Mindset

Academic Self-Efficacy: Upgrading Your NeckTop Computer

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Did you know that you are walking around with one of the most amazing computers right on top of your shoulders!?!

Yes, your NeckTop Computer! Even this wonderful organic machine needs software upgrades now and then. Teach it how to learn, remember and adapt. By consistently learning, you upgrade your software, which makes your life so much easier because you can understand information at a quicker pace, store that information longer and be able to show off just how much you have learned by being able to handle those pesky quizzes, tests or exams 😉

BrainComputer.pngBrain Facts

  • About 100 billion neurons make up the human brain.
  • Each neuron connects approximately 10,000 neutrons together.
  • The human brain weighs about 3 pounds.
  • The cerebral cortex grows thicker the more it is used. That means you have more neural networks to process information and more memory capacity. The more you learn, the better your brain gets.
  • For all of you environmentalists…your NeckTop computer is powered bio-electrically! Just eat things that are healthy for you…feed and power this computer!

Learning How to Learn

Learning how to learn starts with developing your Academic-Self Efficacy; the belief that you have the skills necessary to successfully complete your courses and that you have the ability to improve, when necessary. For example…

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  • Knowing how to schedule time to accomplish tasks.
  • Knowing how to take notes.
  • I knowing how to study to perform well on tests.
  • Knowing that you are good at research and writing papers.
  • Knowing and feeling that you are a very good student.
  • Having the experience of usually doing very well in school and at academic tasks.
  • Consistently finding ways to make your academic work interesting and absorbing (even when it is not at first).
  • Knowing that, despite obstacles, you are very capable of succeeding in your post-secondary program.

4 Ways to Develop Academic Self-Efficacy Beliefs

  • Performance accomplishments: The experience of mastery influences your perspective on your abilities. Successful experiences lead to greater feelings of self-efficacy. However, failing to deal with a task or challenge can also undermine and weaken self-efficacy.
    • If you avoid doing class presentations because you feel anxious or nervous, you never have the opportunity to improve, adapt, develop skills and believe that you can do this. Yes, despite how anxious you are, you can learn to at least survive presentations. I did.
  • Vicarious experience: Observing someone else perform a task or handle a situation
    can help you to perform the same task by imitation, and if you succeed in performing a task, you are likely to think that you will succeed as well, if the task is not too difficult. Observing people who are similar to yourself succeed will increase your beliefs that you can master a similar activity

    • Look around your classroom and your life. Who seems to “have it all together” or seems to know how to write papers, to study or to write tests. Ask them about their process. Observe, try and improve based on the experience of others.
  • Verbal persuasion: When other people encourage and convince you to perform a task, you tend to believe that you are more capable of performing the task. Constructive feedback is important in maintaining a sense of efficacy as it may help overcome self-doubt.
    • Ask for feedback from friends, classmates, professors/instructors or tutors. Learn from the constructive; learn from the encouragement.
  • Physiological states: Moods, emotions, physical reactions, and stress levels may influence how you feel about your personal abilities. If you are extremely nervous, you may begin to doubt and develop a weak sense of self-efficacy. If you are confident and feel no anxiety or nervousness at all, you may experience a sense of excitement that fosters a great sense of self-efficacy. It is the way people interpret and evaluate emotional states that is important for how they develop self-efficacy beliefs. For this reason, being able to diminish or control anxiety may have positive impact on self-efficacy beliefs.
    • Learn about YOUR brain. Learn more about this awesome computer. I have written extensively on emotion regulation, stress management, anxiety, check out some of my other posts to learn more about managing, understanding and improving your own NeckTop computer.

