Success starts with setting goals
This is the latest post on President Feridun Hamdullahpur's blog.
Every year, after a well-deserved holiday break, I think of my own student days. It was tough to adjust back! I just wanted to share some things with you that I hope you will find helpful.
I know coming back for the start of a new term, new classes, and new projects is an exciting one, but can quickly turn to a growing feeling of procrastination.
It feels like you have all the time in the world, then the days turn to weeks, weeks to months, and then suddenly the term is coming to a close and you are scrambling to get projects done. This last minute scrambling doesn’t just hurt your short term progress, but results in your long term hopes and dreams being pushed to the back burner. This is why setting goals is so important. That is how I pushed myself to do it.
Goals have a tremendous amount of power to shape our lives and all of society if we can meet them head on. Our university is based on goals and a strategic plan to achieve those goals. I believe your hopes and dreams for the next year should be no different.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Goal Setting
It’s never too late to start setting goals, nor should you underestimate the power of them. It doesn’t take the beginning of a calendar year for you to set goals and start leveraging their strength.
Do you want to improve your grades? Try setting goals. A 2010 study found that by participating in a dedicated goal-setting intervention, undergraduate students increased their GPAs by 30 percent compared to a control group. These kinds of results are not limited to academia and should not be overlooked.
Make SMART Goals
One of the first steps everyone should take in goal setting is actually writing them down. Put your goals on a piece of paper, a whiteboard, a reminder on your phone or your calendar. Somewhere that you will check them regularly.
Using the SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based) method is definitely recommended. SMART goals allow you to clearly lay out a defined objective instead of a general statement like “I want to run more.” The SMART goal version of this could read “I will run three times a week for at least 20 minutes.” This is a defined goal that can be tracked and measured for success.
For information on SMART goals, take a look at this helpful guide from the Student Success Office.
Going Beyond Academic Goals
It can be easy to default to academic or professional goals, but it’s important to explore and go beyond these priorities alone. There are many different types of goals to choose from that includes professional, skill building, health, volunteering and leisure activities. Try setting a goal of meditating for ten minutes a day or aiming to read five books this year for pleasure. Types of goals are truly endless.
I encourage you to incorporate a mix of goals to broaden your focus, skills and experience. You’ll be surprised as to how much this range of goals will help you grow as a person and as a professional.
If you are having difficulty setting your goals, try talking to a friend, colleague or, if you are a student, reach out to the Student Success Office and utilize their wonderful support programs.
Good luck with your goals this year!
Celebrating our 2017 achievements
A message from Bruce Campbell, Chief Information Officer, Information Systems & Technology
I’m pleased to share the first IST Annual Report. The 2017 report highlights a number of achievements from the past year and their impact on various areas of campus. The stories we’ve chosen show ‘IT’ is not just about technology and systems, but supporting and engaging our community in their work and study.
I hope you find the report both informative and fun to read. Thank you for your partnership, and for helping us deliver state of the art, people-centric IT services and solutions in support of the University mission.
Visit the IST Annual Report site at https://uwaterloo.ca/ist-annual-report.
Sustainability Action Fund open for applications
Have a project idea that would support sustainability on campus?
The Sustainability Action Fund is now accepting applications for projects that will work towards the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy. Projects can include infrastructure improvements, events or campaigns to increase awareness of sustainability issues on campus, and programs to support sustainable behaviours.
Projects can request up to $20,000 in funding this term, and can be led by staff, students, or faculty members. Approximately $23,000 in funding is available for the Winter 2018 call.
Projects that successfully received funding during Fall 2017 included:
- Standardized waste receptacles;
- Secure bike cage;
- Sustainability summer camp;
- Water bottle refill station; and
- E-waste stations.
The deadline for applications is Friday, February 23. Full details and instructions are available on the Sustainability Action Fund webpage.
Remembering Joseph Gold
Retired English professor Joseph Gold died on January 13 at the age of 84.
Born in London, England, Gold joined the University of Waterloo in September 1970 after ten years at the University of Manitoba. He chaired the English department from 1970 to 1973.
Recognized as a leading world authority on the work of Charles Dickens, Gold's research also focused on bibliotherapy - "that is, the use of literature as a psychotherapeutic agent and in the normal developmental stages of personal growth."
In September 1972, his book The Stature of Dickens: A Centenary Bibliography became the 500,000th item added to the University of Waterloo Library's catalogue.
In 1978 he was elected the president of the Temple Shalom Reform Congregation of Waterloo.
He also served on a number of departmental committees.
Gold retired from the University in January 1994.
An award in his name, The Joseph Gold Award for teaching English was established in 1996 as part of the Waterloo Regional English awards, given out to a teacher who demonstrated leadership, creativity and enthusiasm in teaching English.
In addition to his work as a professor of literature, with books published on Faulkner and Dickens, Gold was also a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and wrote several books on the role of literature in human relations, including Read for your Life (1990) and The Story Species (2002).
"Reading fiction is not just entertainment," Gold once said. "It changes people's lives, how they think and feel and act."
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 20 at Temple Shalom on Beechwood Drive in Waterloo followed by a Kiddush, memory-sharing and stories.