Wednesday, May 27, 2015

4 Signs You May Need a Tutor

Even though the school year for many people is coming to a close, summer school is right around the corner! Yea, sorry for having to go mentioning that.

The motivation to do well in class while your mind is at the beach can put you in a position where a tutor could help for many reasons and hopefully prevent that, oh so familiar, struggle and stress.

In this blog I introduce you to Jay.

Jay is the CEO of Signet Education, a company of world class tutors, coaches, and consultants found in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New York City. He graduated from Harvard in 2005, and has taken a broad academic path that spans the sciences and humanities. Jay was also a semi-professional jazz musician (trumpet) before starting Signet Education. 

Follow Jay as he illustrates 4 signs 
that mean you may need a tutor.

“I have an exam in two days, and I am completely lost.
I need to find somebody to help me learn the material quick!”

Most students will experience this at some point in their education, and it can be hard to recognize you need help before it’s too late. If you are at this point, a tutor can help, but not nearly as much as if you had found one earlier.

To help avoid this situation, here are four warning signs that might help you recognize that it’s time to find a tutor:

1. “I’ve done everything I can, but nothing is working.”

Sometimes you put all of your time and energy into a subject, but your efforts just don’t seem to pay off. Maybe you don’t understand a fundamental concept, or maybe you need to rethink your study approach. A tutor can help you understand difficult concepts so you don’t fall behind before exam time. They can also help you refine your study technique so you’re better prepared for next time. Consider contacting a tutor several weeks before an exam so you can nail down key concepts before it’s too late. The expert perspective of your tutor can help you see your way forward quickly and effectively.

2. "Things were going so well, but now I’m struggling.”

If you were previously succeeding, but have recently seen a decline in grades or understanding, an expert tutor can help you figure out where you fell off track. Whether the drop off occurred within a single semester, or in transition to middle school, high school, college, or graduate school, a tutor can quickly assess your needs and help you move forward with confidence.

3. “I couldn’t care less about this subject.”

If this sounds like you, watch out! A dislike for the subject coupled with a challenging course load can lead to procrastination and poor performance. If you have a test or class you just can’t seem to get excited about, a dynamic tutor can help make it more exciting, or at least help you stay on track and get through the material more quickly.

4. “I’m bad at __________.”

With some patient, focused tutoring, you can remedy this all-too-common scenario. It is not unusual for to a student to go from being “bad at chemistry” to wanting to major in chemistry, all because of an inspiring and effective tutor. A tutor can quickly diagnose where you need help and give you clear strategies for overcoming your obstacles.

If you are encountering any of these issues, consider getting a tutor before it’s too late. In many cases, catching the issue early means just a few tutoring sessions will get you back on track. If you find yourself struggling, it’s never too early to contact a tutor! Some focused tutoring might save you days of frustration and anxiety in the long run.

Contact Signet Education for help HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Help with "Getting In the Zone".

Regardless of what the circumstances may have been, we have all heard the saying, "get in the zone". I am going to share with you not only what this saying actually means, but help you find easier ways in your day to day life to achieve this amazing feeling and state of being.

A concept that can be applied to many areas of a person's life, such as work and hobbies, is flow. Flow refers to a psychological state in which the individual is fully engaged with the task they are doing at the moment. It is a very satisfying experience that offers many positive emotions and fulfillment. 

When a person is in flow, they are not aware of the time and they are completely immersed in whatever they are doing. A state of flow feels like a full focus on the task that is not forced, that is satisfying, productive and creative. Flow is rewarding in itself, meaning that simply experiencing the process is rewarding, regardless of results. The focus is in the moment, and it feels like performing the task is fused with awareness, as all the attention is naturally diverted to it. The person also doesn't experience self-consciousness. A clear example of flow can be seen with the artist who is lost in doing their work and forgets about the time. It's important to note that any person can achieve a state of flow.

What conditions are necessary for "Flow"?

  • The first one is that the task needs to have a clear goal and progress. For example, you want to finish the painting, solve a series of puzzles or plant flowers. 
  • The second condition is that the task needs to have feedback that helps you adjust your progress. For example, you will see how the paint you apply looks. 
  • The task also needs to have a perceived balance between being challenging enough to be interesting and to be accessible to your skills enough that you can do it without feeling too frustrated. If these conditions are met, the person can achieve flow. 

What Are the Benefits of "Flow"

  • It enhances the satisfaction a person feels with their life. 
  • It is a rewarding experience that provides a lot of positive emotions. 
  • It helps the person become more creative and find tasks that are rewarding. 
  • In the workplace or other activities, it can increase productivity and make the person strive for more, grow and develop. 

To Achieve "Flow" You Must:

  • Match your skills to the task
  • Have confidence in your abilities, avoid interruptions (turn off your phone, for instance)
  • Choose a task that provides a bit of a challenge and avoid focusing on the end goal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Parenting a Teenager Made Easier in 5 Steps

Parenting a teenager can be a challenge and require a lot of skill and energy. However, there are a few tips that can help make it a lot easier. 

parenting, teen, rules, parent, child

Step 1: Be positive about your expectations.

Studies show that people often perform and act according to what is expected of them. If little is expected, little will be achieved. This is known as the Pygmalion effect, and it has been seen with the expectations a parent has of a child. 

If you expect that your teenager is going to fail in school, for example, this increases the likelihood that they will fail. However, thinking the opposite can have a positive effect. It's important not to have expectations that are too overwhelming (become the President) or too specific (my son is going to be a quarterback), because expectations become limiting, but rather to have positive expectations based on the teen's interests, skills and personality. 

Step 2: Use rewards, not punishments.

It has been shown that punishments have a varying effect on discouraging a negative behavior, but rewards are guaranteed to work to encourage positive behavior. Rewards don't have to be material, as many times sincere praise will work very well to encourage the teen. 

Usually, with teenagers, parents tend to focus on the negative behaviors, sometimes taking the good things for granted. This actually serves to perpetuate the negative behaviors more. However, shifting the focus and being generous with praise can help you achieve better results.

Step 3: Adjust limits

Teenagers need different limits than children, and what is more, they need limits that are adjusted as they grow up. However, it often happens that parents don't revise the limits until a serious fight happens or something else equally out of the ordinary occurs. To prevent this, it's a good idea to revise limits consistently to maintain a balance between the teen's freedom and responsibility. 

Step 4: Remain calm

Teens are dramatic, as their emotional experiences are often extreme. They say they “hate” their parents, which is something no parent wants to hear. However, in the face of these emotions that the teen yet can't control, it's very important to remain calm and be there for them, as these outbursts usually don't reflect actual hatred, but pain and anger that the teen doesn't know how to handle yet. 

Step 5: Keep communications channels open

While the teen needs more freedom, they still need guidance and help. It's very important that they can feel as if they can receive it in their own home with their family. Teenagers need to be able to come to their parents with different problems and situations, so they shouldn't feel like they would receive only blame or anger. Rather, they need to feel that they will be supported. For this, it's important to reinforce these ideas through words and actions.

Need help parenting your teenager?
Learn more about Parent Coaching through YouTime Coaching by clicking HERE.


Friday, March 13, 2015

You Must Be Patient With Yourself

I was recently told that I need to be 
more patient with myself. 

growth, meaning, meditation

The idea of "having patience" is something that most people desire to have in their lives. Simply put, it just makes things easier. We believe that there are ways to be "taught" how to be patient and that you can be good or bad at it as well. One thing that most people must know about patience is that it needs to begin by focusing on having patience with yourself.

Recently, I have been getting more involved with meditation. Between the science behind it and the personal benefits, it really is a valuable tool to have in your life, but with all great things comes a price tag and in this case, it is patience. The patience is not only found within the amount of time you meditate for but also with the thoughts that flow through your mind during that time. 

Our minds are very active. Inner dialogue is constantly up and running, seemingly impossible to turn off. Not only is this normal, but it is actually okay. Patience includes acceptance. An acceptance that we are imperfect and our minds are active creatures. 

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood" 
~ Stephen Covey, Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This quote could having multiple meanings, depending on the individual reading it. For me, it highlights the importance in the order of operation while trying to experience personal growth. First, seek to understand yourself. Second, let others into your wonderful world. Having patience with yourself will change the way you communicate with other people, create less stress in your life, change your perspective on some of life's most important pieces, and ultimately make you feel happier with who you are. That is life's real adventure. 

Patience is not just a concept 
that can be "taught". 
It must be lived.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Don't Risk Burning Out

When most people think about being productive, they think of the number of hours worked. Flipping that mindset may actually have a bigger impact on you and your productivity levels.

What does this mean? Focus on your breaks, mental replenishing, and refueling.

Here are 10 ways, featured in Entrepreneur Magazine to improve you mental refueling during the work day:

    1. Take Multiple Small Breaks: Schedule two 10-15 minute breaks in the morning and 
    two 10-15 breaks in the afternoon. Use this to break up a sometimes monotonous day. Research shows that more focused smaller chunks of work with multiple breaks yields more productive time.

    2. Actually Enjoy Your Lunch: Don't settle of a "working lunch". Go outside or just change the scenery while you enjoy your food. The change in scenery redirects your thoughts to less work-related topics.

    3. JUST THINK: Use 10-15 out of your day (mornings are nice) to just reflect on your life. How are you feeling? What makes you happy? What are you grateful for? 

    4. Get a life!: You schedule your appointments with other people, why not schedule them with yourself? Make sure you have a calendar designated for your social life and doing things you enjoy.

    5. Take up a new hobby: New hobbies can create new brain patterns, including getting you out of auto-pilot at work. Take up something you find fulfillment in and stick with it. 

    6. Get your booty moving: More blood flow to the brain equals better brain power! Get your booty moving at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity to experience all of the benefits.