Adapted from the following source: Click Here

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Step-by-Step Process

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  • Academic Self-Efficacy Mindset: Start with building your Academic Self-efficacy mindset (above). This prepares your mind for the software upgrade process
  • Study Skills Questionnaire: Start with an assessment of your study skills tool kit. What you have; what you need.
  • Study Skill Toolbox: Make a list of skills that you already have. Make a plan for the areas you would like to improve (upgrade the software).
  • Software Upgrade: Start searching online or in human interactions, for tips, strategies to learn different ways of improving in the following areas:
    • Project Managing Your Academic Experience: Organization & Time Management
    • Note-Taking Strategies: Capturing the Knowledge
    • Leaning into Your Studies: Attitude, Learning Style, Active Learning and Memory Enhancement.
    • Being Tested: Strategies for Writing Quizzes, Tests and Exams.
    • Learning to Communicate: Research and Writing Skills
    • Presentations: Learning the Tips & Tricks
    • Working in Groups: Strategies for Making the Process Smooth and Effective.
*I used to have a 1969 VW Beetle that I painted red foot prints running from the back, over the top to the front. I could totally post rationalize that it was because I so strongly believed in the step-by-step human growth and change process, but really it was because I loved bare feet, I was very poor and the red paint was free 😉 I have grown 😉

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Study Skills Questionnaire


 

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Let me know what you think, what topics you would like me to cover or ideas you have. I would really LOVE to hear from you 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Thank You Stress! Another Weird and Wonderful Life Mystery Solved.

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This is my last post of 2016 and I thought that I would match the theme to my life at this time. I feel an immense level of gratitude for many things in my life, most I have worked extremely hard for, through much adversity, and some that have just showed up in my life, like my wonderful husband and stepson <3. Just this little mind shift seems to make the stress in my life so much more manageable 🙂

Also, this year, this blog had over 5000 views from 94 countries! Wow! I feel so grateful for all the wonderful questions, kind words and clicks! I love sharing  my experience and knowledge with others and especially love hearing the life stories of others. So, today’s post will be about how important gratitude is for your health, and most importantly, how it helps with building stress tolerance.

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I hear you saying, “So what is this gratitude that you speak of?!?”

well…

Gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation. The majority of empirical studies indicate that there is an association between gratitude and a sense of overall well being. SourceSansone & Sansone, 2010.

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Once again, I will thread gratitude and stress though my 5 stress management components: Stress Knowledge, Self-Awareness, Receptive Mental State, Attitude and Coping Skills.


Stress 101: Stress Knowledge

Freaky word of the day…Psychoneuroimmunology!

Huh?!?

It is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. Yes your brain is connected to the rest of your body 😉

There is some pretty cool research finding that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the do-what-you-love.jpgimmune system. In one, researchers compared the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress (like all students!) found by midterm, optimistic students maintained higher numbers of the blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates. (Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington). Grateful people tend to be more optimistic because gratitude helps you to see your whole life picture, not just the negative stuff. It is so much easier to be optimistic if you know that good things can actually happen because they are happening in your life.

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Get out there and boost your health with a dose of gratitude!


Self-Awareness

pencil-holder-16293-large.pngDo you tend to infuse gratitude practices into your daily life? The following questionnaire is an opportunity for you to explore your relationship with gratitude and gain a wee bit more self-awareness in an area that helps you to manage your stress better.

Get out your pencils!

 Directions: Using the scale below as a guide, write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree with it.
  •  1=strongly disagree
  • 2=disagree
  • 3=slightly disagree
  • 4=neutral
  • 5=slightly agree
  • 6=agree
  • 7=strongly agree

____1. I have so much in life for which to be thankful.

____2. If I had to list everything that I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list.

____3. When I look at the world, I don’t see much for which to be grateful.*

____4. I am grateful to a wide variety of people.

____5. As I get older I find myself more able to appreciate the people, events, and situations that have been part of my life history.

____6. Long amounts of time can go by before I feel grateful to something or someone.*

*reverse scored items

Scoring Instructions:

  1. Add up your scores for items 1, 2, 4, and 5.
  2. Reverse your scores for items 3 and 6. That is, if you scored a “7,” give yourself a “1,” if you scored a “6,” give yourself a “2,” etc.
  3. Add the reversed scores for items 3 and 6 to the total from Step 1.This is your total GQ-6 score. This number should be between 6 and 42.

