Monday Motivation #2 (5/25/2020)
Happy Memorial Day!
Motivation can come in many forms. For one of my kids, sticker charts have been a great way to motivate them to practice their (two!) musical instruments. I actually created my own sticker chart a couple of weeks ago to help me track my personal goal of adding movement to my days. Surprisingly, I’m finding it pretty fulfilling to put a star on my chart when I do yoga or ride the exercise bike.
I think the key to success is picking specific, achievable goals. For me, I aim to move at least 10 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week — I really can’t argue that I can’t find 10 minutes to exercise, and it’s helped my physical and mental health quite a bit. What small, specific goal can you aim for on a daily or weekly basis to stay motivated and continue making forward progress towards your degree?
Three Things to Try This Week
Make Yourself a Star Chart — I’ve attached a simple calendar file that you can modify with your own goals. Draw a star or check mark (or add a sticker!) each time you meet you goal. See how many days in a row you can mark off — but don’t be discouraged by missing a day. Just start again the next day (remember the article from last week, about how to recover from a disastrous day). Remember to focus on small, clear goals and build up step by step to accomplish larger tasks.
Join a Community of your Peers — I’ve created a Microsoft Teams space for Engineering graduate students who are interested in having an online “space” to connect informally with other students. Come see a picture of my personal sticker chart (and share your own goals, if you’d like). Take a peek at other students’ summer timelines, or post your own. “Check in” with a morning chat, or see who else is up late working. If you’d like to be added to the group, just reply to this email and let me know!
Re-imagine your Home Workspace — watch this recorded webinar from the MSU WorkLife Office on the ergonomics of working remotely and spend some time reorganizing and re-imagining your home workspace. While we don’t necessarily have the benefits of supportive desk chairs, external monitors and keyboards, and flexible work spaces right now, there are many ways that you can improve the bio-mechanics and ergonomics of your remote workspace to promote health and safety.
- The webinars (live and recorded) from the MSU WorkLife office are great, covering a wide variety of topics that are relevant to our current situation.
- The College’s website on RCR (Responsible Conduct of Research) has several recorded seminars that you can watch in order to complete training requirements; scroll down to the 2019–20 section to find them.
- The PhD Comics Movies are **free** to watch during the pandemic. These funny-but-true depictions of graduate school life might be a great reward to “earn” by filling in your star chart!