By Miranda Massie on January 12, 2016
I rarely set New Year’s resolutions. While I find that a new year is a great time to re-evaluate and reset my health behaviours, I am jaded by many years of watching my resolutions fall lonely by the wayside as the weeks move on.
Human motivation is an interesting phenomenon. Our behavior is commonly described as the result of internal (intrinsic) or external (extrinsic) factors that push and pull us towards a desired outcome. We are motivated to act based on elements such as rationality, drive, incentives, self-control, cognition and reinforcement, but are often passive participants – acting or not acting without taking the time to understand why.
This year, instead of making the New Year about resolutions or goals, I am making it about my motivations to achieve these goals. My hope is that by focusing my attention on how and why I am motivated to reach my goals, instead of on the goals themselves, that I might actually create some long term changes.
- My goal: complete a one-month workout plan
- My motivations: more energy; diversify my current (and boring) workouts
- My focus: feeling stronger; increasing my daily energy levels; boosting my self-esteem
- My goal: eat out 2x per week or less
- My motivations: save money; eat less processed foods; try new recipes
- My focus: saving for my wedding; spending quality time with my partner and our wealth of underused cookbooks
Ways To Stay Motivated
Break down goals and use bite-sized steps to get there. This allows for celebration and achievement along the way and can help identify the deeper motivators behind the goal. “Be healthier” is a tough goal to achieve unless you identify what this means to you and why.
Share your goals
Share your motivation and goals with a partner or friend. They can check-in and help provide additional external motivation, reminders, (or nagging) when necessary. Posting your goals/motivators can also help keep you accountable to yourself. A friend of mine even framed his!
Put an end to it
Studies have shown that long range and open ended goal setting can be problematic, even contributing to symptoms of depression. By setting a realistic end date (I might suggest 4-8 weeks), your goal is measurable, tangible and ultimately more achievable.
Identify your motivators
Tease out the specific benefits that you are hoping to achieve through your goals. This can help provide a deeper connection to the goal and a more personal motivation for seeing it through. Why are you setting this goal and how would you like it to impact your life.
Relapse, re-set and repeat
Forgive yourself if things do not go perfectly. Seeing your goals through to completion might require you to take a break, re-set or re-evaluate. Use this time to review goals, steps and roadblocks and then begin again.
I invite you to welcome the year 2016 with open arms. Take this month to delve deeper into the motivations that live behind your resolutions as it may provide you with the added value to carry on.
All my best,
Ways to stay motivated this month at UBC:
- UBC Recreation Free Week: Jan 11-17
- Dog Walkers Stroll: Jan 20
- Art Lovers Walk: Jan 26
- Free Bodyworks Fitness Consultation Sessions
Dickson JM, Moberly NJ. Reduced specificity of personal goals and explanations for goal attainment in major depression. PloS one, 2013, 8(5):1932-6203.
Litt MD, Kleppinger A, Judge JO. Initiation and maintenance of exercise behavior in older women: predictors from the social learning model. Journal of behavioral medicine, 2002, 25(1):0160-7715.
Harackiewicz, JM. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: the search for optimal motivation and performance. San Diego: Academic Press, c2000.
Posted in Editorial, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged 2016, attention, balance, editorial, Energy, Focus, goals, Miranda Massie, motivation, recreation, resolutions, set-backs, Support, UBC | 1 Response
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
A goal without a plan is just a wish. -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It’s the time of year when we set plans to be our best selves for the year ahead, by improving our physical, professional, social, financial and/or mental wellbeing. How can we improve the chances that our goals will unfold and result in the outcome we hope for at the beginning of the year? Reaching and achieving goals can feel insurmountable even when we have the best of intentions. It takes persistence, accountability, motivation and planning.
There’s something satisfying about crossing an item off a to-do list. So why is it that a lot of us don’t take the opportunity to apply the same concept of making a list for our goals? Wouldn’t it be just as rewarding to place a completed check mark next to a goal? We’ve all experienced the feelings of pride, joy, excitement and relief that accomplishment can bring, and those feelings can help our willingness to put forth effort towards developing plans and goals.
