Writing with Personality

Let’s be serious for a second – writing is not always easy or fun. You would think that your wit in person would come through inherently on paper or on screen, whatever your medium… Not so, I declare. I find myself to be a pretty decently snarky and clever gal in conversation, but I have my days where I sit in front of a freshly written paper and just berate myself. For like. An hour. “How on this sweet,  green earth did I think that was canny or insightful? What the hell does that sentence even mean? Is that SERIOUSLY supposed to be a creative metaphor? Garbage. Seriously. Have a nap. Wake up competent. Thanks.” 

My subconscious can be really harsh…

And then there are other days where I write as if I’m just regurgitating information in my own words. It’s disgusting. It’s practically word vomit. It’s unfocused, boring, and stiff. No one wants to read that.

My point is – write with your personality! It shouldn’t be horribly informal if it’s for a class, but we should still get the idea that you’re probably an interesting and insightful person. Unless you’re not, then…sorry, I guess. You should have had more Kool-Aid or something.

I’m not sure if I’ve made it obvious enough, but I’m kind of a smart aleck in person. Shockingly, people like that. Take your signature character trait and use it to your advantage in writing! There’s no magic method to finding your ‘self’ in your writing, so why not play and practice a little? Try writing a paper as formally as you can, then write it as if it’s the biggest joke in the world. Is there a happy medium that you can find?

I know I’m not the only one who would like to be mildly entertained while reading something informative! Learning new things is a lot easier when it’s also fun, guys.

Motivation for Your Goals!

Setting your goals is the easy part. Actually meeting those goals takes a lot more than just saying you will! Motivation is the key here and while it’s not easy, here’s a guide that can lead to a series of successful accomplishments, goals, and habit changes. Motivate yourself from the very start!

  1. Start small. I’ve said this before, but that’s because it’s one of the most important tips in motivating yourself toward a goal. Don’t start out big! Start out with a ridiculously easy goal, and then grow from there. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.
  2. One goal. Too many people start with too many goals at once, and try to do too much. It saps energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
  3. Examine your motivation. Know your reasons. Give them some thought … and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.
  4. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
  5. Get excited. Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. Get pumped! Get excited about how amazing it will be once you’re on your way!
  6. Print it out, post it up. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (”Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal also helps.

(source: http://zenhabits.net/the-ultimate-guide-to-motivation-how-to-achieve-any-goal/)

ASPIRE Study Strategy

Salutations BPSers! It’s Wednesday and time for study tips and learning strategies.

You’ve taken an important first step toward your new life by enrolling in the BPS program. Now to work toward successful completion of your degree! The ASPIRE study system might help.

  • A: Approach your school work with an optimistic attitude. Arrange your schedule so you can study without distraction.
  • S: Select a manageable chunk of work to do; don’t try to do it all at once. Scan the headlines, graphics, keywords, and vocabulary terms.
  • P: Put away your books & Piece together what you’ve learned.
  • I: Investigate other sources – websites, tutors, dictionaries. Inquire – ask support professionals (librarians, teachers). Inspect – what didn’t you understand? Look it up.
  • R: Reexamine the materials. Reflect on how it relates to your other studies. Relay the information (maybe to your fellow students, do they understand it the same way? Differently?)
  • E: Evaluate yourself through your grades. Examine your advancement in achieving your goals. Explore – what can you do to succeed?

Remember, this is just one system you can use in your BPS studies. Keep up the hard work. You can do it!

Source: http://www.studygs.net/aspire.htm