Success in School & Positive Thinking

Can you really change your life just by thinking positive thoughts?Is this some sort of hipster feel-good stuff that has no concept of reality?Unfortunately, that seems to be the attitude of a lot of people. The truth, though, is this:“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”– The BuddhaAnd it’s not just “what” you think but “how” you think!But since the human condition seems to be one of “seeing is believing,” we allow the “obvious” (the negativity) to dominate our thoughts… and attract more of the same.What we don’t do, for the most part, is increase our positive thinking to the point where “believing is seeing”. Look at the people in your life, and then look at yourself as objectively as you can.Do you (all or most people you know, including yourself) believe your lives are at the mercy of external influences like bosses, the economy, family obligations, educational opportunities, financial status, etc.?Do you believe, “what’s the use, no matter how hard I try, nothing ever changes”?Do you see life as a struggle?Do you find yourself blaming, complaining or condemning?If you said “yes” to any of these – even on some level – you’re not alone.Now look at some people you admire, the ones who seem to have it all.Not necessarily the ones with the most status because of money and power.There are plenty who fall in that category who are miserable.I’m talking about the people who live their lives like you wish you could live yours. That’s why you’re noticing them. They’re on your radar to show you that you can live that life too!So, what’s the difference between them and everybody else?It’s NOT family fortunes, great education or luck.Some of the world’s most influential people were born into the most unfortunate poverty and had all sorts of obstacles to overcome! So there has to be an internal factor at play here.The difference is the quality of their thoughts.They choose to think positively.They choose to think in terms of what can be accomplished, not what can’t be done. In terms of possibility, not limits.What they think about comes about… same as you. Same as everyone else. It’s all a matter of your thoughts. The happy, positive, successful people choose to see beauty and thankfulness in everything. They see the silver lining and the opportunities.They don’t allow external influences to disrupt their sense of well-being. And you know what? The more positively they think, the more they attract the good things they want in life.What if you were to start seeing the positive lessons in everything, and the best in all people?What if you were to realize that your happiness does not depend on anything but your decision to be happy?What if you said to yourself, “I don’t have to allow this to bring me down? I can deal with this situation in a spirit of optimism and joy of living?”You do – if you choose to! The successful people in life have the responsibilities and obligations, but somehow, things all fall into place for them, because positive thinking determines the direction of their lives.Would you rather be around people who are happy and inspiring, or people who talk doom and gloom?Remember, like attracts like…And the people whose negativity surrounds them, aren’t getting the most out of life. Life truly is what you make it. Make it positive!  Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our spring classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. -Allen School

Plan of Action for Students Seeking Success in Health Care

Strategic plans are tools that many students use to keep themselves successful and on track. A strategic plan is a roadmap for success. You can use the same sort of plan to establish a route to academic success in school. The plan may involve a strategy for achieving success in a single year or for your entire educational experience. Ready to get started? Most basic strategic plans contain these five elements:
  • Mission Statement
  • Goals
  • Strategy or Methods
  • Objectives
  • Evaluation and Review
Create a Mission Statement                                                        You will kick off your roadmap for success by determining your overall mission for the year (or additional years) of education. Your dreams will be put into words in a written statement called a mission statement. You need to decide ahead of time what you’d like to accomplish, then write a paragraph to define this goal.Your statement should be personalized: it should fit your individual personality as well as your special dreams for the future. As you craft a mission statement, consider how you are special and different, and think about how you can tap in to your special talents and strengths to achieve your target. You might even come up with a motto.Select the Goals  Goals are general statements that identify some benchmarks you’ll need to accomplish in order to meet your mission. Most likely you will need to address some possible stumbling blocks you may face on your journey. As a student in the health care field, you need to recognize any weaknesses and create a defensive strategy in addition to your offensive strategy.Offensive Goals:
  • I will set aside specific times to do homework.
  • I will build relationships with faculty and staff to ensure my success.
Defensive Goal:
  • I will identify and eliminate time-wasting activities by half.
  • I will manage relationships that involve drama and that threaten to drain my energy.
Plan Strategies for Reaching Every Goal  Take a good look at the goals you’ve developed and come up with specifics for reaching them. If one of your goals is dedicating two hours a night to homework, a strategy for reaching that goal is to decide what else might interfere with that and plan around it.Be real when you examine your routine and your plans. For instance, if you are addicted to Voice or the Bachelor, make plans to record your shows and to keep others from spoiling the outcomes for you.See how this reflects reality? If you think something so frivolous as planning around a favorite show doesn’t belong in a strategic plan, think again! In real life, some of the most popular reality shows consume four to ten hours of our time every week (watching and discussing). This is just the sort of hidden roadblock that can bring you down!Create Objectives  Objectives are clear and measurable statements, as opposed to goals, which are essential but indistinct. They are specific acts, tools, numbers, and things that provide concrete evidence of success. If you do these, you’ll know you’re on track. If you don’t carry out your objectives, you can bet you’re not reaching your goals. You can kid yourself about many things in your strategic plan, but not objectives. That’s why they’re important.Evaluate Your Progress  It’s not easy to write a good strategic plan on your first try. This is actually a skill that some students find difficult. Every strategic plan should have in place a system for an occasional reality check. If you find, halfway through the year, that you are not meeting goals; or if you discover a few weeks into your “mission” that your objectives aren’t helping you to get where you need to be, it may be time to revisit your strategic plan and hone it. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our spring classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. -Allen School