Interpretation:

  • 25th Percentile: a score below 35 (bottom quartile)
  • 50th Percentile: a score below 38 (bottom half)
  • 75th Percentile: a score of 41 (higher than 75%)
  • Top 13%: a score of 42

Receptive Mental State

Let’s start with preparing your mind, putting it into a learning receptive state, for some gratitude easy gratitude strategies that you can squeeze into your daily life. Here is a great little meditation by the incredible Dr. Depak Chopra. He knows a bit about calming our minds in the pursuit of wellness 😉


Attitude

Let’s now shift our state of mind and start creating an Attitude of Gratitude. Start doing things that shift your mindset. This is the one fundamental aspect of my approach to life that has guided me through every bump, barrier, setback, petty party, smack in the face, etc.

  • Journaling about things for which to be grateful
  • Thinking about someone for whom you are grateful
  • Writing/sending a letter to someone for whom you are grateful
  • Meditating on gratitude (present moment awareness)
  • Undertaking the “Count Your Blessings” exercise (at the end of the week, writing down three things for which you were grateful)
  • Practicing saying “thank you” in a sincere and meaningful way
  • Writing thank you notes
  • If religious, praying about your gratitudegratitufe-changes-everything

All of these practices force you to activate different areas of your brain than you normally do.Don’t believe me? Well…quick test, tell me 10 negative things about your life? Now tell me 10 positive things about your life? Which one was faster?!?! I know, the negative because it is a well worn “path” in your brain. You need to start doing some of the easy things above to start wearing down that “brain grass” in a new  direction. The positive 10 need to be just as fast 😉

Coping Skills

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Pull up a chair, start making plans to add healthy coping strategies to your life this coming year. Check out my Coping Strategies Handout that will get you started. I have provided the ideas, you need to provide the “get-up-and-go” attitude and start taking charge of your life. We don’t have to be a victim to stressful events 🙂


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Thank you so much for taking time to stop by my blog for a peek this year!

I feel so grateful that I have had this opportunity to share my passion and the years of wisdom with some pretty amazing people!


attitude-of-gratitude-thanks-to-self-service-data-prep-e1479403042856Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Stress! Seriously, You Still Around??!?

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Post #2 of the Stress Management Series

Ok, I am going to get briefly serious on y’all, [insert apology in advance ;)] because out-of-control stress can be dangerous to your mental, physical health and self-esteem. The upside, before you start to think this post is a complete bummer, is that stress is very manageable.

Back to bummer time [with a happy ending]…

There was a time in my early twenties that I thought that I was not going to make it through. Literally, done. I won’t give all the boring details, but imagine feeling like you were in the midst of the worst time in your life. I was wildly overwhelmed and any rational thought ability had abandoned me. It seemed that no matter what I tried, the outcome felt predetermined to fail, always. I felt as though something was “stacked against me, that I wasn’t meant to feel happy, that is just not who I was, nor the life I had. I was seriously not in a good place. The reason that I am telling you this, is because this was a point in my life that I really understood the importance of “being present”, noticing and listening to the encouraging signs around me. Still have you with me?!? Maybe not such a bummer?!?

I was getting home from one of my 3 jobs, that made up a full time job so that I could pay my tuition. I was tired, feeling very despondent and so poor that I barely had enough food for supper that night. It had just snowed, and for anyonDarkest before Dawn.jpge from a cold climate, you know that this can make the world look surreal, calm and beautiful. In a tree, next to my apartment, was a extremely tiny, calm and very brave little white owl. This is an unusual and unexpected sight in the city. This little guy looked at me as I spoke, he was unfazed and his presence just calmed and filled me with foreign feeling of hope. This was so weird. So weird that it affected me viscerally (my whole body felt calm for hours). Two days later, my life seemed to shift in very profound ways, leading me on very welcomed path. My hard work, and pain, was actually worth it.

It was the inexplicable sense of calm I experienced in the presence of that cute little owl, that compelled me to look up the meaning of owls showing up. What I found was that owls cam be seen as messengers appearing to provide guidance in confusing times, they can be a  blessing (or a bad omen…I chose to ignored that!) and are often associated with the  Greek Goddess Athena, sympbolizng wisdom and prophecy. Since that moment in my life, I have kept that calming image as one of my “happy place” moments to remind me that it is important for me to “see like an owl” in my dark times, knowing that this dificult moment will pass like all others have. I have the ability to move through.

