The Guardian

College of Court Reporting, est. 1984

We made it!! Goodbye, 2020!!!

January 2021

2021 New Year’s Stenolutions

Brought to you by CCR instructor, Melissa Lee.

With a new year, so comes new goals. And while everyone is hyperfocused after the holidays with the numbers on the scale, it’s time to focus on the bigger numbers: your SH/SB speed goal numbers. Have you made your stenolutions for 2021?

According to an article by Kelsey Mulvey published online in Business Insider, 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail by February. That’s millions and millions of people every year that give up and abandon their goals before ever seeing success. Maybe one reason for that failure is because people focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain. As Neila Rey said, “I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.” The article “10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail” by Daniel Wallen outlines the most common reasons we give up on our New Year’s resolutions each year, but what does that mean for you and your steno success?

Let’s start by finding New Year’s solutions to your New Year’s resolutions. Consider the following from Daniel Wallen’s article and whether or not you will allow these things to derail you on your road to SH/SB success in 2021:

1. “You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.” The key to SH/SB success is sticking with a daily practice routine. Remember that test success is the byproduct of the sweat equity you put into EV360. Success it not brought on by marathon weekend speedbuilding sessions. It’s brought on by a daily commitment toward your SH/SB speed goals.

2. “You put the cart before the horse.” Don’t focus on that passed test but, rather, on the work it takes to make that passed test happen. If you are spending 20 minutes in My Readback and 60 minutes in testing, flip your approach. You should be spending 80 percent of your time on speedbuilding itself. Those passed tests will come once you make a commitment to speedbuilding.

3. “You don’t believe in yourself.” If you’ve set speed goals in the past that you’ve not achieved, it can be difficult to believe in yourself, but you have to believe to achieve. Quit worrying if it’s going to happen and start believing it will. Believing in yourself is half the battle.

4. “Too much thinking, not enough doing.” Success does not come without action. You need to set realistic daily, weekly, and semester goals. Understand that failure is often a consequence of trying, but giving up on your goal because of an SH/SB setback is like slashing your other three tires because one got a flat. Fail forward by bringing the lessons learned into your next attempt. That’s not losing; that’s learning.

5. “You’re in too much of a hurry.” Success does not come overnight. In the wise words of Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The ‘hard’ is what makes it great.”

6. “You don’t enjoy the process.” Quit looking at the investment in YOU as a chore. Your school commitment is the first step towards a better you. Make sure you schedule a commitment-free day each week to recharge your personal steno battery. Map out a perpetual 7-day calendar, plugging in your non-negotiables first (work, family, other commitments). Examine what’s left, and plug your SH/SB work in those open spaces. Little blocks of time are great for homework and drills; bigger blocks of time are great for digging into My Readback, which is where you will get the biggest bang from your steno buck.

7. “You’re trying too hard.” Don’t deprive yourself. Good EV360 workouts deserve rewards. Set a weekly SH goal and reward yourself when you hit it. Make that goal about something you can control like striking a balance between quantity and quality, not passed tests.

8. “You don’t track your progress.” Use your Success as You Progress chart. Keep up with your mini SE and SAP successes on your way toward your bigger SH/SB goals. It’s easy to get lost in the “I can’ts,” but looking back on the “I dids” is a great reminder that YOU CAN!

9. “You have no social support.” No one knows what court reporting school is like other than another court reporter or a student going through it with you. Engage with your fellow students and instructors. Keep the lines of communication open. Search for like-minded people in Facebook groups, but remember to keep it positive. Negativity is a cancer that feeds itself. Surrounding yourself with naysayers will decrease your chances of success.

10. “You know your ‘what’ but not your ‘why.’” You know what you want from school, but don’t forget why you want it: family, career, financial independence, flexibility, retirement -- to name a few. Keep your goals close and your motivation closer. Never lose track of your “why.”

Always remember that while you will have SAPs you won’t pass on your road to success, it’s not your failure on those SAPs that will define you. It’s what you do to overcome it. Fail forward by continuing to do what it takes to pass tomorrow. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their great failure.” ~ Napoleon Hill

You have the gift of 31,536,000 seconds in 2021. Make every one of them count!

Court Reporting & Captioning Week

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Looking for funding?

Stenograph’s Milton H. Wright Memorial Scholarship now open!

Nominations are being solicited for Stenograph’s Milton H. Wright Memorial Scholarship. Students from NCRA-approved reporter education programs are encouraged to apply for the merit-based two-year award, which is worth up to $5,000 per year and will include use of a student writer and software. Full details here.


To be eligible to apply for the Milton H. Wright Memorial Scholarship, students must meet the criteria below:

  • Attend an NCRA-approved court reporting program
  • Have completed an NCRA A to Z ® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program
  • Have received an NCRA A to Z ® Certificate of Completion
  • Have attained an exemplary academic record (3.5 GPA or above)
  • Have passed one skills test writing 80-120 words per minute at the time of submission