Having trouble kicking goals?

So the first thing that you probably thought upon reading the title was, “I don’t play football!” But let me assure you, this about kicking your own goals.

On my way home from University games, I bought a little book called “The Decision Book” by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler, which is packed of really handy strategies and models for strategic thinking, and it reminded me of a handy little goal setting strategy that I learned a few years ago, it’s quite popular so you’re likely already familiar with it.

It’s called SMARTER goal setting.

Writing
SMARTER is an acronym for a series of tasks involved in setting, planning and completing goals, and here’s what they are:

Specific – The goal must be specific. Having an ambiguous or generalised goal, which is important for refining and outlining exactly what you hope to achieve, and the things are involved in completing it, e.g. “I will eat healthier” is too open ended, instead, try for “I will create a weekly meal-plan full of nutritious and healthy food” or something similar.

Measurable – Goals are quantifiable, and should be able to have their progress measured. Having a measurable goal is important for understanding your progress: How far have I come? How far have I got to go? What things do I need to do in order to maintain my progress? What things need to be adjusted to improve my progress?

Achievable – This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Is your goal achievable? What things do you need to change in your behaviour or attitude to help you achieve your goal? What skills, financial capacity, attitudes and abilities do I need to complete my goal? Naturally, the length of your goal will impact on how achievable it is, but we’ll get to that later.

Realistic – This is where you need to have some honest reflection. On my wall I have a piece of paper that reads: “Long-shot goal: 2020 Olympics”. Yeah, I’ve considered trying to make the path into the 2020 Australian Olympics Baseball team, but if I sit down and have an honest reflection, it isn’t realistic for me. But that being said, almost anything is accomplishable if you give enough hustle and work towards completing it done.

Time-bound – Set a time limit. Mark a date on your calendar, when must you complete your goal by? Naturally, different goals will have different lengths of time to be completed, e.g. short and long-term goals. A short-term goal is something that can be completed soon, and with (perhaps) quite little effort. Long-term goals are usually more difficult, have more variables that require time to be completed; but this is entirely dependant on what you want to achieve.

Evaluate – Pretty straight forward. Evaluate your progress and barriers that are in your way, taking the time to adjust to those barriers to ensure that you can keep progressing with your goal.

Re-do – If you didn’t complete your goal, or perhaps didn’t complete it to the standard that you would have liked, sit down and put your goal through the SMARTER process again!

So, hopefully with this strategy in mind, you can apply it to goals of all kinds, sporting, personal, professional, academic, you name it!

Tyler Trevaskis

Super handy productivity tips!

Hey, How are you? Good? Oh… You’re feeling swamped under all this work you have to do? Trust me. I know how that feels, I’ve always got homework or an assignment and I always procrastinate and never feel productive, but, if you’d like, I can give you a few tips that really helped me get things done? Awesome.
 
 
For starts, have you thought about cleaning your desk?
 
Your place of work is really important, so you have to make sure it’s tidy, organised and ready to go. Take some time to organise your desk, so that you know exactly where everything is when you need it, no time is wasted on digging through piles of paper and junk, which can really help when you’re under pressure or in the zone, plus, there will be less to distract you.
 
 
Have you tried writing a To-Do list?
 
As part of each morning routine I make a To-Do list, putting the most crucial or loathsome items at the top, and work my way down in order of importance, with the least important task at the bottom. As you complete a task, just cross it off the list.
 
If you don’t like the idea of wasting paper each day on a physical list, Evernote is a really handy app that lets you make notes or lists and share them between any number of devices; and the best thing it, it’s paper free! It will even send you notifications if you’re forgetful like me.
 
 
How much exercise do you do?
 
Exercise is one of the most underrated productivity hacks. Not only is exercise crucial for your health and wellbeing, it helps your productivity too!
 
One thing I’ve found from making exercise a part of my daily routine is that I’m so much more focused when I sit down to work, I’m consistently more productive. By exercising, it increases blood-flow to your brain, helping awareness and processing, as well as gives you more energy. Exercise it an all-round life essential, for your physical and mental health, alertness and sleeping habits. 30 minutes a day of physical activity is recommended.
 
If you don’t have time for a chunk of 30 minutes, do three 10 minute routines instead, or incorporate using the stairs instead of the elevator? Park your car a few blocks from the office and walk the rest of the way, whatever you do, make physical activity a part of your daily routine and you’ll see improvement in every facet of your life.
 
 
Are you getting enough sleep?
 
Sleep is key, absolute key, to being productive and healthy.
 
Ditch the technology for at least an hour before you go to bed to make sure you get a decent amount of sleep. Sign off, you can text your pals tomorrow, because the light emitted from your phone or laptop inhibits the release of melatonin, a key chemical involved in preparing our bodies for sleep, so if you’re having trouble getting to sleep, maybe try logging off and reading a book for a while, you might learn yourself a thing or two.
 
 
Follow the Pareto Principle, man.
 
The Pareto Principle is simple: 80% of your desired results will come from 20% of your activity.
 
Find the things that are your priority, the tasks that will offer you the most progress and results and do them first. Pretty simple, huh?
 
