Ten Strategies To Embrace Change

A new year, a new you: The attraction of reinvention is understandably alluring.

But what if the “old you” wasn’t so bad?

Change Ahead
Image: Stuart Miles | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fickle change is fine, but meaningful change is usually more of a process of day-to-day refinement. Let’s take a look at what it takes to create, carry out, and maintain meaningful change.

Imagine you are holding an elastic band. There is a picture of a sunny, warm Hawaii taped to the wall in front of you. You stand. You want to shoot the elastic at Hawaii. And now you’re ready to shoot the elastic at Hawaii.

You pull the elastic backward, creating necessary tension and—here’s the critical part—only in pulling back and letting go, can you launch the elastic forward. Newton’s third law of motion holds as true for elastic bands as it does for life.

In moving forward it is necessary to leave something behind.

If we want to launch far and forward, we must look back in order to inform our reality in the present.

Major and minor life changes are rarely easy. These ten strategies are a catalyst for deeper conversations with yourself and with those who know best about what you want. The hope is to narrow the gap between who you are now and who you want to be.

1.  START WITH “WHY” 

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, suggests all behaviour is driven by our limbic brains and rationalized by our neocortex. In essence, emotion drives behaviour stronger than thought.

When a problem exists, try to work out why it exists. Doing this will allow you to see barriers and will help clarify the source of frustration, fear, or disappointment.

Answering why you want to change will provide the necessary clarity, focus, and motivation to accomplish your goals.

2.  CLARIFY THOUGHTS, BELIEFS, and IDEAS 

Before you can change your future, you must be brutally honest about your present. Knowing why you want ____ is as important as knowing what thoughts, beliefs and ideas have previously prevented you from getting _____.

What beliefs, thoughts, and ideas have reinforced your patterns of behaviour in the past? Would changing or letting go of those beliefs, thoughts, and ideas help you get to where you want to go?

3.  SET REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE GOALS 

When approaching change, psychologist Mira Kirshenbaum asks two questions: Are you able to change? And are you willing to change?

SMART goals are a mnemonic acronym that can help shape goals into achievable objectives. Is your goal Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related?

4.  TAKE ACTION 

You’ve completed the necessary preparation; now it’s time to try it out.

5.  PLANT MANY SEEDS 

While we may not be able to accurately predict the details of our future, we can remain active in areas where possibility exists.

6.  SNOWBALL YOUR BEHAVIOURS TO SUCCESS 

The key is to approach change from an incremental perspective and do many small actions over time. By creating little victories you accumulate momentum. Increasing the time, difficulty, or complexity of your daily actions will naturally result in small changes growing into bigger changes.

7.  EXPECT BARRIERS and SETBACKS 

New behaviours and incremental change is imperative to avoiding inertia because our brains are hardwired to react to the present. Given our limitations in energy, time, and resources each day, sometimes putting out fires takes precedence over long-term goals. To keep morale high and maintain motivation, seek ways to track your successes as you go.

8.  PAY ATTENTION TO REINFORCING FACTORS 

What and who will support you in moving toward your goal? Using an application that tracks your progress, logging your daily accomplishments, or staying in touch with a friend can reinforce the hard work you’re doing in forging this new path forward.

9.  CONTINUALLY REASSESS and EVALUATE 

  • How is this going for you?
  • Do you still like or want the goal that you initially set out for yourself?
  • What’s not working well?
  • What’s working well?

10.  CELEBRATE PERSONAL WINS 

When we successfully accomplish what we set out to achieve, we feel good because we’re rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and satisfaction. Whether it’s a step towards your goal today, or the attainment of the goal itself, celebrate both your small and big personal wins.

You’ve looked back and know why you want to change.

You are committed to doing the hard work and persevering when setbacks arise. And here’s the critical part: if you’re ready to let go and launch in the direction you want, you just might hit your mark.


Article by Yiely Ho

Yiely Ho
MA in Leadership Student, RRU

Dollars & Sense: Save Your Money

Everyone likes to spend money, and in contrast, every company is trying to separate you from your money, one nickel at a time.

Companies spend millions of dollars every year looking to find ways to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash, so shouldn’t you spend a little time and energy watching it? I think so and I hope you do too!

