The #1 Key to Successfully Completing an Online Degree: Your Family

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Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. — Helen Keller

Teamwork is Crucial to Success

Yes, families squabble and fuss, different personalities can clash on occasion, and busy, active lives make it hard to all be in one place at the same time. However, it is possible to turn your new journey of obtaining a degree into a rewarding experience for both you and your family. The key is teamwork. After all, your family is a big part of why you’re doing what you’re doing, they deserve to be a big part of the experience.

Team Motivation

Teams need to stay motivated and when you motivate your family team, not only does the team function well, but in so doing, you are modeling behaviors of tenacity, curiosity, and stick-to-itiveness. You set the bar for the behaviors your family will apply to their own endeavors at home, at work, in sports, and at school.

Here are some guidelines for motivating your family team:

  1. Involve your family in the process from the beginning. Let them know ahead of time what you want to accomplish and ask for their advice.
  2. Set clear long-term and short-term goals. Let your family know what courses you’ll be taking and the schedule you’ll need to follow in order to complete your degree.
  3. Create a Kanban. Or, some system for charting milestones. A Kanban is a workflow system designed to organize tasks. Tasks flow from left to right across a board divided into columns such as, “To Do” “In Progress” and “Completed,” with Post-It notes representing each task, moving across the board horizontally, to designate the progress of the task from start to completion.
  4. Use a light touch when it comes to family meetings. Don’t call too many family meetings and vary the days and times. Otherwise, psychologically, a meeting can become a duty instead of something fun for everyone.
  5. Don’t criticize advice and suggestions. Acknowledge everyone’s ideas and thank them. Let them know you value their thoughts. Human beings need to feel needed, recognized, and validated.
  6. Reward milestones along the way. A family outing or cooking a special meal together goes a long way toward maintaining enthusiasm and boosting morale.
  7. Return the favor. When your family members ask for your advice and help to complete the things that they are in the process of accomplishing, be supportive and enthusiastic.

The Rewards Are Many

When you bring your family into the process of working toward your degree, you gain a lot of bonus gifts. Here are a few:

  • Spend more quality time together.
  • Really get to know and respect one another.
  • Achieve a better level of communication.
  • Learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which allows you to help one another grow.
  • Create memories.
  • Develop a family culture and an unshakable bond.
  • Build trust within the family.
  • Stay motivated and on track.

The Ultimate Win-Win

Your family truly is the #1 key to your academic success. There’s really no downside to enlisting your family’s support as you earn your degree. Everyone benefits, and they benefit in so many different ways. It’s the ultimate win-win.

What do you think?

  • Do you agree that family is an indispensable part of your success?
  • What did you recently achieve that would have been far more difficult without the help of your family?
  • What advice would you like to add about family teamwork?


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