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Archive for the ‘New Year’s Resolution’ Category

New Year’s Day is one of the few holidays that much of the world celebrates. Today, on New Year’s Day, we celebrate the possibility of starting afresh and of having second chances, but more even than that, we honor structure and accountability.

New Year’s Day not only structures our lives into one year after another, but it also divides each  year into twelve months and beyond, easing the work of record-keeping and accountability into manageable chunks. Around the world, most government offices and banks are closed today on our jointly celebrated New Year’s Day. It may be the only day when all of the world’s financial markets are closed.

To emphasize that today is the day to step back for a broader perspective on key aspects of our lives, we use business metaphors to show our belief that because of today, change will be easier to accomplish. We say that we can now close the books on some task or challenge, or, if need be, we may even give ourselves permission to wipe the slate clean and start anew.

Now if you were, say, a fox, one day would be like all the others, but since you’re not a fox, you are probably finding a moment or two today to reflect on how your year has gone. You may also be giving some thought to what you can do differently for a better outcome. And since you are knowingly or unknowingly celebrating the ritual of planning, as well as that of record keeping, perhaps you are considering what will be your first step in making 2014 a better year than 2013.

It’s hard to miss that wonderful spirit of hope that’s in the air today. We watched the fireworks in Dubai and in Sydney and in London and in New York.  In spite of everything this year, hope is still possible. In our individual lives, we get another chance to do and be better in big and small ways. 

English: New Year fireworks at the London Eye

The fireworks can’t be just smoke and noise, but rather a celebration of the individual strengths that we each call upon to help us be accountable in moving day by day toward accomplishing what we hold important.

Today is the chance for a fresh start, the opportunity to do better, to show up and work.

After you put writing high on your list of priorities for this New Year, then what comes next?  What’s the plan?

Make 2014 your year.

Happy New Year!

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC

Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach

http://www.nancywhichard.com

nancy @ nancywhichard.com

 

 

 

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For people working from home or working at home, the holidays present special difficulties, as in when are the holidays over?  When do I act on my intentions?

It’s time to get 2011 started. 

This past week, with January 1 being on a Saturday, we had an extra day or two to anticipate when we would actually start the New Year. 

How about taking better care of myself?  Do I start exercising now?  

Or do I wait until I’ve finished the frozen desserts that weren’t eaten over Christmas?

Do I act now on my new resolution to write every morning or do I wait until all of the Christmas decorations are put away?

When will I feel like the New Year has started, that I’m not still waiting for something?

For me, it’s when I sit down in front of my computer and everything is quiet. Why wait?

The holiday is finally over.  The New Year has started.    

How about you?  Have you let go of the holiday and got on with 2011?

I’d love to hear how you have restarted your writing in this New Year.

All good wishes,                                                  

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
http://www.dissertationbootcamp.net
http://www.usingyourstrengths.com
http://www.smarttipsforwriters.com

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All good wishes to my readers, coaching clients, and many friends both here at home and around the world for a very happy and productive 2010.

My best to you,

Nancy

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What does August have in common with January and New Year’s? 

If you are an  academic writer, a PhD in academia, or an ABD, the last half of summer and August, in particular, may be the calm before the storm, the last best chance to do some serious writing before classes start and maybe before your advisor  (or department chair) returns to campus and you have to face him or her.

Just as in January, when everyone is urging you to start afresh, to lose weight, to join a gym, with August looming, you are now getting offers of four free sessions with a coaching group or membership in a low-cost online writing group.  Come closer to the August dissertation/academic writing hype—use the hype to start your own fire. 

You could try my Boot Camp, or steal my model for yourself.

My Boot Camp is a concentrated 2-week session in which I ask writers to commit to write four hours daily. Writers draw firm boundaries to eliminate distractions and to avoid setting themselves up for failure.  For accountability, I ask clients to email me after each daily writing session. 

By sticking to the plan, a success strategy is in motion.  Over the two weeks, writing becomes a habit because success is a habit.

Even if you’re working full time and also juggling a dissertation, you can make time over the next few weeks if you open yourself to the potential for summer productivity.

Don’t let this season of opportunities pass you by. If you’ve been an on-again, off-again dissertation writer for far too long, establish the writing habit and enjoy successful writing. 

Enjoy the success of building a consistent, daily, robust writing habit. 

I’m keeping an eye on the calendar.  Are you?

Nancy

P.S.  If you’re interested in successful writing and summer productivity, I’d like to hear from you.  Have you tried Boot Camp? Check out my tips at my website—www.nancywhichard.com and www.dissertationbootcamp.net.