A 1968 article by Dr. Edwin Locke, “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives” found that employees were motivated by clear goals and appropriate feedback1. Dr. Locke went on to say that working toward a goal provided a major source of motivation to actually reach the goal which, in turn, improved performance.
You might be wondering, where do I start to accomplish my goals? How can I make these wishes realities? No matter how big or small your goal, making change requires planning, and SMART goal setting can be helpful2. Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals to avoid them falling through the cracks and never getting accomplished.
SMART goals are:
Don’t be vague. Your goals should be clear and unambiguous. Specific goals produce a higher level of output. Break down hurdles by having single, precise, and idealistic end results.
Make sure you can measure how you will achieve your goal, by making your goal quantifiable, include target dates and units of measurements. Measurements such as how much, how often, or how many will allow you to track your progress can help keep you motivated.
Don’t set yourself up for failure, because your motivation relies on success and hope. Breaking down your main objective into smaller sub-goals and getting feedback from your support network can help determine if the end result is attainable within the parameters you have set for yourself. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge ourselves. Find a happy medium.
If your goals are not relevant to you, they will likely dissipate. Avoid becoming bored or disinterested by ensuring you are passionate and energized about reaching your potential. The significance of anticipated accomplishment will help keep you interested, and in turn, motivated to follow through.
Place your goals and sub-goals within time frames and stick to it! Re-adjusting may be necessary.
Remember to have a strategy for staying accountable. Make sure to write them down. Thinking about your goals and having them in mind is not enough. You will need to evaluate your plan and re-adjusting will likely be necessary. Remember to translate your sub-goals and goals to your calendar and schedule appropriately.
Finally, it is important to highlight and acknowledge your victories and challenges along the way. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice and feedback from your support network. Here are UBC, we are incredibly fortunate to work in a highly collaborative environment and have many services to help and support us.
How UBC can help:
Articles to help with goal setting:
- Understanding and Setting SMART Goals
- How do I get there from here? Setting and Attaining Career Goals
Accessing EFAP for help with:
Contact Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider for help with health coaching, fitness & nutrition support.
- Locke, EA. Toward a theory of task motivation and incentives. Elsevier, 1968, 3(2):157-189.
- Fuhrmann, CN, et al. Goal-Setting Strategies for Scientific and Career Success. Science Careers, 2013.
By Miranda Massie on January 12, 2016
Guest contribution from Dr. Geoffrey Soloway
Mindful or Mindless?
Imagine coming home from a stressful day at work and your head is swimming with the day’s events. Who said what to whom, how you did or didn’t respond to a colleague, and what’s on your plate for tomorrow. Sound familiar? The problem with this scenario is that because you’re absorbed in these thoughts replaying the day, you’re not able to see what’s right in front of you. Did you notice the greeting you got from a pet or loved one? Did you enjoy or even really taste your dinner? Did you notice a family member wanting to tell you something but waiting to be asked? All of these moments make up our lives and they pass us by unless we’re in the moment and paying attention.
Living in the moment is not simply a nice catch phrase or philosophy, learning to be more mindful is a science of mind that has a measurable impact on the brain. There is a tremendous amount of evidence over the past 20 years demonstrating the benefits of training in mindfulness for physical and mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness is a form of mental exercise that, similar to physical exercise, becomes stronger with practice.
Faculty and Staff at UBC have the opportunity to exercise their mindfulness muscles with the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge. The Challenge is an online mindfulness training coming to UBC starting Feb 1, 2016. The Challenge can be accessed via any computer or mobile device, anytime, anywhere and focuses on simple yet powerful and achievable learning objectives. Content is delivered through engaging videos, infographics, podcasts, and delivered on an innovative learning platform developed specifically for this training. According to Dr. Geoff Soloway, “We understand that in order for the training to stick, learners need opportunity to integrate new skills and habits in everyday life that rewire new neural pathways in the brain. That is why the 30 Day Challenge focuses on mindfulness-in-action.”
One central proposition of the Challenge is that you aren’t doing it alone. Each person will be asked to invite a buddy from outside the organization to complete the training with. The learning platform connects you with your buddy on a daily basis so you are learning together and motivating each other to stay on track. Just like a workout buddy, we view the 30 Day Challenge like a mental workout. After just 5-10 minutes a day, Dr. Soloway says participants and their buddies will be less stressed, more focused, better able to adapt to problems that arise as well as work better with others.
