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Atmospheric science

Dean's Blog: MORE

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

At the start of the semester, life always seems so hectic. And, combined with the pandemic, one could easily feel somewhat overwhelmed. Here's a helpful guide for focusing your mind as you enter this busy time of year.   

This interesting framework my colleague suggested we use to start the semester can allow you some introspection. You can’t do everything or be everything at once, yet with this exercise, you can keep your goals and aspirations in front of you in a manageable, motivational way.

There are four steps:

  1. List your MOREs. 
  2. Review and select them daily/weekly/monthly (you control the timing).
  3. Reflect on your progress. 
  4. Add or remove your goals as needed.

Think of it as a simple fill in the blank exercise:

Be MORE  ____________
Do MORE ____________
No MORE ____________

Start by finding a quiet place and give yourself time to really think about each ‘MORE.’ Then make your list (see the examples at the end of the blog for ideas).

Collect your aspirations in a place that’s easy for you to review them on a regular basis. Make your MOREs visible. 

You could make a journal or spreadsheet or even use sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. And resolve to make time to do this activity on a regular basis at a time that works best in your schedule.

Pick one or many from each section either daily, or maybe weekly, or even a few times a month and try to make that ‘MORE’ a part of your life.

Reflect on your progress. This is good to do as you’re winding down or starting up your day. Are you able to self-assess or find examples where you achieved your goal? Did you make specific choices that helped you or hurt you in this quest? Give yourself a proverbial pat on the back if you were successful. 

Then do it again.

If you start with a short list, you can work on these elements to build stronger self awareness and emotional intelligence, or physical and mental health and wellness. Then after about a month of exercising these priorities, they can become habits of daily living and you can add to your list. 

Why should you do this? According to Salesforce data, 76% of students & staff struggle to maintain their wellbeing. Activities like this offer a way to identify what you need and want and provide a flexible structure to focus on your wellbeing.

Be sure to give yourself a break…especially if some things take longer because they are harder to internalize. After all, you are using this list to stretch yourself and grow.

It may seem difficult to fathom doing something new when the load is heavy. Yet good self-care is an important key to overall wellness. And there’s nothing ‘MORE’ important than that.

Good luck!   


Here’s a sample list of MOREs to get you thinking:

Be MORE ____________

  • flexible 
  • forgiving (of myself, my students, my family)
  • involved  
  • kind 
  • open 
  • confident 
  • focused

Do MORE _____________

  • exercising 
  • delegating
  • sharing new ideas 
  • connecting (spend time to get to know my colleagues or my university)
  • besides ‘my science’ at Mason (go to a CVPA production/Mason basketball game/student colleague’s presentation in a field different than mine) 
  • for myself (ask for help, or find your zen)

No MORE ___________

  • complaining 
  • skipping meals 
  • holding back 
  • second guessing myself
  • worrying about things I cannot control or change (yet work hard to change the things I should or can)

Want to hear more from Dean Miralles-Wilhelm?