Why Moms Like You Are Choosing to Go Back to School

A better tomorrow begins with a single step. By going back to school, you’re investing in your dreams. You’re working towards a goal that can positively impact your family’s livelihood. However, as a mother, by going back to school you’re not only actualizing your own educational and career goals—you’re also inspiring your children to believe in the power of a good education. To reach higher and dream bigger. You, and your children, are daring to be brave.You’re planning ahead. Looking towards the future. You want to learn and you want to sharpen your skills. You want to accomplish something substantial and create a better tomorrow. Mothers, like all parents, want a positive future for their families. By going back to school, you’re aiming for career growth, financial benefits, and that important sense of satisfaction that comes from achieving a challenging goal. By choosing to go back to school, you will start down the path towards not only advancing yourself, but also your family as a whole.The facts support your choice to go back to school. For example, studies show that graduates are more likely to be employed, remain employed, and boast higher annual and lifetime earnings as compared to those who don’t graduate. And they’re also more likely to have access to employer-sponsored pension and health insurance plans, as well.But going back to school and graduating offers more than just future financial security. As a mother, by pursuing your educational goals, you may inspire your own children to pursue a higher education. You are leading by example, and making an impression on the ones that matter the most. Research has shown that with a career you’re investing in your health: Graduating with a degree or certification can positively impact your overall life expectancy, as individuals have been shown to exhibit healthier behaviors, are able to access health information and navigate the national healthcare system more efficiently, and feature overall improved psychological well-being as compared to those who lack higher education. Keep in mind, one of the most common sources of information on schools for many people are friends, family, and coworkers. However, few speak directly with an admissions or enrollment advisor or research colleges onlineContact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our spring classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. -Allen School

Most Common Challenges Facing Adults Going Back to School

Choosing to return to school can be a life-changing decision, whether it’s been one year since you graduated or a decade since you sat in a classroom. 
  • There are significant challenges posed to adults who decide to pursue education. The good news is these challenges are being recognized by many educational institutions, and non-traditional educational opportunities are becoming widely available. School and institutions are realizing the increasing importance of making learning accessible to everyone and are, consequently, offering more flexible options for students. Many institutions offer evening and weekend classes, as well as online or distance education options.
  • Grants, loans and Scholarships can assist with the costs of tuition and books. As more adults return to school, more services and resources become available to assist with this challenging but worthwhile endeavor.
  • Ultimately, adult learners face a very unique set of challenges when deciding to enter or re-enter the educational sphere. Three of the biggest challenges facing adult learners are balancing school and life, accessibility and costs:
  1. School and Life Responsibilities – The Balancing Act
As any post-secondary student can attest, school is a huge time commitment. There is time spent in class, time spent preparing for class and then the time needed for assignments, labs and other homework. Above and beyond school commitments, adults who are returning to school face additional demands on their time.Many adult learners are pursuing their education while still working full time. Many also have families and family obligations. This means less time available for school-related activities. These additional responsibilities can lead to stress and frustration for adult learners.
  1. Accessibility
A second challenge facing adult students is accessibility to classes. Sometimes getting to class is the biggest challenge! As previously mentioned, many adult learners have extensive time commitments. Whether it’s a full-time job or a growing family, other responsibilities make it difficult to attend classes during regular school hours. This can lead to difficulty succeeding at school, or even reluctance to return to school at all.
  1. Cost
The cost of education can be challenging for anyone. Tuition costs, books, supplies — it all adds up. Throw daycare costs or rent, mortgage payments into the mix and the cost of pursuing an education as an adult learner can become prohibitive.Yet there are many resources available to assist in making their educational and career goals come true. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our spring classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. -Allen School