Ok, enough seriousness…I leave you with this advice…

Be present your life, be in the present moment fully, looking for signs, gathering the “happy place moments” to pull out later as mood altering tools. Ask yourself, in the moment, what is going well in my life?


Post #2 of the Stress Management Series

This is the second post in my stress management series. If you found this one first, check out last weeks so that you understand my “5 Areas of Stress Management”. I will be offering tips in all five areas over the next few weeks.

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Stress 101: Stress Knowledge

Distress vs Eustress

They both sound the same right?!? All bad.

Well, eustress and distress are related, like brothers, both affect our behaviour and quality of life, one in a good way and one, not so much.

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Eustress is the good stress that motivates you to get stuff done …what what ?!?! you ask? Yes, there is good stress. Stress can be a motivator and provide incentive to get the job done. This stress is so good that some people really enjoy when they feel this way. I definitely do, and when I am in this “zone” I ride that wave, enjoy the state of “flow” and creativity shot that I get. Everyone needs a little bit of stress in their life in order to continue to be happy, motivated, challenged and productive. Stress is only bad when it gets into the zone makes you feel anxious, depressed and burned out because it becomes intolerable and feels unmanageable. This is the kind of stress most of us are familiar with and this is the kind of stress that leads to poor decision-making. So feeling motivated to keep on moving thought my five areas of stress resilience building?!?!


Self-Awareness

Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to recognize your feelings and to differentiate between them, to know what you are feeling, and why, and to know what caused the feelings.

Emotional Self-Awareness Tip Sheet

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Receptive Mental State

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Seeing music as more than just a way to entertain and move our emotions, Jonathan recounts his own struggles with stress and anxiety, and explores the potential of sound as a healing force.


Attitude: Mindset

There is a new podcast series that I found that I absolutely love, “The Hidden Brain”.

It is described as “helping curious people understand the world, and themselves”. The one I recently listened to called “Embrace the Chaos” fits so well in the stress management area of Attitude, particularly setting a mindset that allows you to adjust, adapt and flourish even when you think things will be awful.

Check it out!

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Embrace the Chaos: Episode 53


Coping Skills

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Stress Relief Skill of the Day: Brain Dump

Collect all of those “worst-case-scenarios” that you have running free around your head. I know you have them, because you are human. You don’t want let those little pieces of illogical information running free around your mind and controlling your mood, so find them, label them, list them and then challenge them. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is what I am thinking really true?
  • What are the chances of this actually happening?
  • Have I made it through difficult times before?
  • What is a realistic way of thinking about this? (“I am really worried that I will fail” – don’t stop here! “but I know that I have 55% of the course still to do and I have been passing everything so far”).

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Yes, there will be difficult times in your life. It is important to accept that and start developing the knowledge, mental state, attitude and skills to navigate this extraordinary journey that you are on. I often tell my students/clients that I would never give advice that I have not done or are not currently applying in my life.

Go out and enjoy this extraordinary journey armed with skills!

 

shine


Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

Psychological Flexibility: Brain Yoga for Enhancing Motivation

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Psychological and emotional flexibility are consistently mentioned in resilience, emotion regulation and stress management research findings. The ability to implement plans B-Z beautifully illustrates the benefits of psychological and emotional flexibility. It is crucial to your physical and mental health. Seriously, this is an important yoga move! Start bending!

Wondering Where Your Motivation Went?!?

Motivation can be completely derailed when you feel/think that you have run out of options. You have tried EVERYTHING and NOTHING works. Well, from my experience there is ALWAYS another way of seeing something, doing something or experiencing something. Curious how to start learning how to be more psychologically and emotionally flexible?!?

Sure your are!

…or you can choose to stay stuck in a painful yoga position that makes your butt numb 😉


Psychological Flexibility is defined as “the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being and to change, or persist in, behavior when doing so serves valued ends” (Biglan, Hayes, & Pistorello, 2008). What these researchers mean by ‘contacting the present more fully’ is being aware of, and in, the curegoalsnt moment; what you feel, what is happening, not the past or future, but now. Once you are there, using this awareness, to creatively brainstorm alternate solutions, methods, strategies and shift the plan. You can even persist in the face of adversity along the original planned path if that is working for you.

