of wisdom, so if you want an overview of the main premise/core concept of a certain book – that site will be your best friend. Now, we’re not suggesting you skip out on reading the full-length versions, but this can help fast track the process. Trust us, it’s a $10p/m investment that you won’t regret!

To showcase Brian’s work, we’ll show you how he has condensed down the book ‘Make it Stick’ by Peter C. Brown which dives into five principles of learning:

  1.  Mastery vs. Fluency: Do you know a few Spanish words, can hold a very basic conversation, and see the occasional familiar Spanish word? That’s fluency. Fluency in learning is an illusion of knowing – you’ve developed a familiarity with the content.  But if you truly want to master a topic, you must truly understand it. It’s the difference between knowing vs. understanding. 
  2. Active Retrieval: Constantly quiz yourself after studying to see if you’ve really absorbed the information and are able to consciously (and correctly) bring it to the forefront of your mind on demand. It’s like a mental game show where you play both the contestant and the host. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good brain-bending challenge?
  3. Interleaving: Forget the old-school approach of studying one subject at a time. Instead, mix it up! Flow between modules or subjects, leaving your brain scrambling to connect the dots. It’s like doing mental gymnastics to strengthen those neural pathways, and utilises a bit of active recall as well. Taking a break from one topic to focus on another, then being forced to bring your focus and memory back to a topic you’ve recently covered, does wonders for retaining the information. 
  4. Elaboration: You don’t need to aim for Will Hunting-level genius with a photographic memory. Instead, focus on truly understanding the topics and being able to simplify them for your clients. After all, sharing knowledge is half the fun, right? Plus – things get easier to learn when you can attach them to a really solid core understanding of the main concept. 
  5. Believe You Can: Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right. Having the right mindset and putting in the work are key to mastering even the most complex of topics. So, channel your inner self-belief!

Another method for learning that we like to use is the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ developed by Francisco Cirillo. This is when you do small blocks (25 minutes) of condensed and focused learning, taking a 5-minute break between blocks. After 4 rounds, take a longer 15-30 minute break. Think of it as interval training for your brain.

Another valuable tip we swear by is approaching subjects from different angles. Expand your learning horizons by exploring various outlets, such as books, e-books, movies, podcasts, and more. Don’t shy away from beginner-level resources like “Biochemistry for Dummies” just because you consider yourself advanced. These entry-level guides can help you simplify complex concepts and effectively communicate them to your clients. Learn from as many outlets as you can (books vs e-books vs movies vs podcasts etc…) and learn from as many different points of views as you can. Don’t blindly follow the sheep, perception and understanding is everything. 

In summary, learning is not just about accumulating knowledge; it’s about retaining, comprehending, utilising, and effectively conveying that knowledge to clients. By employing proven strategies like note-taking techniques, leveraging condensed resources, and embracing the principles of learning, you can enhance your journey in education. Investing time in learning becomes more meaningful when you can retain information, absorb knowledge, and truly understand it. 

Happy learning!


We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.