Ways to Manage Student Stress

School can be challenging even for the most relaxed students. For many it’s the first time living away from family, friends and home. But there are things you can do to keep the worry at bay.  Student stress can be caused by a number of factors, including:
  • Exercise
This doesn’t have to be a grueling gym session – you simply need to get your heart racing, for example by going for a brisk walk or a bike ride.‘Exercise can be hugely beneficial for the mind as well as the body,’ says Glyn Williams, senior well-being practitioner at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. ‘Regular exercise releases endorphins – feel-good hormones that can help to reduce tension and allow the mind to focus on something other than worries and concerns.’‘If you’d like to get moving but are struggling for inspiration see what activities are available at your institution and get involved with clubs and societies. There’s usually a huge array of activities on and off campus.
  • Mindfulness
A relaxation technique originating in Buddhism, mindfulness is becoming an increasingly popular coping mechanism for those tackling stress or anxiety. Used by clinicians to improve patients’ physical and mental health, it can significantly lower stress levels. It is most often practiced through deep breathing or guided meditation.One of the most accessible ways to practice this is through the use of free smartphone apps such as The Mindfulness App, Calm and Head space. A number of books are also available on the subject.
  • Talking to someone
Isolation can have an extremely negative impact on your happiness. Accepting that you may need some help is often the first step to feeling better.Speak to your friends and family – they know you best and care about you the most. What’s more, studies suggest that socializing with a friend just once a week can reduce your stress levels and improve your mood as much as therapy or counselling.
  • Time management
People often get stressed when they feel that they’re running out of time to complete something. However, simple time management techniques can help you to feel relaxed and focused.Try creating a written work schedule, breaking your tasks down into manageable chunks and planning accordingly. Divide your work into urgent and non-urgent tasks, and important and non-important tasks.
  • Getting enough sleep
Maintaining a sleep routine is of paramount importance to mental health and managing stress. Taking time to relax before you go to sleep can help the quality of your sleep. Try to go to. sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time each day. Seven to eight hours is recommended.’Stress can often interrupt your sleeping pattern so try to do everything you can to relax yourself before going to bed. Take a bath to wind down, watch your favorite TV show or sit quietly and read. Avoid screen time as much as possible before bed, so switch off laptops, phones and tablets at least an hour before going to sleep. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our spring classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. -Allen School

Time Management Tips – Works, Kids, Family – How to do it all…

Any parent knows going back to school can be challenging. Schedules are more rigid with more packed into them like work schedules, class time, homework and childcare. It can be a lot to balance for anyone, but for parents who are also students it can be near impossible at times. That doesn’t just mean trying to squeeze in an extra hour or two a week for classes. It means an additional hour or two per class on top of that in study time. But take heart; if you are a parent in school, you are not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, 27-percent of all students have children. If you are one of them, here are some ideas to make the most of your time and help keep you sane.Map Out Your Life Start by arranging your priorities to ensure nothing gets forgotten. Write down all your personal and household commitments in two columns. The first column should be non-flexible commitments like work and school. The second column should be things that need to be done, but not at a specific time or can be flexible like studying, laundry and meal time. Make sure to include everything including spouse’s schedule and kids’ obligations. After that is complete make a sheet for each day of the week. Have a line for every half-hour from when you wake up until you go to bed. Transfer the non-flexible commitments to the appropriate day and time of the week until all are crossed off the original list. Make sure to account for travel time too. Once all the non-flexible events are on the schedule, highlight the remaining free time.In the highlighted area fill in the flexible activities starting with ones that have to be done, like meals, laundry, studying and other chores, working your way down to the ones that are less important or necessary. Be sure to schedule personal time and date nights too, so they don’t get sacrificed. They are important to help avoid burnout and recharge your battery.Once your entire list is crossed off you have a master schedule that will help you better manage your time and alleviate a lot of stress in your life. Being organized and in control also helps you focus better and enjoy your day. Consider sharing or syncing your calendar with your spouse, significant other or family. To make sure you are all on the same page. There are several online services like Google calendar you can use.Plan Ahead and Find ShortcutsPlanning ahead and finding a few shortcuts when possible can help free up even more time in your day. Fast food is tempting when you are busy, but a little planning ahead can save you money and keep your family eating healthier. Find easy, fast recipes on line. Block an hour or two off on the weekend and make meals ahead for the week to freeze. Even breakfast food like pancakes can easily be frozen and reheated in a matter of seconds. Make school lunches before bed to help keep you moving in the morning. If possible, shower before bed to relax yourself for bedtime and save you time in the morning. Also, arrange transportation for your kids, and be sure to block off time to reciprocate.Multitask When PossibleLook for opportunities to multitask when appropriate. Throw a load of wash in before you leave the house, so it is ready to go in the dryer when you get home. Tidy up while you are waiting for food to cook or get phones calls out of the way while you are ironing. Keep a backpack with your personal to-do items, things like paperwork, bills and thank you notes in your car. Pull it out while you are taking a break between classes or waiting to pick up your child or while riding the bus.  You may be surprised how much you can knock off in the random few dead minutes between events. But be careful. Some tasks like studying could actually take longer and be less effective if you try to multitask while doing them. Time should be set aside each day to study. Schedule that time when your kids are studying. It is more likely to be quiet and your kids are more likely to stay on task if they see you doing the same.Ask for Help, Delegate and Say NoLast, but certainly not least, do not be afraid to ask for help or delegate. Split up chores among family members. Talk with your spouse about what extra tasks they may be willing to pick up to lighten your load. Let go of others for the time being, and don’t be afraid to lean on friends, extended family and neighbors in a jam. Most are more than willing to lend a hand when they can.Also, do not be afraid to say “no”. Many of us have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew – volunteering at school and picking up extra duties at work. Realize your limits and don’t be afraid to say no. The day will come soon enough when you are out of school and can start saying “yes” again. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our spring classes and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more. – Allen School