Emotional flexibility is super important because so many people get stuck in the Emotional Reasoning loop, thinking that “I feel like such a failure, so I must be”. Applying a bit of flexibility here enables people to experience and notice the full range of emotion, like happiness, sadness, shame or anger, but have the ability act on the emotion in a helpful way (challenge the feeling and ask if it is really true) and then leave that emotional experience balanced when it is time to move on.

When you become more flexible, you can start to choose your responses rather than automatically responding to a situation.

Psychological Flexibility + Emotional Flexibility = Flexible Methods


 

Getting Started:

Be the scientist observing your mind. Be curious.

  • Develop a Curious Mindset: A curious mindset allows you to observe your negative reactions without judgment and see what you can learn from them. Curiosity engages your sense of logic and inhibits emotional “gut” reScientist.jpgactions, allowing you to learn from these situations and identify intelligent next steps that lead you towards your goals.

 


Feelin’ Crafty?!?

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Motivation Activity for the Day

Grab some sticky notes and start gathering moments in your life where you had to push through, dust yourself off and then try again or made it through something really hard. Write Mindset Moments in the middle and start collecting these personal strength events on sticky notes. This create a great visual reminder your power and strength in the face of adversity.

The following are some writing prompts to get you started:

When I learned…

When I did…

When I overcame…

When I developed the skill to…

When I pushed through and….


 

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Happy Flexible Friday!

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

 

Make Good Things Happen

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Ok, today is the day that I am going to ask you to do some thing RADICAL!

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Fun Right?!?!

Well, yes and no, but a super important topic for anyone who wants to grow, heal and move forward in their life.

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE

Wait what?!?! yes, let’s focus on one of the most fundamental parts of emotion regulation, personal empowerment, self compassion and overall life balance.

“acceptance of life as it is, not as it is supposed to be; and the need to change, despite that reality and because of it” – Dr. Marsha Linehan

There are three parts to radical acceptance.

  1. The first part is accepting that reality is what it is.
  2. The second part is accepting that the event or situation causing you pain has a cause.
  3. The third part is accepting life can be worth living even with painful events in it.

Radical Acceptance is a part of a therapeutic approach called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) designed by the amazing psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan. This therapeutic approach was invented to help people, who were suffering terribly, learn to regulate their emotions and live a life worth living. Even though you may not be suffering, most people find themselves, at some point, in a state of wanting a life that is different that they are currently experiencing. Sometimes it is this wanting or wishing that lowers our self esteem and increases sadness or life dissatisfaction. The first step on the path to living a life that you want, is accepting the life that you currently have and then deciding what you are willing to work hard on to change.


I am not saying that this is easy. It is actually a very difficult practice, but from experience I can tell you that the result of your effort is astounding emotional freedom and personal empowerment.


Want to Get Started Radically Accepting?

Start with asking yourself the following questions about a recent difficult situation in your life:

Radical Acceptance: “So that happened…”

  1. What events led up to the distressing situation?Acceptance.jpg
  2. What role did you play in creating this situation?
  3. What role did other people / another person play in creating this situation?
  4. What did you have control of in this situation?
  5. What didn’t you have control of in this situation?
  6. What was your response to this situation?
  7. How did your response affect your own thoughts and feelings?
  8. How did your response affect the thoughts and feelings of other people?
  9. How could you have changed your response to this situation to lead to less suffering for yourself and others?
  10. How could this situation have occurred differently if you had decided to radically accept the situation?

Source: For more information about how to explore these questions: CLICK HEREill-be-fineSo when your not so fine, start working on some mindfulness and self compassion…

 


To live the best version of a life we first have to accept our life as it is and get out of the rut of wishing it was different, especially with things that are out of our control. Once you accept and acknowledge, we can then decide what WE want to do about it.

#MakeGoodThingsHappen

Take the time to work hard and design the best possible life for yourself. Be the main character in your story.


 

I would love to hear the good things that you are making happen in your life. Tweet me @SuccessMohawk and use #MakeGoodThingsHappen. Let’s share and learn from each other 🙂

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

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Still Procrastinating? Oh Yeah! Well Let’s Grow a “Kick Butt” Mindset!