To highlight our theme of a New Year, New You, I have come up with a few tips you can act on today. I hope one or more of these tidbits will get you on your way to keeping more of your money, whether it comes from student loans, part-time job, or (like me) a full time career while completing my studies; every dollar counts!

1) Did you know that many financial institutions offer free banking for students? Next time you are in your branch, ask about “Student Banking”. With your Royal Roads University ID, you could save up to $30 per month in fees! That is over $300 per year! TD is a sure thing, and others brands likely have similar programs in place. It does not hurt to ask!

2) Pay yourself first! It does not matter if you make $100 part time every two weeks or 100K per year, you MUST put away a chunk (at least 20%) off the top to pay yourself.

3) Do not keep up with the Jones’! Nobody cares if you don’t have that newest iPhone except Apple.

4) Do not buy coffee from the green logo barista that rhymes with five bucks! This is the most insane craze out there. I do not care how good, how sweet, or how good that mocha frappe is, it is making you broke. I usually buy good Hawaiian Kona coffee, use 2% milk and it blows any soy chai latte away (plus most of those beverages contain a pound of sugar). You do not have to go Hawaiian, but I’m sure your favorite blend is at your local Thrifty’s at a fraction of the cost of five bucks.

Money saving lunch tip (Yes I did invent, use and may patent this awesomeness):

Take any bowl of spicy (or regular) kimchi noodles, cut out a quarter avocado, a couple slices of cheddar, mozza, or marble cheese, pour in boiling water and you have a hearty gourmet Asian version of tortilla soup. A $10 box at Costco will last you a month and then you can spend spring break in Vegas!

Until next time,
Paul Allen
Royal Roads University Student
Paul Allen

Contact: paulallensblog@gmail.com
Twitter: @paulallensblog

Use a Recruiter for Your Next Job Search

Recruiting: The Answer to Your Job Search?It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of open jobs are not advertised using traditional methods (i.e. job boards, company websites, newspaper classifieds, etc.). Therefore, recruiting firms often have leads on positions you might never hear about, including confidential job searches. Whether you are searching for a temporary, contract or permanent opportunity, there are many reasons why you, as a job seeker, would benefit from partnering with a recruiting firm.

You will be better prepared
Recruiting firms can help hone your resumé, assist with interview techniques, and provide you with more insight into the company, the job, the interview, the culture, the environment and, sometimes, even your competition.

Your resumé will stand out
Your recruiter will personally represent you to the hiring manager. It is not uncommon for hiring managers or Human Resource (HR) departments to receive hundreds of applicants for advertised positions; many qualified candidates’ resumés go unnoticed.

You can negotiate the highest compensation package
Your recruiter can provide advice on how to secure a higher income and better benefits and, in many cases, handle the negotiation for you when it comes to your new employment contract.

It’s free!

It is against British Columbia law for any worker to be charged money or a “placement fee” by a recruitment or employment agency.

Tips for getting the most out of your recruiting firm

Build a good rapport with the recruiting firm. Whether you’re meeting with a recruiter to discuss possible employment opportunities or a specific opportunity with one of their clients, the old standard “dress for success” still applies; you need to present yourself to the recruiter as a professional so he/she is comfortable recommending you to his/her clients.

Don’t underestimate the power of a recruiter. Many clients without an internal HR department develop a strategic business partnership with a recruiting firm. They trust their recruiters to present a shortlist of qualified candidates based on technical and cultural fit.

Work quickly. If a recruiter contacts you with an opportunity, respond as soon as possible. Recruiting firms pride themselves on being able to offer their clients a quick turnaround on filling open positions. So, if they do not hear back from you they may move on to other qualified candidates.

Keep control of your resumé. Make it clear you want to make decisions about who sees your resumé, especially if your job search is confidential. Some less professional agencies may flood the market with your resumé.

Use their knowledge. Particularly true of specialist consultants who work exclusively within your chosen profession or industry, recruiting firms can offer you salary advice based on benchmarking within the industry.

When to apply directly

• If you know the hiring manager, it’s almost always best to apply directly.

