Although I’m not teaching my class at Catholic University Department of Library and Information Science this semester, what follows is a modified post based on one from earlier this year, “5 Blank-Slate Beginnings for the Spring 2018 Semester.” It includes those five areas, plus two new ones, renumbered with some new material.

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These strategies are also applicable beyond the campus, in the workplace and elsewhere, whether or not you are teaching or enrolled as a student:

1. Tap into your inner wisdom. My June 20th post “Sports Psychology And Workplace Performance with Michael Bar-Eli,” is based on my reflections on Bar-Eli’s recent Boost! How the Psychology of Sports Can Enhance your Performance in Management and Work, the Israeli psychologist/professor/consultant’s first book for a general audience. I noted that, based on his research and examples, “sometimes you have to act quickly, sometimes more slowly, and sometimes not at all. Developing the inner wisdom to distinguish the difference is a life’s work.” Accessing your inner wisdom will be crucial inside and outside the classroom as you navigate the stresses and time constraints of the new semester.

2. Learn from the Michael Nesmith Curriculum. This is the title of my July 26th post, about the multidimensional onetime member of The Monkees, and his recent book Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff. I noted that in many ways Nesmith is a self-taught, driven seeker of information and wisdom, and I suggested that we should “think of his life as a curriculum, with topics about what the various aspects of his experience represent.” The areas are continuous learning, personal branding, creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation, spiritual seeking, the gig economy, multimedia, seeing and acting on the future, and longevity. Many, if not all, of these topics are likely to have resonance for you in a variety of settings this semester.

3. Learn about and practice WOOP. This is a simple way to think differently about goal-setting and positive thinking, developed by NYU Psychology professors (and married couple), Gabriele Oettingen and Peter Gollwitzer. WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan. Oettingen wrote an engaging book on the subject, Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation (paperback edition, 2015).

4. Connect with your future self. Two psychologists, Hal Hershfield, currently an associate professor of marketing at UCLA Anderson School of Management, and Kelly M. McGonigal, a lecturer at Stanford University, have written about what Hershfield calls “future self-continuity.” Among other things, this means that you make decisions that take into account the person you will become years from now, so you do not literally see the future you as a stranger.

5. Maximize your library use. In my August 24, 2017 post “6 Success Strategies of Jorge Luis Borges,” I outlined the crucial role played by libraries in the iconic Argentine author’s life and work. Academic libraries want to be partners in the success of students, teachers, administrators, and their institutions; and they usually have many in-person, online, mobile and print resources to do so. Check with your academic librarians to learn about what they can do for you.

6. Maintain physical, mental and emotional fitness. There are constant reminders, through gyms and sports activities, about physical fitness. Strategies for effective thinking, inside and outside of the classroom, are also important and necessary. For instance, consider the benefits of well-being, mindfulness and the power of focus; the latter as studied and written about by Daniel Goleman, the psychologist/author who popularized emotional intelligence in the mid-1990s.

7. Take advantage of lectures and seminars beyond your classes. In my self-management tips for the fall semester 8 years ago, I included the following: Stretch beyond your regular subjects by attending at least one public lecture or presentation by a visiting speaker on campus (or at another local school) in another discipline. While that is still valid and recommended, don’t forget that most departments/schools also have visiting lecturers within your own area of study. An example of a robust speakers series is the one at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, where I’ve spoken twice, most recently in January 2014.

These are early days for the semester. Enthusiasm, excitement, and motivation may be high now, but could be tougher and more challenging to maintain over the next several months. Ideally the above strategies will help you to thrive this fall and into the semesters beyond.

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