 
 
This list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a neat little start. Super simple to incorporate into a busy schedule with little effort, and you’ll start seeing yourself complete tasks in no time.

Get ready for Semester Two!

Hey everyone,

I hope all you had a wonderful break and are feeling relaxed and pumped for the next semester. For those who follow this awesome blog regularly, you may remember stumbling across one of my earliest posts, where I interviewed three lovely ladies about starting University. Well, I was able to catch up with two of the lovely ladies once again to sit down and have a chat about their first semester experiences, and how they are feeling going into semester two!

Lucy

How do you feel going into your second semester compared to when you started back in March?

I personally feel a lot better about going into my second semester, because in semester one I was struggling with the workload that I was given, and in semester two, I decided to cut down my classes, so I would have longer to study in each of them.

What ideas about uni life did you have when you first started and have they changed?

I thought that the change from high school to university would be hard and stressful, and that was true for me, but I was able to find things to de-stress, like reading and listening to music.

You mentioned the first time we spoke about being unsure of how you’d fit into the university lifestyle. How do you feel about that now?

It isn’t a worry anymore, because when you join your classes, you start to interact with people and it is very easy to make friends, since you are all going through the same thing.

If you could go back to March, what advice would you give yourself?

I would have told myself to withdraw from one of my classes, because then I may have had a chance to do better in class, which would have then allowed me to do better on my exams.

A lot of new students worry about the stresses of balancing study, work and “me-time”, with your experiences so far, what is your best advice to those worrying about this?

I would tell all the people worrying about this, is to just always allow for some “me-time”, because if I didn’t have the time to just relax, I would have been so sick of studying, which would have lead to me procrastinating.

Taking a few minutes to listen to some music, or even reading a book, allowed me to have a break, which made me more productive.

You initially said that the idea of travelling every single day for uni was a little bit daunting. After doing it for a whole semester, have your feelings changed?

Once you get used to the idea of travelling every day, it really becomes no big deal. Since I travelled on the train, I could just relax and read a book and listen to some music, and it made the time fly.

What are three things you’re excited for this semester?

I am excited to start my new subjects and to have more time on each of the classes, so I can get a better score than last semester.

I am also excited to see if I improve in my classes, since I dropped a few classes, which will help me determine if I will continue next year.

Lucky last: now that you’ve had some experience as a university student, give one line of advice for new students and explain La Trobe Bendigo in three words!

If you are struggling with the work load, I definitely recommend talking to the career councillor ladies!

In three words, I would say that La Trobe is a “very amazing experience”.

Jayne

How do you feel going into your second semester compared to when you started back in March?

I feel as if I am more prepared and know a lot more about how uni works which is very reassuring.

What ideas about uni life did you have when you first started and have they changed?

When I first started uni, I expected that there would be a lot of work involved and that it would be much different to high school, and it certainly was.

If you could go back to March, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to not stress out over the little things and make sure I balance uni, work and social/ free time more effectively so I don’t get stressed.

You initially said that the idea of travelling every single day for uni was a little bit daunting. After doing it for a whole semester, have your feelings changed?

Some days when you have had a big day of classes it’s nice to have the trip home as a break but at the same time you just want to get straight home and relax.

 

So there you go guys, these girls are loving their time at La Trobe Bendigo, as am I. I couldn’t think of anything better to be doing with my life! If you are considering life after high school and you aren’t sure if University is right for you, comment below and I will do my best to help you guys with your decisions!

For those of you already living the uni life, I hope this semester is a great one.

Bianca.

Websites You Need To Know When You’re At University

As University students, there is never a time that we don’t want some form of help or guidance, but we can’t always get face-to-face time with someone. That’s why I have looked around and found my top 4 websites that every University student needs to have saved in their favourites.

  • 1- http://www.latrobe.edu.au This one probably comes as no surprise to you. However, many students don’t utilize this website to their full potential. EVERYTHING you need to know how studying at La Trobe is on this website. From correct referencing guides, to important dates and social events, this website literally has it all. If you are not familiar with this site, go check it out now
  • 2- http://www.ucroo.com.au This website can also become a virtual lifesaver. This is a social media website, which allows students and teachers to communicate. You can create study groups, join pages to do with your subjects and also join other groups and meet other students based on your interests. It’s a perfect way to meet people from other universities who are studying the same courses as you, and you can post anything you want, whether it be asking for help, giving information to other students or random pictures you thought were funny. I use this site and I definitely recommend it.
  • 3- http://www.coop.com.au This next one is definitely a good one to have saved in your favourites tab. A lot of us are familiar with Online Shopping, and this website allows us to organize our textbooks from the comfort of our own lounge rooms. Not only does it have every single textbook we could ever need available at the click of a button, it also has a gifts tab that have some great items to help take away the stress of University.
  • 4- http://pixabay.com I chose to include this website because all of us, no matter what we are studying to be, will need to create some sort of assessment that requires photos. This website is full of photos that we are allowed to use. This means that their owners have given us the rights to use them, which makes the entire referencing process oh so much easier.