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Have you ever heard, “if you want something done fast, ask a busy person?” Well, there is so much truth to this. Have you ever noticed that once you have some momentum going, getting stuff done, that it is easy to just whip through a few other things on your list? I do! When I am busy, I am amazing, when I am not busy I am glued to Netflix (or some other distraction), lamenting about how much I have to do. Once I get moving, I am always surprised that I procrastinated longer than the task actually took to complete. Seriously, I need to stop that. I have definitely improved over the years with new strategies and self-knowledge 🙂


stop-making-excusesProcrastination is very normal. Stop beating yourself up about it and just learn more about why you do it and what works for you. Get on with it! It is way worse to be stuck in a procrastination spiderweb than to face any fear that is holding you back.


Mindset + GRIT = Motivation

So enough of all this procrastination. Accept it as a part of life (it does NOT define you), learn what leads you down that rabbit hole and develop a Mindset that makes you a “gritty” person and gets back on track. Let’s start with setting the brain mood and kick your thinker into gear with the “power of yet”. We often procrastinate because we fear that we are not capable of doing the task, or have no idea what to do. The whole purpose of being in school is to learn, so adopt this easy little perspective, “I haven’t learned this yet“. The “yet” part changes the game from “I can’t do this” to “I will learn how to do this”. You can grow! Believe me, I am one of those people who thought that I was lousy at most things until I started to take risks and just try. Yes, some things I was horrible at, but there was always some great learning in every loss and in the many wins.


“Well, great I would love to have a mindset that helped me grow, but I have no idea where to start”,  you say.

Well, I say, check out this resource!

25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset

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Brain Nerdand it’s PsychNerdy Time Again!

“Christopher Wolters and Maryam Hussain performed research on the relationship between grit and self-regulated learning and achievement. Self-regulated learning is the process in which students take an active role in managing different aspects of their own learning. Motivation plays a large role in self-regulated learning because it involves substantial cognitive and metacognitive (thinking about your own thinking patterns) resources. The cognitive resources is the way humans learn through experience and senses”. Source.

Their study found…

  • College students who persevered through difficult times, had higher GRIT qualities and were able to self-regulate their learning. This means that they were able to take charge of their own academic experience and work through the discouraging or rough times.
  • College Students, who reported being diligent and hardworking, were not very discouraged by setbacks, and found value in their coursework.
  • The researchers also discovered that gritty students would be less likely to procrastinate because they were involved in less disruptive and time consuming tasks (Wolters & Hussain, 2014). Students with grit have a long-term goal, and they do not want to stride away from them because it is important.”.

So why am I telling you this?!?

GRIT can be learned. You need to decide that you want to stop being defined by your procrastination. You want to adopt the attitude that you are in a learning process so mistakes are inevitable and valuable. Start saying to yourself that you are in a constant state of “yet” not “can’t”. Learn study management strategies that work best for you and that keep you moving.

Here are some things that work for me:

  • I know that the more experience I get with completing tasks only leads to me being more confident that I will get any assigned tasks done. This is so motivational for me. I know that I just need to get started.
  • When I struggle with getting started, I pair rewards with what I am avoiding. I let myself watch one episode of a series on Netflix and then see now much work I can get done in the same amount of time after the episode is done. If it is a 30 minute episode, I watch that, finish it and then set a timer for 30 minutes and race to see how much I can get done before I can watch my next episode.
  • I always do things in smaller chunks. I know the exact size of chunk that I need because the moment the chunk is to big, my inner 4 year old starts screaming “I don’t feel like working!” (said in super whiney, poor me voice). So, reduce the chuck size and say “I will study for 15 minutes”, “I will just get this small part done now” or “I will just get some/all of my work done now so that I can really enjoy pub night without guilt” 🙂

Yes, growth is uncomfortable, but procrastination hell is way worse for your self-concept. So get out there armed with your “kick butt” mindset, know that you are in a state of learning (how cool is that!) and face those fears of failure. Tell your whiney inner 4 year old that you will feel way better when you are done….so grow up ;-P

Take Dr. Angela Duckworth’s 12-item-grit-scale and see where you are at right now.