• If you have a professional (not personal) relationship with an employee at your target company, it may be advantageous to have him or her pass your resumé along for you. Keep in mind your resumé will likely be judged based on the quality of your referrer; “B” players are thought to attract “C” players.

• If you do not have the requisite experience, skills or current employment history specifically requested by the client, but want to “throw your hat in the ring” via the company’s website.

Given the benefits mentioned above, why not take advantage of the free services a professional recruiter provides when contemplating your next career move?


Article by Jacqueline Gallagher

Jacqueline is the Managing Consultant at the David Alpin Group, one of Canada’s largest recruiting firms, and a MBA candidate at Royal Roads. 

Connect with her on Twitter @recruiterjax 

Concert Review: Mother Mother

There is no question what happened at the Royal MacPherson theatre in downtown Victoria on December 10th. Mother Mother came home, and an exuberant homecoming it was.

The band is now referred to as a ‘Vancouver band’ in the music press; their rabid Island fan-base knows otherwise. Originally hailing from Quadra Island, this band found their legs in Victoria’s vibrant music scene and built a strong following here.

They are in the middle of a run of three sold out shows at the theatre. One show had to be added when the first two sold out in a matter of days. This is a massive achievement for any band, let alone one who doesn’t sell out venues this size in far larger cities.

Toronto band Ubiquitous Synergy Seekers (USS), kicked off the festivities with a frenetic energy that carried their entire forty-five minute set. Ash Buchholz may have provided the vocals, but the undisputed frontman of the group was turntablist, backup vocalist, tiger onesie-clad, human clusterfuck Jason Parsons. I mean this in a loving way—the dude was everywhere. During the band’s biggest hit Shipwreck he whipped the crowd into a frenzied dance party sing-a-long that had all the kids losing their minds—the high point of their set.

USS has always been an exercise in style over substance. The batshit craziness of their live sets compensate for a somewhat banal brand of song-writing accentuated by the stereotypically aggro, modern-rock styling of Bucholz’s vocals. That being said, if you want a band to get a room of people ready to rock, USS is definitely the opener for you.

With USS’s priming, the anticipation was palpable as the house lights went down and the roadies got to work setting the stage for the headliners. The room exploded as the band walked out under cover of shadows and the first notes of Have it Out reverberated through the theatre. Lead singer Ryan Guldemond need not have sung the lyrics, the crowd would’ve had that covered. The relentless, driving keyboard and guitar riffs of hit single Get out the Way followed seamlessly. “I’m not antisocial, I’m just tired of the people,” Guldemond laments during the bridge of that song. He and the band seemed anything but tired of these people dancing at their feet.

In presiding over the crowd, the band did not forget about their long-time fans. There were healthy doses of fan-favourites peppered amongst the new material. The pacing of this was fantastic and demonstrated the evolution of the band since Touch Up. The fact that the crowd sung about disliking life in a ‘dirty town’ with equivalent zeal as living in a monkey tree showed their fans had come along for that ride.

The undeniable highlight of the night came when backup vocalist and keyboardist Jasmin Parkin emerged from behind her instrument to deliver a rousing, soulful cover of Lana Del Rey’s Video Games. Her voice was breathtaking—you could almost see the crowd’s mouths collectively fall agape. Talented frontman Guldemond’s step back from the spotlight, while unexpected, was ultimately thrilling—the element of surprise only adding to the brilliance of the moment.

The show was not without its flaws. While the band seems to be gaining confidence in their technical prowess, there were certain moments where this manifested itself in overzealous instrumental wanking. This detracted from the tight structuring that the band is known for on their studio albums. While this diminished the impact of certain songs, it’s not as if they went all Phish on us.

Petty grievances aside, the show wound up just as it started. The crowd remained ecstatic through the encore. Guldemond stopped for a moment; seemingly making eye contact with everyone in the theatre, and said “All the drugs are right here in this room;” words of thanks the crowd enthusiastically accepted.

As the band dove into Simply Simple, their final song, friends and lovers embraced and sang along. “I just want it to unfold, simply simple,” the chorus goes. This ode to simplicity was a fitting end to the night; seldom is a homecoming as uncomplicated and triumphant as this.


