Introduction To Success Coaching

Attend this workshop to learn more about coaching.  Attend this 60-minute workshop to learn all about coaching, topics that students might bring to coaching, and how to make an appointment.  You will be introduced to the welcome package and the coaching agreement.  The workshop is on zoom.  Each different date has a different link to register.

Register in the workshop on August 16th at 4:00 pm (virtual)

Blog Posts From Student Success Services

Check out these blog post articles written by Sharon Kelly, Success Coach.


Pulse is a series of facilitated workshops.  You can sign up for one or for all the workshops in this series.  Through the various topics in this 6-week program, you will learn how to build your resilience, pay attention to your energy and create a schedule and life that supports your happiness and success.  Students who have participated in these workshops report that they learn about themselves and set up good practices that not just support their academic success and learn effective study practices but also how to take measures to prevent burning out.  

Pulse Plus

If you elect to start with Pulse in the workshop format, research would strongly suggest you engage in follow-up coaching conversations in order to put the new knowledge and skills learned in the workshop into practice.

“The authors found that while their training intervention with managers increased manager productivity by 22%, adding a one-to-one (8-week) coaching intervention after the training pushed productivity to 88%”

— Olivero, G., Bane, K.D., and Kopelman, R.E.

In light of the findings of this research, why not attend workshops that interest you and then follow up with some individualized 1:1 coaching to work on what would help you to clear the blocks that are preventing you from achieving your goals and desires for yourself.

There is no charge to VIU students for Success Coaching.  The workshops and the 1:1 coaching is free for students.


1. Workshops

Faculty - you can invite the coach into your class to offer a workshop. Please look through the workshops below and contact to arrange for a mutually agreeable time.

This introductory workshop is primarily designed to introduce success coaching as a support strategy for academic success and well being. Attend with the aim to learn about this service, your role, the coach's role and how to access this source of support from a professional coach. Students interested in partnering with VIU's Success Coach apply and sign a coaching agreement, which will be reviewed at this workshop.

The Success Coach is a professional coach. She partners with students in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Learn to shift your mind-set and grow your skills, for a more enjoyable and effective student life. Create a vision for your life as a student that balances self and student responsibilities. Manage your priorities better so you have more energy and greater focus for what is important to you. Many students experience decreased feelings of anxiety as they collaborate with a professional coach to set and achieve their personal and professional goals.

The ACTIONS you take can enhance your health and well-being.  Using the ACTIONS acronym, they fall under seven broad headings:

  • Active
  • Calming
  • Thinking
  • Identity
  • Optimizing
  • Nourishing
  • Social interventions

Come to this mini workshop and learn to expand your repertoire of actions that build well-being into your life.    Develop your wellness potential using evidence-based validated positive psychology interventions.   We will explore detailed suggestions regarding how to build new positive habits into your life.

If you are returning from suspension or have been placed on Academic Probation, this session is for you. Come and learn what VIU expects from students who are placed on Academic Probation and what it takes to get your Academic Probation status lifted. Like being at a flashing yellow light, it is time to proceed with caution. This is a time when you might like to reassess where you are, what you have accomplished, what your challenges are and increase your circle of support as you proceed with your academic plans.

traffic light showing yellow, text underneath "Academic Probation"

Take time to determine what you want by being able to articulate answers to these questions:

  • What is important to me regarding school?
  • Who do I want to be in this setting?
  • What do I want to achieve?
  • How will I achieve my goals?
  • What resources will I access to increase my chances of success.

Bring all your questions to this session so you can leave the workshop knowing what Academic Probation means.

You will also be introduced to some famous people who experienced failure and then went on to achieve greatly in their field.

Mind-set is the stories and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation, particularly a difficult one. Your mindset is your inner working model that dictates automatic responses to triggers. Given the complexity and speed of life these days, it is easy to get triggered by even small events. Many of the issues we each face relates to encounters or choices that challenge us. The purpose of this workshop is to show you one tool that you can use to regulate yourself when you get triggered so they can be more adaptive and resourceful in your responses.

