The Learning Cycle

Key Takeaways

  • The learning cycle is a natural way to help you achieve your goals.
  • There are five steps in the learning cycle: think about a goal, write it down, talk about it, plan it, and finally, do it.
  • Following the steps of the learning cycle makes it much more likely that you will achieve the goal or goals that you set for yourself this year.

I was doing my laundry the other day (yes, I really do my own laundry!), and I was looking at the wash cycle buttons on my washing machine. It reminded me of the cycle that we go through naturally in life, that helps us get things accomplished. It’s called the learning cycle.

The learning cycle goes like this: first, you think about something, then you write it down, then you talk about it, then you plan it, and finally, you do it. Each one of these steps in the cycle activates a different part of your brain. So here we are in the New Year, and perhaps you have a goal you’d like to accomplish. If you truly want to achieve it, take it through the steps of the learning cycle.

Let’s say your goal is to buy a house. You start by thinking about it. Nothing too elaborate, just thinking about your goal, building it in your head. Next, you want to write it down. In the case of buying a house, you want to write down all the attributes you are looking for in a home. What it looks like, what it feels like when you are there, and any other important things you are looking for. Then you want to talk to someone about it. Perhaps it’s your spouse, a friend, family or a colleague, it’s just another way to engage your brain. Then, you plan it out. You might draw it out week by week, month by month, or throughout the year, however it works for you. Finally, once you have your plan, you execute it.

The learning cycle is something we know works really well for human beings when each of the steps in the cycle are followed. You are highly likely to achieve your goal beyond just thinking about it or writing it down and then abandoning it as tends to happen with a lot of goals. Keep the learning cycle in mind when you are thinking about what it is you want to achieve this year. Until next time, enjoy.


TransformingWealth™ , our proprietary approach, designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. As part of our process, we use mind mapping – one of the most powerful tools available for bridging the communication gap between different generations. Mind mapping is visual and helps all parties gain a clear picture of all aspects of the financial equation. Ask Gary about mind mapping and Coyle’s TransformingWealth Preview Meeting, and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.

Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, The Wealth Sanctuary and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.
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