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com
www.usingyourstrengths.com
www.dissertationbootcamp.net

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Did you decide that you would make your dissertation a priority this year?  Have you found that instead of writing your dissertation, you continue to resist writing and continue to feel guilty about not writing?  Are you sick of all of the drama?

Could the problem be your goals?

“Having Goals is a Pain in the Neck” was the title of a recent post by blogger Seth Godin.

When I read that, I was taken aback.  Doesn’t Godin advocate goal-setting?  In the short blog post, he continued to make a good argument for not having goals.  He said that if you don’t have a goal, then you can just do your best.

Furthermore, he said, you can decide what is most important at any given time.

Of course, Godin was putting us on. That became clear as he said that not having goals allows you to have more fun.

The point of his post was that people who are productive and accomplish something have goals.

If you decided to make your dissertation a priority in 2009, are you seeing the fruits of that decision?

If you’re not accomplishing what you had hoped, you might take a look at your goal.  How manageable is it?  At times, I hear my clients refer to their goal as finishing their dissertation–the whole enchilada.

Even though most people have heard that it’s best to break their goals into chunks, exactly what that means seems to be unclear.

A more helpful goal is a weekly plan—what you can realistically accomplish in one week.  And the way to meet a weekly goal is to decide what you can realistically do during the week, day by day.

We need all the help we can get in order to finish the dissertation.  Goals help you because they can function like roadmaps, but like roadmaps, goals need to have more than just the destination marked.

You need to think about what links those major cities, how much ground you can reasonably expect to cover in any one day, and what you need to pay attention to as you traverse that day’s drive.

I’d love to hear what kind of goals you have set and how you’re making it likely that you will meet those goals.

Happy goal-setting,

Nancy

P.S.  A Dissertation Boot Camp is a great way to set in motion the habit of working each day and also of becoming clear on what is a realistic goal for each day. Check out my website (www.nancywhichard.com) to learn more about Dissertation Boot Camp.

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com

 

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How many people signed their holiday card to you by wishing you a joyful, peaceful and productive year?

When you read the word productive, did you wince, thinking that they had somehow emphasized it?

Regret and shame can do quite a number on you, making you want to slink behind the couch because you’re sure everyone knows how little progress you made on your dissertation in 2008.

Have you said to yourself that something has to change?

On the second day of January, one of my Dissertation Boot Camp clients told me that she had made a New Year’s Resolution that never again would she have her thesis hanging over her head during a holiday.

The holiday season now ending was the last time she would experience the guilt she felt as she worked on her thesis when she wanted to spend time with her family and alternately worried about her work when she was having family time.

She has committed to daily writing over the next two weeks in order to get a good start toward finishing her degree by July.

If she sticks with her plan of daily writing for two weeks, she will be well on her way to having a habit in place, a habit that replaces her resistance to writing.

If you want to be productive in 2009 but something has to change first, then make a sacrifice for the sake of you.

Do whatever you need to do, get whatever help you need,  in order to show up to write each and every day for one to two weeks.

Working with someone—a buddy or a coach—adds accountability and will strengthen the habit.

Once you have a habit in place, you will be amazed at the change you see in yourself.  Give it a try!

If change is what you want more of this year, then make it soon!

Happy New Year and here’s to a change in writing habits!

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com

 

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January is the time for take-charge measures.

Weight loss organizations market heavily in January.  Gyms offer great deals.

E-newsletters multiply, magazines bulge with tips to make this year different, and Oprah offers all of us a way to control our weight.

It makes sense to take advantage of the season, the urge, the energy in the air, in your head, in your body.   Use that challenge to your advantage.

Channel it into your dissertation.

You hear the call to join dissertation groups, to buddy-up, to hire a coach.  If you were ever going to sign up for a dissertation boot camp, now could be the time.

A new dissertation coaching client, who long ago stopped taking graduate classes, but, alas, still pays tuition, has decided that she’s in a no-kidding, no-fooling mode.  She paid her tuition for the current winter term. But that’s the last time.  She has decided that she will defend in April.

Another new dissertation coaching client who for a year had been knocked off her stride by a negative reaction to a proposal has now jumped back into the race.

Use the January fever as a resource.  Make your move now.

If you’re interested in dissertation groups or boot camps, I’d like to hear from you.  What do you need?  What would you do if something were available?

For more support and for tips that you can use, go my website and sign up for my Smart Tips newsletter.

You’re in my thoughts.

Until next time,
Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com
http://www.nancywhichard.com

 

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