A guest post from Max —
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Over the past two years, Goal Words have been a major part of the work I do with college students. Supervising a staff of 12 students (ranging from freshman to juniors) can be a challenge, especially when trying to set goals for the year. In 2011, I took a different approach and it is proving to be very worthwhile.
Each of the students I supervise is a role model to a unique Residential Learning Community. As my student staff gathered for our first staff meeting of 2011, I wanted to spice things up a little bit, so instead of asking them what their goals for the year would be, or what their New Year’s Resolution’s were, I asked them to pick one word that will help to guide them in completing their goals for the upcoming year. I had no idea what to expect, or whether or not the students would “buy-in” to this different approach, but to my surprise, they LOVED it! Ever since, at the beginning of each semester our staff has used goal words as a catalyst to promote student learning and inspire constant improvement.
One Word 365 gave them purpose, insight and acted as a tool for reflection. One Word 365 enabled each of my students to identify goals that they wanted to accomplish, with the help of a OneWord that would get them there. In fact, we even chose a unique word for each of our RLCs, we got the RAs involved, and collectively chose a word for our building. This way, each student staff and RLC had a platform to make their dreams come to fruition.
GROW – The 2012 word for Woodward Hall was chosen because of the ever-growing Residential Learning Communities at Bridgewater State University, and because of the lofty aspirations of the staff. We set goals to program more and grow attendance rates; expand on our capacity for faculty engagement, and to grow the connection between students and university staff. GROW enabled us to reach for the stars, while also remaining connected to our roots. Who would have ever thought that One Word could teach us so much?!
Some of the words chosen by my students and our staff for 2012 are: Patience, Breathe, Prepare, Climb, Ascend, Progress, Go, Inspire, Soar, Focus, Rise, Touch, Start, Challenge, Reflect, Amaze, and Release.
As I mentioned, we chose one word for each of our RLCs – Prepare-to-Achieve, Progress, and Communicate. These words create the guiding attitude for the achievement of our staff. We seek to use these words, in conjunction with our personal and building goal word(s) to empower ourselves and one another to not only expect more, but to achieve more along the way.
In 2013, I will ask my staff if they would like to change their goal word to fit their new goals for the new year. In fact, some of my students have even used One Word 365 with their family to make new beginnings and foster more meaningful relationships with their loved ones.
What will you do with your staff, students and family to ensure that you maximize your potential in 2013?
P. Max Quinn is a graduate student enrolled in his final semester of the M. Ed. Student Affairs Counseling degree program at Bridgewater State University (BSU). As an aspiring Student Affairs professional, Max is embarking on his journey into the professional world! With interests in the functional areas of Residence Life, Greek Affairs, Leadership Development, Student Conduct and New Student Programs, Max is excited to model the way for college students as they begin their own journey into their future. Max has a passion for public speaking, Digital Identity Development, and anti-bullying research within the college setting.
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