Mindfulness in May

This month’s coaching topic is on “Mindfulness“.  I topic I have been hearing much about, but knew little about when it came down to it.  Upon researching the topic here is what I found:

  • Mindfulness is a form of meditation
  • It is derived from Buddhist meditation practices
  • It has recently gained popularity in being used primarily for stress reduction
  • It focusses on breathing
  • It is purposefully paying attention, purposefully staying in the present moment
  • It is not judging the thoughts or emotions that come to mind and simply letting them be what they are good or bad (not reacting to them)

This form of meditation has been documented to have physical and health benefits such as:

  • Reducing stress
  • Fighting depression
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Improving memory
  • Fostering compassion for others

I also found a good YouTube clip from Jon Kabat-Zinn who has propelled the mindfulness movement with his Mindfulness– Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR), check it out:

Interesting Infographics for Nurses

For all of you nursing students the link below contains some really interesting infographics about the career boom in the field of nursing and how it relates to healthcare.  I found it particularly interesting, which states are hiring the most nurses and they type of nurse (area of specialty) that is in demand.  90% of nurses report being satisfied with their career choice – that is pretty outstanding.  This provides a lot of interesting information in a matter of minutes, check it out!



Tips for Reading Text

Each quarter students have to pay for textbooks.  It can add up to quite a bit of money depending on how many textbooks are required per course and how many courses a student is taking.  Since textbooks come at such a price, wouldn’t you want to make the most of them?  I certainly would.  I also would like to equip all students with the skills to read textbooks for optimal retention of information.  There are many different techniques and tips out there for remembering information read in textbooks, articles, or assigned readings.  Below is a webinar presented by Connie from The Reading Lab on the main Bellevue College Campus.  In this presentation she provides information on how to really learn the important aspects in textbooks.  Check it out!  Click the link below.


The Reading Lab is part of the Academic Success Center on the main Bellevue College campus.  The specialists that work in The Reading Lab can assist with many different aspects of improving reading for academic purposes.  I encourage everyone to check them out:


More Motivation

Spring is here, trees and flowers are blossoming, good weather is calling us outside, how is it possible to stay focused on one’s studies and academic program during such a beautiful season?  It is easy to start putting things off and filling the schedule with more leisure activities during this time, which can ultimately take you off track or cause you to lose momentum in your program.  That is why it is so important to stay motivated this quarter, focus on those goals (academic & career), and move forward.

How can one stay motivated?

Try out some of the techniques below if you find yourself struggling to stay focused:

1. Remind yourself about what is important to you (goals). Why did you start the academic program you are in?  What factors are driving you to be in higher education?  Why are you doing this?  These questions should spark some insight as to why it is important to keep going.

2. Make class interesting.  If you find yourself enrolled in a course where the material is not always the most exciting, or it is not your preferred subject to study, or maybe it is too difficult or too easy for that matter, find ways to make it more interesting.  This will be challenging.  Make a game for yourself of trying to memorize dull material (involve others) or try to find something that interests you within the material you are studying, even if it is a stretch.  Anything to keep your interest will keep you moving in the right direction.

3. Avoid time-sucking activities.  Good ol’ social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the usual suspects, but also avoid activities that can take up too much time…too much socializing or involvement in too many extracurricular activities (over committing), and working too much can also interfere with focusing on studies

4. Study outside. Win-win situation right?  Enjoy the weather and your studies too, just be sure to be productive and not be distracted by sounds or other occurrences around you

5. Find a role model. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.  Who do you admire?  If you do not have a role model, find one and most importantly, find out how it was that they came to be in their position today.  How did they achieve greatness?  I bet they did not get to where they are by spending an abundance of time on Facebook or playing Frisbee golf.

6. Keep everything in perspective.  One quarter is only a few months out of the year, out of the next five years, ten years, your entire life.  You can do this.  Power through and before you know it you will find yourself one quarter further than you were earlier in the year.      

Click on “New-motivation” link below for a PDF from the Bellevue College TRiO program on motivation that includes a goals worksheet.


Get Motivated!

Do you find yourself in the middle of your program and hitting a lull?  Or perhaps you have just started another course, another quarter and are having a hard time getting started and getting back into routine.  All of us encounter a lack in motivation at some point or another.  The important thing is to not drift too far off course and regain motivation in order to stay on track and reach those goals.  This month’s coaching topic is going to be on “Motivation”.

Next week I will be sending out an e-mail with tips on how to stay motivated and on track in your academic program.  Motivation largely involves positive thinking and believing in one’s ability in order to persevere and keep going.  I will be sending out some tips and resources for staying motivated shortly, stay tuned.


Do you SQ3R?

Have you ever heard of the acronym SQ3R?  or SQ4R?

It is a technique to use in order to remember what you are reading when you have assigned readings from a textbook or article, etc.  Here’s how it works:

S = Survey (read and notice important headings, titles, and graphics)

Q = Question (turn each title or heading into a question and see if you can answer it)

R = Read (each section in full trying to answer questions as you go along)

R = Recite (after each section try to remember the questions and what you read, repeat this as needed)

R = Review (once you’ve read a chapter, go back to the questions and see if you can still answer them)

R = Remember (try to remember what you read, aim to learn something new from what you read)

Below are a couple of documents that further explain the SQ3R/SQ4R method and how to best employ it:


SQ4R Study Techniques

The Elevator Pitch/Speech: What is it?

Have you ever heard of an “elevator pitch” or “elevator speech”?  It is one of the latest and greatest ways to organize your introduction in a job interview.

An elevator pitch is essentially a sales pitch in which you describe to the employer within a short amount of time about yourself.  This is a great tool to use when asked by an interview panel to: “Tell us a little about yourself”.  According to the book Elevator Essentials by Chris O’Leary, it says that the length of an elevator speech should be the time-span of a typical elevator ride which is 30 seconds or less.  At the most, it should be 2 minutes in length.

In general, elevator pitches are used when trying to sell a product, idea, project, etc.  They are a popular tactic used in the business world when trying to get people to invest in products or companies.  In an interview, you typically are trying to sell….yourself.  Therefore, the basic principles apply when creating an elevator pitch.

Basic content of an elevator speech:

1. Who you are

2. What skills do you have to offer

3.  What is it you are seeking

4. What personal qualities make this opportunity a good fit for you

I recommend trying to organize an elevator speech prior to an upcoming job interview and seeing how it works out.  If anything, it will help you prepare for the interview and will ensure that you will not ramble or falter on the first question 🙂

Below is an article from Forbes on the topic: