Before you get properly stuck into writing your thesis, there’s an important action for you to take. I’m not talking about doing more literature searches or setting up appointments with your supervisor, there’ll be plenty of that in the coming months. The most crucial action you can take right now before the year starts unravelling is to get your mind right and your systems in place. These are the foundations that will hold up all the work you will do in the coming months.
What do I mean by getting your mind right and your systems in place? James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits says this:
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there. This year, spend less time focusing on outcomes and more time focusing on the habits that precede the results.”
Many times, in my practice as a coach, I’ve watched students with systems and daily habits succeed beyond their own expectations. Their counterparts, those who pushed back against planning and working in consistent increments, struggle to stay afloat from day one.
The task of writing your thesis is the proverbial elephant that you can’t consume in a single sitting. No matter how smart you are, I assure you, there is no way to get the best result without applying yourself in a consistent manner.
The Dale Method
The Dale Method is built from a unique blend of evidence-based coaching and psychological theories, personal experience, and qualifications. It is my tried and tested recipe for academic success, whether your goal is successfully completing your thesis or any other year of postgraduate study. My unique 6-phase methodology addresses all the constraints of postgraduate study, resulting in students feeling in control and on top of their progress throughout the year.
Phase 1: Learning to manage your time effectively
Time management is a life skill that will serve you long after you’ve hung up your graduation gown and framed your degree certificate. During this phase, I share all my expertise in the best ways of managing yourself.
Phase 2: The mindset of making sacrifices and contracting with yourself
Most people think they can simply add writing a thesis to their already busy lives. This misconception, that you will have to sacrifice nothing, is often the first challenge most student’s face. You will have to give up on some activities and social engagements this year. I can help you think through your daily structures and systems to create a priority checklist. READ MORE HERE.
Phase 3: Master the art of planning
Effective planning is powerful and certainly not to be shrugged off as a waste of time. This carefully constructed verse of mine says it all.
Planning is more than making a list and putting appointments in your diary. You need an extra dose of being realistic when you make plans and often you will have to plan in advance. Let me help you to build a plan to keep you motivated, committed, and determined.
Phase 4: Habits to accelerate motivation, discipline and routines
Motivation is a very unreliable emotion and limited resource. In our sessions, I’ll help you find your motivation when you need it, but also teach you how to rely on powerful routines and habits that will kick in even when you are feeling uninspired.
Phase 5: Overcoming psychological barriers
I’ve learned that we can be our own worst enemies. The powerful thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves which push us forward, can easily turn on us and cause us to self-destruct. Using evidence-based theories, I will help you acknowledge and manage these internal barriers.
Phase 6: Making a PACT with yourself: clear direction and commitment to act.
The PACT is a powerful tool to remind you that you can achieve success. The physical evidence of a well-considered and formulated Personal Action Commitment Timetable after every session will provide the hope and commitment to see your studies through to the end.