So there we go, my top 4 websites that I think every university students should have saved in their favourites.

Stay Cool,
Bianca!

How 30 days inspired me

If you’re struggling to find motivation to study, want to try something new for a while or just want to take a break from your exam study or essay writing, read on!

I’ve recently fallen in love with TED talks. For those of you who don’t know, they are short,  powerful and informative video talks which generally inspire individuals. If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend you check them out.

I usually love every single video but Matt Cutts’ talk Try something new for 30 days really speaks to me.

Matt talks about living life to the fullest and trying new things. This is something I have always wanted to try. I want to be a go-getter. I want to live life to its fullest and love every second of it. I want to grow in confidence. I want to tackle the world and win.

The message is important and I would encourage everyone to try something new for 30 days. You never know, it might just change your life.

Watch Matt’s simple yet moving talk:

Morgan

How to conquer group assignments

In high school when a teacher announces group work is to be done, it is almost a guarantee that half of the students in the class will turn to their best friends and give them “the look”. The look that says without words “you’re my partner”or “you’re in my group.”

During one of my first tutorials at university, the class was faced with the prospect of a group assignment. I looked around – I knew NO ONE! In the end, I got into a group of three and the rest is history. I think the three of us did a pretty good job of working together BUT it is always difficult to find balance among different personalities and different work ethics. In my opinion, each person usually fits the mould of a certain type of team member.

The control-freak: This is the person who instantly takes control of the work. They know what they want to do and how they want to do it, and will do everything in their power to make it happen.

It is important to remind this person that it is a group assignment and everyone needs/wants to have an equal say in how it is done. They may have great ideas but a bad, controlling attitude – you must encourage the good side to make it shine!

The whatever-er: Whatever.” “I don’t mind.” “It’s up to you.” These three statements are likely to come out of the mouth of the whatever-er (yes, I made that label up). This person does some work but they aren’t willing to share their own opinions or ideas. This places more responsibility on other team members and makes it difficult for decisions to be made.

Give them RESPONSIBILITY. If they feel like everyone values their ideas and decision-making, they will give more to the group. By handing over responsibility to this person, they are forced into a situation where they must think for themselves. 

The lazy one: The person who does nothing, or appears to be doing something but in reality is not. It can be very frustrating to have a person like this in your group!

If it gets to the point where their laziness is affecting the group work and potentially your grades, you need to say something. Sternly tell them that if they do not get their act together, everyone is going to get a lower mark. If you also show or try to subtly remind this person how much work everyone else is putting in, they should feel pressured to also participate.

The overall good team member: If you’re lucky, everyone in your group will be a great team member. The work is shared out evenly; everyone puts in equal effort, listens to one another’s ideas and gets the assignment done!

You don’t need to do anything but be grateful you have a fantastic team!

A big part of university is learning how to work in a group. Do your best to be a team player, whatever the situation or whoever you are working with, and hopefully you will bring out the best attributes of your group members. It’s also a skill that will get you far in the workplace too!

Jemma

Back to Reality

I spent the whole of Year 12 studying for a number.

A number that woke me up at 6:59am on the day it was released because I wanted to know whether or not everything I did throughout the year had paid off. It did pay off, and knowing that it did made me incredibly happy and satisfied.

Last week, as I sat down and read the first two questions on a mid-semester test; I thought to myself for the first time in more than a year “I am not prepared for this”.

Let me tell you, it felt horrible.

Whereas last year I consistently made notes and compiled them in preparation for SACS and exams – this year I have admittedly done the bare minimum (until now). The moment I felt that sensation of utter unpreparedness, I vowed to myself it was time for a change. 

I was never under the illusion that university would be a walk in the park, however some part of me felt I deserved a longer break after 13 years of primary and secondary schooling.

Now it’s time to get back to reality, and this is my reminder to all of you (whether you are working hard or hardly working) to stay motivated. Remember how you feel when you get back an amazing test result or assignment score, and channel those feelings into everything you do. 

Everyone goes through phases of being either super motivated or ultra lazy (well, at least I do). There’s nothing wrong with spending time curled up in bed or missing the occasional lecture to go out and have lunch with your mum. Just remember, if you’re a first year like me – you only have three years to go and a little sacrifice won’t hurt.

You don’t want to be that person who finishes university, goes out into the adult world and thinks “I am not prepared for this.”

We live in a privileged society where we are able to get an education, so make the most of it. Soak it up, stay inspired and show everyone what you’re made of.

By Jemma

Gluten Free & …

I made the BEST gluten free brownies the other day.
This will tell you how to do the same.
Except I put them in a cupcake tray. Hence, reduced the cooking time.
And I used Gluten Free Flour instead of that random Sorghum Flour, which I could not find anywhere…

This is how I usually am in the kitchen:
tumblr_inline_mkr5i2gbmN1qz4rgp
So I’m quite pleased with my successful brownies. Yeeey!

I also completed a 2000 word essay,
and chopped a decent amount of my hair off.
I feel so invigorated ._.

124719  <- If you recognise this, you’re one of the following: Continue reading