Tag Archives: goals


Three Steps for Creating a New Habit

dog in snow

We’re seven weeks into the new year, and the January crowds at your gym or yoga class are probably starting to thin out now. Many people’s New Year’s goals have been set aside, maybe due to unrealistic expectations, or to the variety of unexpected obstacles (snow days, sickness, etc) that can get in the way of new habits.

But you don’t need to wait until next January to try to create a positive new habit — and in fact, research has shown that successfully creating a new habit helps you then mak…


Three Words for the New Semester

One of my favorite things about the rhythms of academic life is that we get to start fresh several times a year. A new semester brings new students, new courses, new research opportunities, and the chance to try doing something a bit differently.

Here at ProfHacker, Amy’s written before about setting New Year’s resolutions to improve on the previous semester’s experience, and Anastasia’s written about setting teaching resolutions for a new semester.

To focus my intentions and actions for the ne…


Year-End Reflection


The end of the semester is a natural time for reflection and planning, and with the calendar year drawing to a close, you may feel added impetus to review the past four, six, or twelve months. Review and reflection about what actually happened over that time is an important step to take before jumping in to setting goals or resolutions for the new year or new semester.

Here are a few questions that can help with end of the semester or end of the year review. Set aside a block of time where you …


Pause, Clarify, Decide

Bucket of rocks

Professionals in every field today often find themselves overwhelmed by the flood of incoming information, opportunities, and tasks. Most of us want to do more than just keep up with the inbox — we have larger projects and goals we want to pursue, which sometimes get pushed to the side when we’re under the pressure of urgent deadlines and requests.

Stephen Covey’s classic productivity tool, the Urgent/Important matrix can be helpful in distinguishing between those activities that are urgent and…


Commit to Your Calendar


When you glance at your calendar for next week, what do you see? Is it mostly empty except for a couple of meetings on Thursday, but you know that you have classes to teach on Monday and Wednesday? Or maybe your calendar looks completely full, but you know that you won’t really get to half the tasks you’ve filled in the days with. Many of us either carry commitments in our heads that we have to think about when scheduling other events, or we have to sort through the mixed list of appointments a…


How Will You Wrap Up Summer?

swimming dog

The academic summer season has less to do with the solstice and equinox than with the academic calendar and the changes in population, traffic patterns, building hours, professional duties, and activities that occur on college campuses as we get ready for the start of a new year. Even if you do not have direct classroom contact with students, chances are that your work and/or your life will be affected in some ways by their return. (And, of course, if you have children in your household, then t…


Tools I Use: Full Year Wall Calendar

wall calendar

Does your current calendar system help you to visualize your fixed commitments and see where your schedule has space or flexibility? Can you think about what you’ll be doing in July in relation to what you’re doing this month?

Although for my detailed daily, weekly, and monthly planning I use a color-coded Google calendar replete with reminders and recurring events, I also use a full year wall calendar to facilitate two key activities in my productivity workflow: long-range planning and habit t…


Pick One Thing

So we’re almost at the middle of the month…did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How are you doing with them?

The start of a new calendar year and a new academic semester offer all kinds of possibilities. It’s a hopeful time of year as many people feel empowered to make resolutions or create new behaviors. But without making conscious, repeated choices to do something new, most people quickly fall back into their default habits and routines, especially once confronted with stressful situatio…


From the Archives: Summertime, Summertime

frisbee dog Whether your summer plans involve writing, teaching, travel, or relaxing, we’ve got something in the ProfHacker archives to help.

Plan Your Time: Anastasia points out that we often fall prey to an illusion of an “Endless” Summer and suggests that “more unscheduled time or perceived freedom can be dangerous, with the temptation of grandiose planning and over-commitment.” Last summer she experimented with an alternative calendar app to help plan her summer.

In Summerproofing Your to-Do List, Jason…


Share Your Goals for Greater Accountability

2318104417_fe38771062_mDo you ever promise yourself that you’ll do something, only to let it slide?

Many of us have good intentions that we don’t act upon.

One way to clarify your commitments and to take action towards your important goals is to involve other people.

Find an Accountability Partner or Community

A good accountability partner should be able to ask you clarifying questions, offer you encouragement and support, and hold you to your commitments. Depending on your personality type and the kinds of goals you …