The 30 Day Challenge is perfect for people who work in high-stress jobs with long or irregular hours, time pressures and a lot of responsibility. The Challenge is a great first step for those new to mindfulness and even those who may be a bit resistant yet secretly curious. The Challenge runs for 30 consecutive days, yet life happens and you might miss a few days. Being successful is much more about how you live your life, and whether you are learning to make mindfulness a part of that — even for a few moments, every now and then.
To learn more about mindfulness and the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, please attend a one hour information session:
January 12, 2016 -1:15pm-2:15pm (VGH/DHCC) Click here to register
January 13, 2016 – 12:30pm-1:30pm (Point Grey Campus) Click here to register
To secure a space in the 30-Day Challenge, payment ($25 Payable by cash, JV to KPGK or by cheque payable to UBC Human Resources) must be made at an orientation session or sent to UBC Human Resources (attn. Melissa Lafrance). Please note your preference for either the February 1 or March 14 start dates.
For more information on mindfulness, Dr. Geoff Soloway or the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, please visit www.mindwellcanada.com.
Follow us on Twitter at @MindWellMind and use hashtag #UBC30day to connect with fellow participants, ask questions and deepen your learning.
Posted in Geoffrey Soloway, Guest Contributor, Mental Health, Mindful Moments | Tagged challenge, learning, mental health, Mindfulness, Mindwell, online, registration, resilience, training, wellbeing | 1 Response
By Miranda Massie on January 12, 2016
Guest contribution from Dr. Thara Vayali
New Year’s Resolutions: love ‘em or loathe ‘em, they are a key discussion point in January; so let’s discuss. Dedicating resolve towards accomplishing something is commendable, as it is an indicator of what matters to us, what (given endless free time and motivation) we truly want to put our energy toward. Unfortunately, this resolve can fall to the wayside as the year consistently offers up challenges to us completing our goals.
The only way to keep from feeling annual defeat is to deconstruct why we keep making and breaking resolutions.
In 2012, Time Magazine published a Top 10 most commonly broken resolutions:
- Lose weight & get fit
- Quit smoking
- Learn something new
- Eat a healthier diet
- Get out of debt & save money
- Spend more time with family
- Travel to new places
- Be less stressed
- Drink less
Five major reasons that resolutions such as these can go awry:
Not Specific. Resolutions often come in broad themes rather than achievable actions. Eating healthy, getting fit, losing weight, saving money, spending time – all these are admirable goals, but they are vague because they are unmeasurable. When there is nothing to measure, there’s nothing to work towards. With open-ended goals one can end up under-motivated or overwhelmed and resigned to failure.
Over Sized. Riding on the coattails of non-specific resolutions, are oversized resolutions. A major stumbling block is the habit of making grand predictions of our capabilities within the year. With the goal of progressing quickly, we aim too high. Resolutions are a practice of patience. Think of goals in terms of Projections vs. Stretch Goals. Resolutions are projections of your desires matched to your capabilities, within a timeframe. Aspirations are your stretch goals that can motivate you to aim higher than predicted. Both are great to have, just keep them clear and separate.
Improper Targets. The desire to change something in our lives isn’t enough, as we often don’t see the obstacles en route. Our bigger goal is often so desirable that we forget to check what roadblocks we might run into. A great tool for staying on track is to backtrack your goal to your daily actions and habits and take inventory of inhibiting factors. If there are people, locations, or temptations that you know will impede your resolve, your resolution can instead be to circumvent or remove these variables.
Incentives. Don’t expect yourself to change habits based on the elusive goal of being a healthier, happier, better person. That is just not enough to get you out of bed in the morning. Giving yourself small rewards is key – whether the reward shows up through the action itself, or through a perk you give yourself after taking your daily step toward your goal. Immediate rewards are important to keep motivation high and will increase the odds of your success.
Lack of Support. When a goal is a secret, no one knows if you haven’t done it. With habit changes, having a cheering squad or a team of people on the same path will sustain your commitment Community matters. Instead of going it alone, find companions who keep you motivated, who you can motivate and with whom you can share the glory.