 

By Mike Westwick

Mike is a founding editor of The Royal and a student in the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication program. 

Connect with him on Twitter @westwick_m

NYE: A Catalyst To Create An Effectual, Rewarding Life?

Think Big Dream Bigger

 

It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re making plans for the “special occasion”.

Would you rather attend an expensive, crowded soirée, only to find yourself regurgitating your party fare into a Porcelain God the next day, while worrying about what you might have said or done in the midst of your drunken stupor? Or, would you rather spend the night in a quiet and relaxing environment, determining how you want to live for the next 365 days, and then wake up feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle the world?

Why do so many people choose the first option?

Is it to commemorate our ability to survive another year of living in a world full of violence, abuse, political corruption, poverty, injustice, and discrimination—to name a few? Or, is it just another excuse to let loose and blow off steam with friends?

Legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote, Buy the ticket, take the ride.” If we are afraid to embrace positive people and experiences in our life, then we are actively choosing a “ride” of acceptance; we remain complacent with the unsatisfactory life that we have and believe we deserve. On the other hand, if we spend time with people we care about and set clear goals for ourselves, then we are more likely to achieve the “ride,” and life, that we truly desire. In short, we get back what we put in.

As the CEO of my life, I choose the latter.

Despite there being a lot of wrong in the world, I’ve decided to focus on what’s right, and more importantly, do what I can to create positive change through community work. Having overcome poverty and horrific trauma, I find it especially empowering to make a fresh start each year with a clear plan for success. Undoubtedly, my resilience, ambition, and ability to focus have played a significant role in any success that I have achieved over the years. However, I believe that my annual New Year’s Eve ritual has played a huge role in ensuring that my goals were aligned with the person I was at the time, and who I aspired to be.

So, while people are busy drinking and having fun, I spend quality time on my own on this momentous night, reflecting and journaling about the year that is drawing near, by documenting my successes, challenges, key learnings, and even regrets.

To create my SMART goals for the next twelve months, I ask myself the following important questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • What possible barriers can get in my way?
  • What tools do I have to overcome these barriers?

This magical process is simple, really.

I create ambiance by filling a dimly lit room with a dozen candles and make space for my favorite pen and a beautiful new notebook, which is used to plan and curate my dreams that evening, and throughout the coming year.

If you haven’t guessed it, I LOVE New Year’s Eve because it’s an ideal time to reaffirm and reinvent myself. Sure, I can do this at any time of the year, but I find the symbolic freshness of embarking on a new year to be a great motivator for change. If we are fortunate to be already living the life that we truly want, it’s also the perfect time to celebrate and practice gratitude.

That, my friends, is why New Year’s Eve is the perfect impetus for embarking on a life-changing transformation!


Article by Christine Morrell
BAPC Distant Ed. Student

Bringing My Whole Self

Accomplished orchestral conductors dance an amazing dance. They have an ear on the purity of each note and the capacity to ensure each piece of music unfolds in splendour. They enliven each score with a vision of all it can be for each listener. As students and developing professionals, we can learn something from these maestros.

The past year has been a growing one for folks enrolled at Royal Roads. Juggling work, learning, and family is rich and challenging. Shifting from course work to integrating this learning is just as exciting.

It is, however, no small feat. Putting our best selves forward, applying all of our new learning, and integrating authenticity in all aspects of our lives requires the same intricacy, attention, and poise as the orchestra conductor.

In my experience, it is always difficult to maintain the balancing act. I have had success in integrating my professional experience, personal skills, and aspirations in my busy life; yet I sometimes still feel inept in my journey.

As a graduate of the Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University, I would like to share some of the ways I’ve had success in putting my best self forward and some reflections on the results in my own life since I left Royal Roads one year ago.

What Helps?

  • Knowing who I am. And reminding myself that authenticity matters.
  • Clearly defining where I want to be.
  • Paying attention to what works. Letting it evolve.
  • Putting service to others as a priority.
  • Finding my path forward.
  • Support. Accountability. And pushing reset when it isn’t working.
  • Again and again. And again.

And, as I strive to honour the melody and the dynamics, the crescendos and the diminuendos…

Self-care! Self-care! Self-care!

