Archive for December, 2007

Making goals for an entire year seems to me to be self-sabotaging.

Are we talking about making a big change that you’ll be so disciplined that you’ll do that action you’re contemplating every single day for the next year?  That’s too much time to deal with. 

Chunk it down.

If you decide where you want to be in 3 months, it seems far more manageable.

So where do you want to be in 3 months?

1.  Write it down and post it where you will see it.

2.  Put it in your calendar.

3.  What help do you need? Ask for it.
• Help from friends?  Partner?  Family?
•  Alliance with a writing buddy?
• Coaching?  Hire a dissertation coach?

4.  What resources do you already have? Pull them up.
• Advisor?  Mentor?  Friend whose opinion you trust?
• What is that resource you’ve been meaning to dip into?  Now is the time.

5.  What’s the first step?
• Use your top strengths–your signature strengths– to make this step easier
• Make the first step realistic and manageable

6.  Go my website (www.nwcoaching.com) and sign up for my Smart Tips newsletter. You will get support and tips that you can use.  I’ll also send you a gift.

Here we go!

Until next time,

P.S.  Plan for 3 months of successful writing.   

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1. What is the key to perseverance?
 Getting started is the key.
 The first step is the hardest.  Sit down and then stay there.

2. What is sending you right over the edge? 
 You are– Catastrophizing only raises your blood pressure.
 Who needs the drama?
 Remember: Catastrophizing is just another form of procrastination. 

3. Who could work at a desk stacked so high that you can’t see the computer screen?
 Decluttering is a terrific focusing mechanism.
 Just don’t get carried away with it—we’re talking desk top, one surface.

4. Even if you get going, something seems to stop you. 
 Ever hear of a momentum-breaker? 
 It’s usually something you do to yourself, when you’re at your self-sabotaging best.

5. How did creativity get to be #24 in your list of strengths? 
 Oops—time to try a new approach.  Give yourself a moment to let your mind wander—in the grocery  store line or driving to take care of an errand.  Turn the radio off and let your mind do what it loves to  do for a bit.

6. How can you write when you’re feeling so mean?
 So you didn’t have a great holiday.  Or you don’t want to go back to writing after having a great  holiday.  Meanness is uncalled for.  Time to practice gratitude and empty that mean-spiritedness before it really gets in your way.  What do you have to be grateful for? 

7.  Think how irritated you will be with yourself next week if you goof off all of this week. 

8.  Bonus Tip:  Go my website (www.nwcoaching.com) and sign up for my Smart Tips newsletter. I have  something you can use!

Until next time,

 P.S.  Get in touch with me–what would help you move into action?

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As many of you know, the MLA meetings begin on Dec. 27th in Chicago.

I’ll be thinking of those of you who are having interviews.

For good luck and for some fun, click on the link below to see a spectacular performance—it’s just amazing:


Do well!  And safe journeys,


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Dear Friends,

Do you notice the snow falling here on my blog?  I guess it isn’t sticking, but in my part of the US, we don’t get a lot of snow.

Thanks to all of you who have read my blog this past year.

Keep reading and let me know how I can be of help.

Also, I have a great gift for you– go my website (www.nwcoaching.com) and sign up for my newsletter.

nancy@ nancywhichard.com

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Dear Dissertation Writing friends and other friends, too–

How are you feeling tonight after making it through another Christmas?  Are you as exhausted as I am?

I’m not quite ready to take stock, but I want to give myself a pat on the back for doing o.k.

Tonight I have a gift for you—actually, it’s one that Ben Dean, my friend and colleague at MentorCoach (www.mentorcoach.com), has passed along to many people.  If you’re like me and have yet to get out to a Christmas movie or a play, click on the link below for something just for you:


Take good care of yourself.

nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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For those of you who are celebrating holidays this week, it means you can’t be absolutely sure of anything, not of one day to the next, particularly if you have children home from school (pre-school through college) or adult offspring visiting for a few days. 

I’m taking time off from coaching to be with my family this week, but I promised that I could be available to some of my dissertation coaching clients and also to new clients who will be starting after New Year’s.  However tonight I am trying to figure out when I can definitely tell someone that I can talk with her this week.  She has just a few questions, and I’m unsure when I can say that someone can call me, even for a few minutes.

Maybe you feel the same way about setting aside time to write.  Not knowing when  you’ll have at least an hour of uninterrupted time, are you tempted to say just forget it? 

You don’t have to have a big chunk of time, and you don’t have to write at the same time each day. 

What if you just steal away from everyone while they’re watching TV or playing cards?  Do it for yourself.  You don’t have to miss every board game that is played, but what if you just creep away for 15 minutes and write about anything having to do with your dissertation or your writing project?  As I write that, I feel weepy because I know what a gift it can be to say this time or that time is mine and I will give it to me. 

You don’t have to write a lot—just a little bit, a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow.  

Some days of this week can be your best days if you do some writing, if you closet yourself for a few minutes and do whatever amount of writing you are able to do

When I asked one of my writing clients what days during a recent holiday were her “best days,” she said “My Best Days were those when I achieved something—no matter how little I actually wrote on those days.”

Have some “Best Days” this week.

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Have you given yourself until, say, tonight or tomorrow to write and then your plan is to take a break, send the thing off, go on a holiday? 

Time to take stock. 

Stop and breathe.

Where are you in the process?  You’ve put in time, you’ve written some, and you have a bit more to do. 

This isn’t the time to kick yourself for not having done more. 

This is the time to be grateful—grateful that you were able to do whatever amount of work you’ve done.  Grateful that you’re still at it, that you haven’t been derailed, that it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. 

Don’t take for granted what you have accomplished. 

Being grateful—actually practicing gratitude– gives you courage and can make hope possible. 

Gratitude generates hope.

Did you ever see that movie Hope Floats?  No excuses from me for liking the film—I know it’s sappy and, yes, Sandra Bullock has a brief scene in which she wears a cheerleader’s costume and leads a cheer. 

Slip off that critical perch—no smirks now. I confess that I like the line that Sandra Bullock’s character says about hope:  “Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” 

Keep that gratitude going.  You might not recognize hope, but I’ll bet you it’s there, mixed in with the gratitude.  Lots of power in gratitude and hope that can fuel you to your deadline or planned stopping point.

Take a breath.  Add a smile for the heck of it…and jump back in.

Until next time,

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