So, take these factors into consideration and challenge yourself to some realistic resolutions this year. Here are questions and suggestions that can get you on your way.
First off, What? What exactly are you doing? Is your resolution simply a theme or is there a concrete action you can take from this statement? If you can pull a specific task that can be completed, you are more than half way there.
Then How? How will you do this action? If you don’t have a how, the resolution is a pie in the sky. Pick a method of action – if it doesn’t work, that’s okay! Regroup and try again. Trying is part of doing.
Who? Who will be part of assisting your decisions & actions? Begin by enlisting them as part of your goal. Do you have anyone to whom you are accountable to? Can you ask for their support and encouragement?
When? When do you plan on doing these actions, and when do you plan on assessing your efforts toward your goals? Give yourself a schedule and some lead time for a longer term evaluation of your goals and efforts.
Where? Where do these actions occur? Does this require prior organization? And if so perhaps sourcing the specific tools to proceed can be the realistic resolution.
Why? Why are you doing this? Big picture perspective will give you purpose and setting up desirable incentives for incremental progress will create motivation. You need both the big why and the small why.
Sit down with the resolutions you’ve already made and put them to the test. Ask yourself these questions and you might discover that you are better off with fewer, but more achievable resolutions. Banking on goals within your grasp will help you conquer the broken resolution repeat. Resolve to keep your resolutions!
Thara Vayali is a Naturopathic Doctor & Yoga Teacher in Vancouver and is also a UBC alumnus. She is obsessed with intestinal and immune health, hormones, and pain-free bodies. She is the creator of Change Natural Medicine: Budget conscious, membership based health consulting.
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
This month’s Thriving Faculty member is Dr. Joy Butler, an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC.
Thriving Faculty is a monthly column that highlights UBC faculty who exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into their classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What are central challenges you face in your role as Faculty?
I believe that we all face the same major challenge, which is to find balance in our lives as we juggle our efforts to be effective professionals, informed citizens, caring partners and family members, and at the same time, take care of our own bodies and psyches. Aboriginal culture offers the medicine wheel as a symbol of the kind of balance we need to strike between the various parts of our lives and our identities. (See wellness wheel on the walkabout website.) It can be hard to find this kind of balance as the world heats up, becoming increasingly more intense and ‘wired.’ In the pressurized world of academia, we are subject to information over-load, competing demands for action and compassion burn-out. When this overwhelms our defenses and our immune systems compromised it is even more important to pay attention to our health.
Based on your experiences, please describe the relationship between student mental health & wellbeing and learning.
In general terms, to be better educated puts us at an advantage when it comes to health and wellbeing, in that better educated people usually earn more, and thus enjoy better access to such things as health care, healthy diet, and safe, comfortable housing. Speaking more specifically about my own discipline, Physical Education, I would argue that the relationship between health and learning is more conscious and more direct. The current PE curriculum aims to educate the whole human being through the physical, as they reject the separation Descartes set between the body and the mind. This stands in contrast to older, more traditional approaches that focused on educating the body through techniques and drills. My own research looks at the social dimensions of PE and sport education. I believe that team games provide important opportunities to learn about and practice healthy equal relationships, and to develop the qualities we need to be effective citizens – attributes like fairness, empathy, and sound decision making. We don’t become or stay healthy and well in isolation, but in the cultures and relationships in which we are situated.
Please describe the role of your own mental health and wellbeing in your teaching, research and service to the community?
To state the obvious, no one enjoys a crabby, worn out professor, and no one can be creative when they haven’t had enough sleep or fun! Though it’s hard to maintain self care at the same time as keeping up with grading, class preparation, research, committees, writing and reading, it’s important not to let oneself get into a downward spiral. I’m not perfect in this regard, by any means, and have found my wellness wheel to be quite bumpy at times but I do try to take stock regularly and make adjustments.
What strategies do you use in your own life, that help you thrive as Faculty?