    7. Get away: A vacation can be tough for a lot of people to swing but time wise and financially speaking. When possible take mini-vacations of the weekends. Rent a cabin and just relax, or go somewhere more active, your choice. 

    8. ZZZ:
     We all know how important sleeping is and it may be even more important than you think. Catch 7-9 hours of sleep to wake up fully energized. 

    9. Take some of the load off: Learn to accept help from others! Trust in yourself and the other person can help facilitate this, but delegating work related tasks to take the load off is important to your mental state and how effective you are as a leader in the work place.     

    10. Smell the roses: Get outside! Studies show that being outside has a positive impact on your mental state and results in higher engagement with your work following your short walk in the park.

    Try all 10 or just one at a time, it is all up to you. One thing is for sure, we could all benefit from these pieces of advice. 

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    Screw the New Year: 3 Ways to Undermine Your Resolutions

    Hey ladies and gentlemen, Captain Positive is here is help you realize how the New Year may not be all that you were hoping for. Not only do I bring you this wonderful news but I will also share with you, because it is quite important, the 3 things you can do in order to efficiently undermine your New Year's resolutions.

    After reading this blog you will know all the ways to properly screw up your plans for the New Year! Exciting, I know. With this knowledge comes great power, because in order to be successful with your resolution(s) you must know what works in addition to whats makes you fall miserably on your face. So the power is yours once you are done reading this. Choose how to use this information wisely.

    Maybe your resolution should just be to not undermine your resolution with what you are about to hear... #JustSaying

    I present to you the "Reverse RPM" theory of failing to reach your resolution. As most of you know "RPM" stands for "revolutions per minute" and is a relative calculation of speed, so for this presentation the "Reverse RPM" theory will show you how to completely halt any forward progress and speed you are looking to create for attaining your goals.

    Reverse RPM Theory

    (R) Results

    Many of us have developed a wonderful tendency to be predominantly results driven. We start a diet and we only look to lose weight (and we better see results fast or on to the next diet found in Self Magazine). The overnight success story of your New Year's resolution is your first screw up for the new year, strike one.

    Of the top ten most popular resolutions (Check them out here!) all of them take preparation, planning, and time. We typically undermine our resolutions by looking at them as short-term, outcome-oriented endeavors.

    A "New Year's Resolution" is exactly that, a year-long resolution and goal. Do you stop going to the gym or eating healthy once you lose those 30 lbs. on June 21st of the new year? Well, you shouldn't but lots of people do. Your resolution is a long-term goal that should be process-oriented, not simply outcome.

    Sure you have an outcome in mind, but your journey to get there needs to be clearly planned out, broken down, and assigned start/completion dates. (download "My Mini Goals Worksheet" here)

    (P) Preparation

    How many of you bozos knew that the new year started right as the lovely weekend was getting ready to kick off? Who wants to get healthy and make changes over the weekend when you can start on Monday?! Not many people, including me, so I have some personal stake in this.

    Assuming you already created a resolution, we can safely say that you have at least identified that you have problem behaviors that need changing. Don't we all! The first step after realizing this is preparation to make the change. Unfortunately, our hedonistic "pleasure seeking" culture can sometimes force us into the "action stage" before proper planning. The result, 2 weeks of hard work towards your goal and reverting back to old ways (looks like your cigarettes will have their old best friend back).

    First, do a little detective work to figure out what your actual behaviors are, when they happen, and what triggers them (download "Track My Triggers and Patterns Worksheet" here). Second, really find out why you are looking to make these changes. First write down what positive benefits the change will bring to you (and others), followed by writing down how maintaining the problem behaviors have hurt you (and others).

    Next, you must commit. Scream your goal from the biggest damn mountain top you can find (please don't do this). Seriously though, tell friends and family what your intentions are with this resolution. People are more likely to feel accountable if others know what they are trying to do.

    (M) Momentum

    Wait, so since I am going to be "all healthy and stuff" starting in January, that means I can shove my face with booze and food throughout the holidays and think of exercise as the walk to the bathroom.
    Maybe I can smoke my face off and start fresh on January 1st. Or, since I will be saving so much money in the new year with my positive changes, I will definitely balance that out by spending tons of money over the holidays.

    People start to have trouble hearing you as you get deeper down into that hole of yours. Sounding too familiar, huh? Don't use December as a scape goat for your troublesome behaviors. This only will make things harder with a higher likelihood of failing to progress with your resolution.

    Start planning after the first week in December. Already into January? No problem! Part of successful goal setting is being flexible and adapting to what's realistically going on around you. Spend 2 weeks planning out your path of success and seek out those that will support you in this (download the "My Support Team Worksheet" here). Most people try to begin their resolution after one of their most problematic months and that is a recipe for disaster! Set a realistic start date that allows you spend a couple week planning out your moves.

    Remember: Knowledge is not power, it is only potential power. You have to make the choice in using it. So go on and use that huge brain of yours to properly plan or even screw up the new year.

    Have a wonderful journey!