Posts Tagged ‘goals’

How has your summer been so far?  Are you meeting your writing goals?  Or are you uneasy as you look at the calendar?  

Unfortunately, the best of intentions at the beginning of summer can sometimes get waylaid. 

If you have met your writing goals or if you are on track to meet them, congratulations and Big Gold Stars for you! 


If you have hammered out text according to plan, what helped you do what you said you were going to do?

Are you amazingly resilient? Do you have an abundance of willpower and perseverance?  Or, if perseverance is not your top strength, do you have some great strategies?

I’d love to hear from you.  What was your success strategy?

Happy writing,


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

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How would you like to make 20 percent more progress on your dissertation than you’re now making?

Bob Emmons, professor at the University of California, Davis, has found that having a grateful attitude can make that possible.

The author of Thanks!  How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Prof. Emmons has made amazing research findings about living gratefully, but perhaps the most intriguing has to do with goal achievement.  He sees a positive relationship between gratitude and goal achievement.

In a study with participants equally divided between a gratitude condition and a non-gratitude condition, Prof. Emmons says that participants in the gratitude condition made 20 percent more progress toward their goals than did the other group.  In addition, the participants in the gratitude condition were more motivated to continue working than were the participants in the other group.

As writers, we look for ways to make our hard job easier.  We persevere.  We call on our courage.  We apply hints and strategies to increase our creativity and our motivation.  We take note of what works for us and try to repeat the pattern in order to get that momentum rolling.

Researchers have told us that if we can generate a somewhat happy frame of mind, starting our writing and sticking with it will be easier.  It makes sense, I think, that if we want to induce a relatively happy or calm frame of mind, we can choose to be grateful to someone for something.

This week two of my dissertation clients described the struggles they individually are having with their work.  One feels that her advisor has given discouraging feedback.  The other client procrastinates and resists writing.

Yet, in contrast to the mood each had when describing the struggles, they both had a hopeful confidence in their voices as they expressed the gratitude they feel toward their spouses.  The spouses read the dissertation drafts of my clients.

I don’t know if these two clients can make 20 percent more progress in their dissertation writing than they would have had their spouses not helped them.  But I was struck by the change in mood as they spoke of their gratitude.

I’m curious to hear what you think.  Would you be interested to hear more about Prof. Emmons’s studies in gratitude?  Would you be willing to try some gratitude interventions yourself?

Until next time,

Your International Dissertation Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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You can come up with a gazillion reasons for avoiding your dissertation —too tired, too busy, too stressed, too, too, too.  And you are all of those things.

However, any reason you come up with for not getting to work on your dissertation will seem paltry when put up against the Big 3 Goals:

1. Defend your proposal;
2. Finish your dissertation;
3. Get on with your life.

Which goal is next for you?  I’d love to hear how you’re doing.

Go to my website (www.nwcoaching.com) this week to sign up for my Smart Tips e-newsletter, and 30 minutes of my time will be yours for the asking.  What’s stopping you from reaching your goal?

Looking forward to hearing about what’s between you and your goal,
Your Dissertation Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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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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