My Naked Truth. What’s Yours?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I value transparency. So much that I no longer have tolerance for folks who aren’t willing to be transparent and vulnerable with me. You know who I’m talking about. Folks who pretend life is perfect or that they have no place to grow. You and I both know that life doesn’t work that way. Life isn’t perfect. Life is messy. And we humans are often a mess as we navigate it.  But we have a simple tool to make our lives better. More joyful. Even easier. And it’s free! What’s this miracle tool? Self-reflection Deep reflection is the most impactful strategy for personal and professional growth. It’s the perfect tool for jumpstarting the necessary disruption of a life set on autopilot. Deep reflection exposes our naked truth. And, for me, it’s not always pretty.   While December is a perfect time to reflect on the past year, life isn’t perfect. In fact, life in December is often mega messy.  To this end, I sat in reflection of 2016 the second week of January. Better late than never. Right? I was astounded by what I discovered when reflecting on 2016 using Susan Hyatt’s reflection questions. Feel free to use these questions to guide your own reflection. […]

How to Juggle Your 101 Responsibilities

Kelly P. Beischel PhD, RN, CNE   Imagine you’re at your town festival. Droopy strands of lights are twinkling between telephone poles. Music pours out of the precariously hung speakers.   The air is sticky with the smell of popcorn. A juggler in front of you causes you to stop abruptly in the street. He’s about to juggle a bowling ball, a baseball, and a glass ball. You’re fascinated by his attempt to do the impossible thinking, “There’s no way.” How will he manage to juggle each of these objects successfully? And at the same time? But I bet this isn’t far off from your daily life. Dividing your time between the responsibilities that come with being an academic can feel just as impossible. Right? Your responsibilities, like the juggler’s objects, don’t carry the same weight. The tasks associated with your responsibilities don’t carry the same weight either. We are often caught between which task to do first because they all appear to weigh the same, to have the same priority.  Yet, some tasks are more valuable than others. And some, if not attended to, break more readily than others. There’s good news in this; the year is fresh. The slate is blank. This is the perfect time to reflect on your responsibilities and […]

How to Kick Procrastination to the Curb: 10 Strategies to Get You Moving

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE While autumn is beautiful, it’s a season that can also be ladened with intense yard work. Recently, I helped my husband pull out decaying Black Eyed Susan’s from one of our gardens. From there, I cleaned up the front garden, tossed the spent potted summer flowers, and planted perennial flowers. By the time I was ready to sweep up the mess I had created on the walkways, I was wilting like the flowers I had just tossed. After many hours of tackling the autumn clean-up, I found myself despising my gardens and swearing that I was going to plant plastic flowers next year. I have a love-hate relationship with gardening. Can you tell? My emotions about writing were often the same. You see, I’ve always loved writing. Yet, I perfected the art of procrastinating my writing until it had become a daunting task. A task that had me cursing its existence. UNTIL… I learned a few key strategies about taking action on my writing (or any overwhelming task I attempt to undertake) that have completely transformed my productivity. Key Strategies to Kick Procrastination to the Curb 1. Acknowledge that FEAR is holding you back. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of pain. There […]

Are you culturally current with the millennial generation?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I love the millennial generation. Their enthusiasm for life energizes me. Unfortunately, what we typically hear about the millennial generation are horror stories about helicopter parents and students who ooze with entitlement issues. What we don’t often hear about this generation of learners are the very things I love most about them. I love their passion for our earth, their willingness to embrace diversity, their desire to connect, their desire for meaningful learning, and their love of technology. Yes, we can stomp our feet and demand that our students conform to our teaching style. We can complain that they are dependent on technology, that they resist a strict diet of lectures, and that they embrace instant gratification. In other words, we can resist what is. Or we can meet millennial students where they are, demonstrating that we are the transformational leaders our students need. Meeting students where they are includes becoming culturally current.  Christy Price tells us that millennial students express frustration when professors don’t know how to use the technology in their classrooms. They perceive professors as “lacking connection to Millennial culture” when they use old shows that were relevant 15 years ago but are no longer “practical references that the average college student […]

7 Life Lessons Learned While Hiking the Cascade Mountains

7 Life Lessons Learned While Hiking the Cascade Mountains  by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Our family vacationed in Seattle recently.  There are 7 of us, including significant others. Planning an entire vacation for a group of this size felt overwhelming.   So I messaged everyone and requested that each person text to the group 1-2 activities they wanted to be sure they accomplished while in Seattle.  I accumulated their wishes and then assigned each person(s) to organize an activity or event.  Mine, of course, was a vineyard and wine tasting tour.  My son-in-law, Brandon, planned a hike for us in the Cascade Mountains.  Now for my unpopular revelation… I don’t get the appeal of hiking.  I love walking and exploring but I don’t understand why one drives to a mountain to make a grueling trek up the side of it.   What’s the point? Is it exercise? Is it communing with nature? With self? Is it a race? To get to the top? And then what? What is the objective when hiking?  I NEED to know!  As you can imagine, I wasn’t my typical adventurous self before the trip up the mountain. Mind you; my brand-spanking-new-whale-watching-souvenir-travel-mug caught on fire in the microwave just as we were leaving the house.  At the […]

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