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‘Cat in the Stacks: Wake Up, Work Hard!


I’m Michelle Callaghan, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.

It’s nearing the end of January and you’re probably kicking yourself for not keeping up with those New Year’s resolutions – and if you did keep up, my apologies and congratulations, but I’d say most of us have either fallen off the wagon or never had resolutions to begin with.

Resolutions are just too big!

Small goals for small periods of time that build into aspirations, on the other hand, are not only achievable but totally healthy. It’s the second week of the new semester, so the real work has probably kicked into gear. Do you know what your goals for this week are?

My goals for this week are to wrap up a short essay and ramp up thesis research.
My goal for the month is to get a chapter of my thesis written.
My goal for the year is to graduate from this Master’s program.

Do you see how this kind of scaffolded structure might be more useful to you than one overarching resolution? For one thing, goals for the week keep you working. Goals for the month give you a sense of application for that weekly grind. And your yearly goal, given it’s a goal you feel strongly about, can motivate you when your weekly goal–or even your daily goal or your hourly goal–feels all but impossible.

Context is important for motivation. What are you working toward? What do you really want, and what are you doing to achieve it?

As the wisest man among men* once said, “Do it. Just do it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Yesterday you said tomorrow. So just do it. Make your dreams come true. Just do it! Some people dream of success, while you’re gonna wake up and work hard at it. Nothing is impossible. You should get to the point where anyone else would quit and you’re not going to stop there, no! What are you waiting for? Do it! Just do it! Yes you can! Just do it. If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.”

*Shia LaBeouf – I do hope the sarcasm is palpable.

Library resources on time management
Library resources on stress management

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Last Modified: January 21, 2016

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