I exercise every day. In the morning, I begin with a short but intense physical workout that I have practiced for so many years I could do it in my sleep! Good habits are crucial when it comes to exercise, and my workout is perhaps a good illustration. I don’t think about whether or not to do it, I just roll out of bed and begin. I like early morning exercise because it kick starts all those interrelated systems, such as the brain, the digestion, and the cardiovascular neural networks. I have two dogs and subject them to a pretty vigorous walking regimen! It helps to live close to campus, and I always cycle or walk to work, whatever the weather (I’ve even managed to cross country ski in on a few occasions). I also enjoy yoga and working out at the gym, and include both of these activities on a weekly basis. Finally, I’m about to join a dragon boat team in March. We all know what happens when we work and don’t play. Although it’s tough to fit a social life in to the busy UBC semester, my partner and I do have a good circle of friends, and enjoy going out to dinner or movies, as well as joint hikes, skiing or snowshoeing. We also make sure that we have time to talk to each other. We eat breakfast and dinner together on a daily basis, and often process and plan our lives on walks at Jericho Beach.
Are they any specific initiatives and/or research you are involved in that promote health, mental health and wellbeing?
An initiative I’d like to mention in this context is the Walkabout Program. Walkabout is a nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings and allows for the annual check in and goal adjustment I mentioned earlier. It is hosted by the Faculty of Education and this year has invited opened up the invitation everyone on campus.
Essentially, staff, faculty, students and community members join teams of five members, log their daily steps (using fitbits or pedometers) and engage in a ‘virtual race’ with other teams. The competition element makes it fun and interactive – the research shows that people are more likely to maintain exercise when they work out in groups – but an important goal is to make people individually aware of just how far they do walk each day when they take everything into account, even teaching, shopping or cooking. We include a conversion table of other activities into step counts when the type of activity cannot be recorded by step count (such as yoga or gym training). People are quite surprised to find out how many steps they actually take in a day, for better or worse! But in either case, participants begin to get a sense for what a healthy level of activity looks or feels like. The World Health organization has defined this as 10,000-11,000 steps a day, and by the end of the program, many people are achieving that level and more.
This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary of the walkabout program and do so alongside the 100th UBC anniversary by incorporating the Great Trek as our virtual route. Teams will be able to mark their weekly progress through the number of laps achieved.
To encourage the social element of the program, members can record the numbers of steps taken with any other member of the program to achieve a social bonus, and weekly walks have been organized by the committee. The first walk will include our four-legged companions.
We celebrate the end of the nine-week walkabout with an awards ceremony that celebrates the winners of categories such as ‘most social steps’ and ‘most actual steps’, as well as less serious awards such as ‘best team name’.
Dr. Joy Butler is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) at UBC, Vancouver. Joy’s research and teaching have developed around constructivist learning theory, teacher education, complexity thinking, situated ethics and community wellness. She is active in international scholarship, organization, and advocacy for Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU).
By Miranda Massie on January 12, 2016
The new year often represents a time to plan individual growth and development. Reach your 2016 learning goals with rewarding professional development opportunities provided by UBC!
Professional Development Funding Programs for Staff
The Professional Development (PD) Funding programs for staff are designed to support eligible staff members who are interested in pursuing learning opportunities that will enhance their professional knowledge and skills, work performance, and career growth at UBC.
Act fast – There are fewer than three months remaining to take advantage of funding that may be available to you for this current fiscal year, April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016.
To confirm your eligibility, login to the faculty and staff self-service portal. This will allow you to view how much funding you currently have available. Please review your applicable employee group PD Fund program guidelines and application procedures here.
For information on the Professional Development Reimbursement Fund for faculty, including eligibility and submission deadlines, please visit Faculty Relations.
Learn technology, creative, and workplace business skills at your own pace with lynda.com. UBC provides staff and faculty free and unlimited access to lynda.com’s vast library of high-quality and engaging video tutorials. Use your CWL to log in at www.lynda.ubc.ca.
Tuition Fee Waiver Benefit
This UBC staff benefit provides tuition assistance for eligible staff and faculty that can be applied to UBC undergraduate credit courses, as well as many UBC Continuing Studies non-credit courses. If you are eligible to use this benefit, you can take UBC courses for both personal and career development purposes. In some instances, you can transfer this benefit to your spouse or children. Please select your employee group on the Professional Development Benefit webpage to find out more.
