Charles Benayon

Founder & CEO of Aspiria


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How to Regain Your Passion for Education

book-841171_1920 (1)With the new school year just around the corner, you may fall into one of two categories: you’re either excited to return to campus to get back to your studies and/or see your friends, or you’re dreading having to get back to the books. If you fall into the latter category, this blog is for you. It’s important to remember that completing post-secondary education allows you to increase your potential earnings and, above all, pursue your dreams.

Here are some methods I suggest you try to motivate yourself to return to school:

Document Small Goals

Take a moment to write down your goals, both academic and professional. A three- or four-year degree can feel like an incredibly long time. Rather than be overwhelmed by the length of time required to complete your education, I advise you to take it one step at a time. What are your academic goals for this month, this week, or even just today? With every task you complete, no matter how small, you earn a sense of accomplishment that urges you to continue.

Once you’ve written down your goals, consider framing them and hanging them over your desk. This way, if you ever feel yourself lacking the motivation to continue your education, you can easily look up to remind yourself of your academic purpose.

 

Get Involved

You should look for opportunities to balance your schoolwork and social life. If you are a first-year student, get to know your campus and the clubs and sports it offers. If you don’t find a club that interests you, start your own! These are great ways to make new friends and feel like a part of the school community.

Whether you are a first-year student or not, consider building your resume with more than academics. Does your program offer internship or co-op opportunities? You could also look for an internship or part-time job in your field on your own or give back to your community by volunteering with an association that matters to you. The important thing is that you have an outlet to help with the stress associated with a heavy semester and exams.

 

Be Realistic

Has it crossed your mind that perhaps the program you’re in isn’t for you? If so, my advice would be to treat this new school year as a clean slate. You still have the option to switch your major or specialization or enrol in a smaller course load. It’s better to delay graduation by a semester or two pursuing a different or part-time academic path than it is to spend years completing a degree that no longer interests you.

If you need a little extra help rekindling your passion for your program, I encourage you to contact your Student Assistance Provider. They can help you find a balance between your personal and academic life, sort out potential financial concerns, discuss anxieties, and much more.

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3 Tips to Achieving Your Unfinished Goals for 2015

Picture for Aspiria blog Sept 22The world’s focus is set on the global refugee crisis as tens of thousands of displaced refugees and migrants make their way across Europe. It is a stressful situation for both the thousands of displaced people, as well as for the residents of the countries taking them in.  With so much attention focused overseas, it can be easy to lose focus of our own goals at home.

Goals allow us to point our lives in the direction we want to. They can bring us a strong sense of accomplishment, and thus satisfaction and happiness that is much needed in stressful times.

With a little less then four months left in 2015 how can we accomplish the goals we set forth in the beginning of the year?

I’ve outlined below a few tips to help you accomplish your goals for the remaining year.

  1. Refocus

It can often be easy to lose track of the goals we set in the beginning of the year as after the pressures of work, life, and relationships, we forget why we set out those goals in the first place. Review your list and ask yourself why it’s important for you to complete these goals by the end of 2015.

  1. Re-prioritize

Ask yourself how realistic is it for you to accomplish these goals by the end of the year? If timing is not essential, then re-prioritize so you have time to accomplish the ones that are most relevant to you, and reflect where you are in your life today. The fact is that you had more time at the beginning of the year, than you have now, closer to the end of the year, so being realistic is key to accomplishing the goals you really can attain in 4 months.

  1. Break it into bite-sized chunks

So often in our excitement we try to tackle something all at once. Sometimes in our quest to be productive, we try to do too much all at once, but instead accomplish so little. Perhaps the reason some of your goals are left unaccomplished is because they were not realistic. You are better off doing small things more often, rather than big things less often. Try breaking down your goal into smaller bite sizes that are more realistically accomplishable.

Of the many clients I have counselled in my 25+ year career, I have never met a single individual who accomplished all of the goals they set out for in a year – so give yourself some slack and remember the “goal of goal-setting” is to be better, grow, and move your life in the direction you want.

Have you accomplished all of your goals for 2015? If not, how do you plan on realizing your goals?


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Reflecting On The Past Year

Lets-talk-setting-goalsDecember tends to be a time of self-reflection where we look back on the year that has passed and evaluate our accomplishments, successes, and failures. Many of us set New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year, and are now coming to the realization that some things we’d set out to achieve have unfortunately not happened.

Unmet goals can leave you feeling defeated and discouraged, and it is challenging to feel inspired to set new goals. So how do we deal with this disappointment? I wanted to offer some tips to recovering from unmet targets, and starting fresh.

 

  1. Reflect on each unmet goal.
    • Evaluate honestly why it was not accomplished. Was something standing in your way? Was it beyond your control? Was it unrealistic? Understanding where it went wrong is the first step.
  2. Think about what you could have done differently.
    • Is there anything you could have done differently in order to achieve your goals? If so, learn from your mistakes so they don’t happen again moving forward.
  3. Take ownership.
    • Accept that you did not accomplish what you set out to do. The sooner you can be at peace with not attaining every goal you set, the sooner you can create new ones and start fresh.
  4. Try again!
    • Learn from your mistakes the past year and set new goals that you are ready to accomplish in 2015. Feel inspired by what you have accomplished in the past, and go from there!

 

While we may not always be motivated to set goals and challenge ourselves to do better, it is one of the simplest and most important ways to ensure we’re moving forward in life and becoming the best possible version of ourselves! After all, don’t

There will always be disappointments and discouragements, but as baseball legend Babe Ruth once said, “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” So set goals and do your very best to achieve them! And remember, setting goals is the first step, figuring out how you are going to achieve them is the second step. After all, you wouldn’t plan on going to a destination without mapping out how you are going to get there.

How do you face the goals you haven’t met? What inspires you to set new goals or try accomplishing old ones when a new year starts? Share your experiences with me in the comments section below!


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Change Your Habits and Stay Motivated in 2014

Snow-footprintsThe New Year brings the promise of renewed commitment to many life goals – if you take one look at your local gym, you’ll see the number of people newly committed to their health in 2014!

Whether your list of New Year’s resolutions includes improving your fitness, saving  money or quitting smoking, the focus  almost completely lies on achieving the end result.

However, if February rolls around and you haven’t lost your 10 pounds yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t achieved something along the way. Setting lofty expectations for yourself can be a good thing – for some people, it challenges and motivates them to achieve the next level of success. For others, however, expectations that border on the unrealistic can harm our sense of accomplishment and make us feel like we have failed somehow, particularly if we only concentrate on the end result.

This year, make goal-setting an enjoyable experience by challenging yourself while still being kind to yourself. Long-term change is only possible when you can keep yourself consistently motivated by your progress. Instead of vowing to lose 30 pounds this year, why not aim to incorporate positive habits into your routine, like working out 3 times a week and packing your lunch for work. These are choices and changes you can make daily that contribute to the sense of progress that keeps you motivated.

Recognize that it is the countless daily choices and habits that make up who we are, rather than impractical goals we set for ourselves. By concentrating on those small, everyday choices, we will slowly become better versions of ourselves.

What habits will you try to implement this year? Have you tried traditional goal-setting? What results have you seen? I look forward to your comments below!