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We learn and grow each time we challenge ourselves just a little bit. See procrastination as a little communication from your brain whispering to you “pssst…this is a learning opportunity, dig in and see what you can become”.


Today is my birthday so I may procrastinate…just a little…as a gift to me 😉

Next Week:

Join me for the beginning of a Study Management Series!

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca

 

References:

Christopher A. Wolters Maryam Hussain (2015) Investigating grit and its relations with college students’ self-regulated learning and academic achievement. Metacognition and Learning, December 2015, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 293–311

Something Cool to Check Out:

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YOLO! Adopt the Attitude for Success

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Stay Focused

Since You Only Live Once….make it good!

School is starting soon and it’s time to get mentally prepared. I am sure that you are feeling mixed emotions for sure! Dread, excitement, worry and hopefulness are probably weighing heavy on your mind. Here is a secret to getting those pesky emotions in balance and setting yourself up for the best academic year of your life.

Happy-New-Year-Images-2016-advance.jpgAcademic New Years!

This is the time of the year to reboot, start fresh, use some new strategies and really make your goals come alive.

This year take a different approach. Think about who you want to become in life rather than what you want to be. Yes yes yes, I know, you are in school to become a skilled worker in your chosen field, and you will, but that focus often is not strong enough to sustain you though the difficult challenges that the school year brings. Challenges are often those little teaching tools that help us to become the best version of ourselves.

WHO-DO-YOU-WANT-TO-BE-FOR-YOUR-TURN-ON2.pngDo you want to be the kind of person who can see things from many different perspectives? Be able to turn negative experiences in to learning experiences? Do you want to be the kind of person who takes charge of their own life and does not wait for others to solve their problems? Do you want to be the kind of person who faces challenges and loves the personal growth and self-confidence that develops out of those experiences?


Well, start with adopting this attitude: #MakeGoodThingsHappen

Yes, you are in charge of your life, make it great, take responsibility and go!


Ok, I can feel you wondering just where do I get started??! Well, with knowing and applying your strengths of course!!

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Lead with Your StrengthsFocus on Your Strengths

Every individual possesses 24 character strengths in different degrees, giving each person a unique character profile. You can discover your personal character strengths profile by taking the scientifically validated VIA Survey.

My top 3 are Social Intelligence, Zest and Gratitude. These are very accurate for me. I try very hard to infuse and use these character strengths in every thing that I do. When I teach, when I counsel and even in my personal life; the good times and the challenging times. It is in the tough times I try to face the issue, find solutions all with “Zest” (approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated).

Curious?!?!

What character strengths do you have?

Check out the FREE Character Strengths Survey


Tips

Tips to Get You in the Right Mindset to Start the Year off Well:

  1. Goals! Be very clear about your goals. For some ideas around goal setting, check out this video: SMART GoalsKnowing why you are working hard through the tough times, makes is so much easier to persevere (short term pain for long term gain). Use your strengths to guide you.
  2. Just Do it! Adopt a “Work First-Play Later” attitude. Get your work done and then play is so much better (you are more relaxed) and play becomes a great motivator.
  3. Procrastinating? Just get started and at least do something, even a small amount. You may surprise yourself and get “stuck in” the work. Start with saying, “I will work for at least 30 minutes”, see what happens.
  4. Music! Use classical music to help you concentrate and stay focused. Once you regularly start using music to study, you will find simply putting on the headphones and playing this music, prepares your brain for a study state. Try it!
  5. Adopt a success Mindset! Yes, it will be hard at times but wallowing in negative thoughts and emotions just keeps you stuck. If you say to yourself something like “college is a place where I face daily anxieties and get mentally tortured by all my professors”, then school will just feel painful. If you say something like, “yes, school is very stressful, but I love seeing what I am capable of in this life”, your mindset changes to something more motivational.

 

This is the year to…

#MakeGoodThingsHappen

…in your life.


Join me this year on the #MakeGoodThingsHappen journey!

For Mohawk Students, I will be presenting on GRIT: Secret to Success at the first annual Be Well-Do Well workshop day on August 31st. Check it out!

Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD

eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success

heather.drummond@mohawkcollege.ca