Coaching is a unique opportunity to focus and move forward on your personal, professional or organizational goals through the exploration of ideas and candid dialogue with a confidential and unbiased thinking partner. At UBC, we offer free one-on-one professional coaching services for staff and faculty. Visit Get a Coach to learn more.
UBC’s MOST Program offers at cost professional development workshops geared to enhance and improve your effectiveness at work. Depending on which UBC employee group you belong to, you may be eligible to access professional development funding for MOST workshops. A list of upcoming MOST workshops and further information can be found on the MOST Workshops webpage.
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
This month’s Thriving Thunderbird is Blake Nill, Head Coach of the UBC Men’s Varsity Football team.
Thriving Campus features, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff and students.
How do you Thrive at Work?
Since the nature of my work is highly competitive, most of my time is spent trying to be the best I can possibly be. I consider myself very fortunate to work in this type of environment. I have always felt that you need to push yourself to reach your potential in any capacity. As a coach at the university level, I deal with an endless volume of trials. The passion needed to overcome many of these trials keeps me invigorated and young at heart.
How do you Thrive at Home?
At home I am very interested in learning how to live a heathier and more productive life. The lifestyle here in Vancouver fits my ideology well and it is certainly easier to motivate yourself to be active and health conscious when that is the norm. I am looking forward to the experiences offered in Vancouver that differ from other cities I have previously lived in. I am a strong advocate of fitness and basic fundamental principles as it relates to health. I truly believe in “healthy mind = heathy body”.
I try and live as healthy as I can by being open-minded and following guidelines associated with diet, rest, and activity. I enjoy learning about new trends in wellbeing and am very interested in the science of health and wellbeing.
How do you promote wellbeing to students and colleagues you work with?
I am a strong advocate of the importance associated with the fitness component of football and the science that it parallels. I want my athletes to achieve their fitness potential and try and provide the tools necessary to reach those goals.
What do you do in your free time to recharge?
Most of my free-time is spent in some form of physical activity. In the winter off-season I am a regular at hot yoga, and have recently started taking TRX classes. I am a regular in the weight room and try to run year-round. I enjoy the physical activities that are available here in Vancouver. I enjoy the challenge of Grouse Mountain and regularly do the Grind. Paddle boarding is a work in progress. This summer I started swimming daily at the Kitsilano Pool. Swimming not only provides an excellent source of physical fitness but I use it as a state to think. I make some of my best decisions as I go up and down the pool.
What are central challenges you face in your role as Head Football Coach? How do you overcome them?
As a varsity coach responsible for 90+ athletes, you are continuously dealing with issues associated with their lives. The sheer number of decisions you make per day can often create significant stress. Add to that my competitive nature and desire to succeed, and it is easy to see where my challenges originate. This is my 25th year as a varsity coach. I try and use my experiences as much as possible to remain calm, stay focused, and make the right decisions. My experience helps me a lot.
Blake Nill is currently the 18th head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds football program. He has led the team to an impressive win of the 51st Vanier Cup in 2015.
One of the most successful coaches in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football, Blake joined the Thunderbirds after nine years as head coach of the University of Calgary. Prior to that he spent eight seasons as head coach at Saint Mary’s University. In 17 seasons as a CIS head coach, Blake has a career record (regular season and playoffs) of 130-47.
Over the last nine years, Blake led the Dinos to three Vanier Cup appearances (2009, 2010 & 2013) and a record six straight Hardy Cup Championships (2008-13) as the Canada West’s top team. In each of his last seven seasons in Calgary, the Dinos won at least five regular season games and one playoff game. From 2007-2014, the Dinos had 23 players selected in the Canadian Football League draft, eight of which were taken in the first round. Blake won the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS Coach of the Year in 1999 and was a finalist in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2012, and 2013. He has been named Canada West coach of the year on three occasions: 2009, 2012, and 2013.
A native of Hanna, AB, Blake’s first head coaching job in the CIS was with Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. In eight years with the Huskies, he led them to a record six-straight Atlantic University Sport Championships (1999-2004), four trips to the Vanier Cup (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003), and two Vanier Cup Championships (2001 & 2002). Blake‘s CIS coaching career began at St. Francis Xavier as a defensive coordinator in 1992. He spent six years with the X-Men, helping them to a Vanier Cup appearance in 1996.
