Monthly Archives: January 2014

Groundhog Day and Admissions Letters

Do you know who Punxsutawney Phil is? He is a famous Groundhog who has met Presidents and even been featured on Oprah. February 2, 2014 is a big day for most of the United States as we all are tired and cold of the arctic blast that we have been experiencing this winter.

Groundhog Phil will exit his burrow at 7:20 AM at Gobblers Knob in Pennsylvania where he will look for his shadow. His observations will predict how long this cold blast will last. Legend says that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow then we will have six more weeks of winter! If he does not see his shadow then we can all celebrate for an early spring. I am hoping for warmer weather!

Whether Phil sees his shadow or not, it is up to all of us on how we react to his observations! I believe that this can be a hard lesson for all of us – How We React!

We have a choice daily regarding our reactions. We can’t change other’s observations, weather patterns, people’s poor choices, etc. We can change our attitude by calmly reflecting on our circumstances.

Winter can be a long season for many families and their students because of admissions decisions being heard from colleges, graduate programs and private schools around the globe. I think of Punxsutawney Phil observing his surroundings very similar to a student or parent receiving admissions decisions. There are the sighs of relief when the word, “Congratulations” appears at the beginning of a letter and then there is the gut wrenching agony when you read a rejection letter. I am certain that all families will receive both kinds of letters from schools. Here is some advice that will help you as you begin opening your admissions letters:

1. Remember that you worked hard for this time and that if you put your best foot forward in the admissions process then you learned a lot about yourself along the way.
2. Don’t take the decision personally. These admissions officers have a tough time choosing a class and are not trying to upset you. Throughout the years, I have heard these admissions folks say that most of the applicants are awesome prospects, but space is limited.
3. Make the most of your choices. You will have great choices! Take advantage of the places that feel you are a great asset to their community and revisit them prior to making a final decision.
4. Your attitude says more about you then what a letter says about their decision for you. Therefore, reflect on the situation and remember that you have the power to make your future yours!

Click here for more information about the Groundhog!

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! January is usually a great time for new beginnings, planning, organizing and setting New Year’s Resolutions. Most resolutions are promises to achieve better health by exercise or eating better as well as promises to act kindly or even to learn something new, like a language.

According to USA.GOV, here is a list of popular resolutions:

Lose Weight
Quit Smoking
Get a Better Education
Get a Better Job
Save Money
Get Fit
Eat Healthy Food
Manage Stress
Become Debt Free

To learn a new skill or adapt to a new behavior, you need to experience it daily for at least 21 days. However, some studies suggest that it could take up to more than 200 days to develop your new habit.

Here are some key things to remember if you are planning on making your list this year:
1.Before you complete your list, make the decision to stick with it 100%.
2.You must have accountability, so share your list with your friends or family members.
3.It is important to track your new habit pattern by noting your successes and failures.
4.Be sure to come up with your personal rewards. Positive consequences are very important for keeping up with a new habit, especially if it is a healthy one!

For many years, I have been that person who created a list of new habits like spending more time with family, reading more, seeing friends more, exercising, eating healthier, etc. This year, I am not going to create a list! Instead, I will come up with one word that will help me throughout my family life, career and personal endeavors. Throw out the list and think of your one word that can positively influence you in all your daily activities! What word will you choose?