Reflecting on 2014 allowed me to look back and see what a difference a year has made in my life since Royal Roads.

Some Wins:

  • Wild Goat Executive Coaching, my business, is growing, and satisfying
  • I am combining my coaching experience with fiction writing in my blog Daring Imagination
  • I work with colleagues from Royal Roads who challenge and support me
  • I have time and means to head to the ocean and be in awe
  • I love getting up in the morning and being of service

I am grateful for my teachers – even the unexpected ones. For my peers – who continue to encourage and challenge. And most importantly, for my clients, who have trusted me to make a difference. Reflection will allow you to put your accomplishments in perspective.

Royal Roads University has encouraged me to bring all of myself on this amazing, and challenging journey. I have been changed on this journey, which I am grateful for. I would recommend the experiences I have had to anyone and hope that sharing my experiences will help you bring your best self to the table.

Some Final Questions to Think About:

  • What changes do you want to reflect on in January 2016?
  • What are you willing to do to create those changes?

 

Article by Dr. Meredith Egan, ACC CEC PharmD

Meredith Egan

Executive Coach

Who Are You Spending Your Time With?

Right before 2014 ended my aunt and dear friend Marguita passed away. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye despite her illness having lasted months. It was devastating. I felt regret and deep sadness as I came to the realization that she was gone and I hadn’t had the chance to make my own peace with her.

This brought me new perspective on the fragility of life. I knew I had to change something and, as 2015 begins, it is a good time to reflect how I am spending my time, or to be more precise, who am I spending my time with.

Life is unexpected. We never know what is going to happen next. I have realized in the wake of my loss how important it is to understand who is important in my life.  How much time, energy, and effort dedicate to those friends, family members, and significant people who accompany me through this life journey will make all the difference.

I learned I should never take for granted a hug, a kiss, an opportunity to share the impact someone has made on me. Seize every moment

You may want to ask yourself, as the year begins anew, who might be waiting for your words, your kisses, and your love. I know I wish I realized this sooner.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.


By Yvette Mucharraz

Yvette is a Master’s student at Royal Roads. She is the author of A Life in Eight Words.
Connect with her on Twitter @ymucharraz

 

The Cider Diaries: Tales of Cycling, Travel, and a Quest to Realize the Apple’s Deepest Purpose

Volume 1: An Unexpected Meeting
“So you’re with the…um…?”

“US Secret Service.”

‘Well, that explains the earpiece, stone cold expression, sunglasses, and poorly-fitting suit’ I thought to myself as I pressed shoulder to shoulder with the crowd, staring into the unflinching face of the United States’ finest.  Without intending to do so, myself and my cycling companions had found ourselves mere feet from Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia.  My fellow cyclist Tyler, clearly unnerved by the presence of secret service, tried to determine if his hands belonged in or out of his pockets by moving them in and out in furtive succession, prompting some cold stares from the watchful men with guns and little sense of humour.

We had woken up in tents nearby and cycled into downtown Gig Harbour, Washington on a cloudy late September morning to find the quintessential American chicken-fried steak breakfast experience.  Instead, we had unwittingly plunged ourselves into a throng of police, US Secret Service, the entire population of Gig Harbour Croatian enclave (all senior citizens), the political cabinet of Croatia, and ol’ Roarin’ Zoran himself.  Suddenly, we were unsure of how to proceed.  Seek out our greasy breakfast, or attempt to pull off the greatest unplanned group photo of all time?!  It’s not every day you come face to face with a head of state, after all.

The decision was quickly made for us, as Zoran was whisked through the crowd and into a waiting motorcade. Apparently the mid-morning mingle was over, and Mr. Milanovic was off to continue his tech tour across the U.S. Our window of opportunity over, we made our way to Kelly’s Cafe, the Gig Harbour breakfast spot, which was teeming with the Sunday morning breakfast crowd.