During his playing days, Blake suited up for the Calgary Dinos from 1980 through 1982. He was drafted by the Montreal Concordes in the third round, 19th overall in the 1983 CFL Draft. He played in the CFL from 1983-88 with Montreal, Hamilton, and Winnipeg.
Blake graduated from Concordia University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts and has a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Education from St. Francis Xavier University.
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
This month’s delicious winter recipes will keep you on the right track and inspired to try new snacks and lunches to start the New Year off right!
- Baba Ganouj
- Tomato Basil Skewers
- Fresh Avocado and Bean Lettuce Wrap
- Barley & Lentil Salad with Kale, Apples, Almonds, & Feta
For more of Stephanie’s tasty treats, visit our Healthy UBC Recipe Series webpage. Bon appétit!
Stephanie Dang is a fourth-year dietetics student at the University of British Columbia. When she is not busy studying, Stephanie volunteers at the eating disorder clinic at Children’s Hospital, works at a local bar, and plays soccer. Stephanie believes that living “healthy” means enjoying everything in moderation, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
Fitting in Fitness is a series for staff and faculty that shares tips and hints on how to increase physical activity levels. This series is brought to us by Courtney Chan, a fourth-year student in UBC’s School of Kinesiology.
Here are Courtney’s tips for January!
To keep informed of all new fitness tips and additional health and wellbeing offerings, sign up to be a Health Contact.
About Courtney: Courtney is a fourth-year kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia. When not studying or working at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Courtney enjoys running and curling, and has a secret passion for line dancing. To her, the most important part of fitness is feeling good about yourself and having fun!
By Melissa Lafrance on January 11, 2016
30 Day Online Mindfulness Challenge – Orientation & Registration
Dates & Locations:
- Jan. 12, 2016 | 1:15pm – 2:15pm (VGH/DHCC)
- Jan. 13, 2016 | 12:30pm – 1:30pm (Point Grey)
This free orientation session is an opportunity to learn more about the art and science of mindfulness and the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, as well as an opportunity to register for the programs beginning in February, 2016. There will be time for questions and answers at the orientation session.
For more information and to register for the orientation sessions, click here.
Introduction to the CUPE 2950 Health Spending Account & Other Benefit Changes
Dates & Locations:
- Jan. 12, 2016 | 12-1pm (Point Grey)
- Jan. 20, 2016 | 3-4pm (VGH/DHCC)
- Feb. 3, 2016 | 12:10-1pm (Point Grey)
This session will be an opportunity for CUPE 2950 members to learn about their new benefit changes and to ask questions about the changes and other available benefits. For more information and to register for one of the information sessions, click here.
Gentle Yoga – Jan. 20, 2016 @ 11am – 12pm (Location: Point Grey)
By focusing on your breathing, relaxing your mind, and connecting with your body, you will find calmness within yourself and be prepared to take on the rest of your day.
All UBC staff & faculty of all yoga practice levels are welcome to register and attend this free Gentle Stretch Yoga class. For more information and to register, click here.
Financial Success Workshop: Saving Strategies – Jan. 21, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
This workshop will provide you with an analysis of wealth accumulation and savings mechanisms, as well as a review of best practices. For all levels of wealth management, there is information relevant to all situations no matter your knowledge base or income bracket. For more information and to register, click here.
QPR Suicide Prevention Training – Jan. 27, 2016 @ 10am – 12pm (Location: Point Grey)
QPR Training is an internationally recognized suicide prevention program designed to help you question, persuade, and refer. QPR acts as an emergency mental health intervention designed to save lives much like CPR or other methods of emergency medical intervention. For more information and to register, click here.
Ergo Your Office – Jan. 27, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury.
This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation and a practical session, giving you hands-on experience adjusting typical office equipment. By the end of the tutorial you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse and monitor to promote neutral working postures. For more information and to register, click here.
Creating Balance in Your Life – Feb. 10, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: VGH/DHCC)
This session will help you explore how your current choices impact your work-life satisfaction and help you develop strategies to achieve a greater balance in life. Learn a better understanding of what balance means, recognize what you can and cannot control, and identify priorities in your life. For more information and to register, click here.