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Pilots: Let Your Resolution Fly!

Folks, this latest blog entry, on choosing a new certificate or rating for your 2010 resolution, was actually written by our Senior Vice-President of Marketing, Barry Knuttila,  a flight instructor and true aviation enthusiast, for a recent email.  We got such positive feedback from our customers that we thought it made sense to post it here.  Enjoy!  J&M

You know how strong the desire to fly can be. I’m certainly not shy about my “addiction”! And in thirty years of flying, I have found that the more I learned about flying, the more fun I had.

I suppose understanding any skill better can lead to greater enjoyment. Perhaps because stress drops when you know more. Or, maybe knowing more just means you get to do more. Whatever the mix, I’m convinced it´s some of both.

You may not know this, but John and Martha hold every FAA category and class of pilot and instructor rating available on their certificates. What has been interesting for them is the discovery that with each new rating or certificate achieved, they would fall in love with flying all over again.

If you are mulling over a 2010 resolution, consider what would “renew your spirit.” Perhaps a new rating is just the thing. And given that it is the dead of winter, studying now will have you ready when good flying weather returns.

If you do commit to a new rating or certificate as your resolution, you´ll want to take an approach that ensures your success. “New Year´s Resolution experts” suggest these tips for getting you there:

  • Choose your own path. Choose what you really want in life. If you have a passion for flying, commit to it.
  • Make one resolution. Focus your energy on a single goal and you´ll increase the probability of success. It should be a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. This makes a rating or certificate a perfect fit.
  • Create a plan. A goal without clear steps is just wishful thinking. If you choose to self-direct your study, you´ll want to review the FAA requirements and create an outline covering all the appropriate areas. KING courses provide you with this plan and automatically track your progress through it.
  • Create your plan now. “Those who wait capitulate!” In spite of what we hear about broken resolutions, several studies show that those who commit to a resolution are 10 time more likely to succeed than those who don´t put their plan into action. In short, if it´s worth doing, it´s worth committing to right away.
  • Tell your friends and family. If folks know what your goal is, they will ask about it, giving you motivation to keep going. Even better, find a buddy who wants the same rating or certificate and commit to encouraging each other.
  • Remind yourself of the benefits. A new rating or certificate has huge payoffs in freedom and experiences. It will help to recall this at regular intervals. If you´re a VFR pilot, think about life above the clouds with your Instrument Rating!
  • Reward yourself at smaller milestones. If you use self-directed study you´ll need to figure out where these milestones fit into your plan. KING courses are designed as bite-size learning segments and your progress through the course is automatically tracked, so it will be easy to know when you´ve reached a milestone—we tell you!
  • Develop a ritual. With either self-directed study or KING courses, you can study anywhere and anytime. However, you´ll want to make sure you set aside a consistent time to study. This will limit the interruptions and will help set your own expectations.
  • Expect the occasional setback. Convince yourself that difficulties encountered are temporary, and need not be a reason to give up altogether. Smaller milestones help here, too. For self-directed study, find sample FAA questions for your current section of study and test yourself to see if you understand what you are learning—you don´t want to find this out after you´re done studying. If you use a KING course, we´ll provide you with targeted FAA questions at the end of each short segment, so you´ll always know your true progress. And our courses automatically create review segments for those areas where you need a little extra work.

By the way, our KING test courses come with both a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a full refund if you fail the FAA test within one year—which I am confident you won´t.

Still have more questions? Give us a call at 1-800-854-1001. We have a lot of pilots here who would be happy to help.

Happy New Year,

Barry Knuttila
SVP of Marketing and Technology, CFII, MEI

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