Our excellent XL-sized breakfast aside, our journey to the far reaches of Washington’s Puget Sound region had a purpose aside from an impromptu political meet-and-greet.  We had travelled 200 km by car, and 65 km by bicycle across land and sea, to attend The Greater Peninsula Cider Swig the previous afternoon, a family-friendly celebration of ‘hard apple cider’, as our American friends put it.   The reason for this trip deserves an diary entry all to itself, but in short, myself and my friends were, are, and will continue to be, working professionals moonlighting as cider makers, and striving to develop a commercial product to meet BC’s growing thirst for cider.  Our trip to Gig Harbor, and other forays into Washington and Oregon States, have served as reconnaissance, competitive intelligence gathering, learning, and heck, some cider-fueled good times.

In The Cider Diaries, I will share some stories relating to the trials and tribulations of making cider, regional cycle tourism in BC and Washington State, and other tales associated with learning the craft.  Hopefully, you the reader can learn a thing or two about the Pacific Northwest’s burgeoning craft cider industry, and have a few laughs at the expense of me and my companions along the way.  In the words of ye olde cyder lovers: Wassail!  And welcome to The Cider Diaries.

Yours in fermentation and long-haul rides,

Eric D.

ericdouglas
Eric Douglas is a Royal Roads graduate and entrepreneur. His serialized column will explore the beauty in cycling, travel, and cider production in the Pacific Northwest. 

The Royal Podcast

To complement our magazine and website, The Royal Magazine will have a monthly podcast.

The podcast topics will coincide with our monthly themes and will also include discussions and debates on news and current affairs. February’s themes are Valentine’s Day and Black History Month for which we are currently accepting submissions and ideas for podcast segments and interviews. All pitches can be sent to zam@royalmag.ca. We will be accepting pitches and ideas for segments, discussions, and debates on an ongoing basis.

The Royal Podcast will be hosted by The Royal’s co-founders, Zameer Karim and Michael Westwick, but will periodically feature guest speakers.

STAY TUNED!

Winter in Malta

Nadine Biggs
Maltese Waterfront

“Why did you choose Malta?” That was the question I received from friends and relatives prior to my trip. There were a number of reasons I chose to spend my winter break traveling to the tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean. A year round temperate climate, English as an official Language, cheap and reliable public transportation, and affordable accommodation all played a role in my decision to discover the Maltese Islands, but in the end, it was the picturesque medieval waterfront city of Valletta, and the medley of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that had the history buff in me eager to jump on a plane and start exploring.

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, I like to think that “Island Life” has a different pace, and I feel this was applicable to Malta as well. Although apart of the EU, the islands of Malta and Gozo did not have the hustle you get in most of Europe. With a population of just over 400,000 inhabiting the two islands, the main cities were busiest with the rest of the population spread out among a number of smaller cities.

We had two weeks to spend exploring and we wasted no time in checking off bucket list items. Visiting the 5,000 year old subterranean Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni. The Ġgantija Temples in Gozo. Eating gelato and traditional Maltese pastries while walking along the waterfront promenade. But some of our favourite days were spent off the beaten path. Unbeknownst to us, both Malta and Gozo provided endless unmarked trails and pathways weaving along the jagged rocky waterfront. Whether it was happening upon millennial-old Roman bee hives while pondering the shores of Gozo from the edge of Malta, or finding fossils while enjoying the warm Mediterranean sun on a dead end road, it was the experiences not listed in my travel guide that made me truly fall in love with the islands.

As a self proclaimed “foodie”, I was eager to delve in to whatever Malta had to offer. While the national dish of rabbit was not exactly to my liking (I prefer my bunnies alive), I happily overindulged in Ftira (Maltese style pizza), pasta and pastries galore. My favourite snack ended up being Pastizzi. Widely available from street vendors, cafes and restaurants, Pastizzi is a savoury pastry filled with either ricotta or mashed peas stuffed between many layers of soft flaky phyllo. At a cost of around 50 cents Canadian, it was a quick, cheap and delicious snack, and naturally became a staple of our diet.

When I returned home with stories and photos of coastal hikes along the turquoise ocean, 7,000 year old megalithic temples, retracing the steps of the Knights of Malta, and indulging in the traditional pastitzi and qasatata pastries, my friends and family were no longer asking “why” I chose Malta, rather they were looking in to booking a future trip for themselves.


Article by Nadine Biggs
MA Student, Intercultural & International Communications