We will explore the role internal beliefs and attitudes play in determining choices and actions. We will also explore the notion of pivot points where we can change the story line of our lives to create different outcomes than the ones we are likely repeatedly experiencing by opening up space to discover and then “pivot” our mindset.

Hopefully you will walk away with the following insights:

  • There is a connection between our stories, our behaviors and our outcomes;
  • We are each ultimately accountable for all three;
  • The connection between our stories and behaviour is automatic and unconscious and tied up with how we see ourselves; and
  • Stories, behaviours and outcomes can be changed.text - Mind-Set is Thoughs, Actions, Results, Beliefs


  • Learn how to freeze frame and rewind a story
  • Learn to identify the cues that trigger behaviors and outcomes we want to change.
  • Practice changing the mindset we automatically adopt when confronted with a difficult situation
  • Learn to pause and focus on what you most want and then create a mindset pivot to change our behavior and achieve our aspirations.

Well Life Vision & Plan color wheel

Your self-care, sleep habits, personal boundaries and the way you talk to yourself and about yourself matter - probably even more than you realize. What are your connections like? Are you sleepy much of the time?  Do you move your body further than between your computer screen and the couch and from school to home again? What are the specific benefits to your brain (neuron growth) as it relates to physical activity?  Don’t know? Come to this workshop and find out! (Bring a device to access the internet with you if you can.)

This workshop you will help you to create your own well-life vision and priorities for action. We will survey a variety of actions you can take to enhance your own health and well-being, which fall under seven broad headings.  Expand your repertoire of how to build your well-being skills.  These seven categories are organized around the ACTIONS acronym:

Active, Calming, Thinking, Identity, Optimizing, Nourishing, and Social interventions.

Learn detailed suggestions of how to build new positive habits that enhance the experience of well-being into your life.

Do you have a habit of taking good care of yourself? If not, what is stopping you? 


  1. Complete health & wellness self-assessments
  2. Establish your vision statement regarding your well-being.
  3. Learn ACTION interventions to enhance your own well-being
  4. Create your well-life action plan

time management - "Vision is a Destination"

Today’s priorities give me focus. A vision for where you want to go and priorities for getting there are essential to your success. On a daily basis you need to know what is important and embrace and fulfill those priorities. Priorities are what makes it possible to identify what is really important so that we can direct our time to maximize our efforts.

Come to this workshop and create your vision, sort out your priorities and then create a system to keep yourself on track with actions that are aligned with what is important to you.


  • Identify and order your priorities.
  • Explore tools and worksheets that will help you manage your time.
  • Create a system for yourself to pay attention to your daily action items.

 Habits can either hurt & hinder or help create a life that you love. Bad habits can fester and grow into a lifestyle that takes away from the story you want to create and good habits can lead to living the life you most want.

Everyone defines success differently. Successful people are not perfect, but their success has a lot to do with the habits they purposefully cultivate.

 "Motivation gets you started. Habit keeps you going" Jim Rohn


  • Discover the anatomy of habit
  • Explore the impact your beliefs have on changing a habit
  • Define 4 techniques to create a new habit
  • Discover the role mindfulness plays in changing habits

Past workshops facilitated by the Success Coach have motivated students to change some of their habits and choices. More importantly, students say they leave the workshops with specific ideas about actions they can take in their situation as a result of every workshop given in the last couple of years.

"I will change how I see talent by knowing and believing that talent is able to be improved with practice."
- Workshop Participant

"I am going to set boundaries and say 'no' more."
- Workshop Participant

"Self care is so important so I want to make sure I am balancing my schedule well and doing what I love."
- Workshop Participant

"Get more sleep, eat a good breakfast and take some alone time & recap the day."
- Workshop Participant

"I have reassessed how I currently prioritize my time and will take action to make sure that I make time for what is most valuable and important to me. You can't change the number of hours in a day, but you can make changes to your daily routine so that you have time for those aspects you do value."
- Workshop Participant

"Really enjoyed the round table discussion. You learn so much from hearing the ideas and perspectives of others - Great workshop!"
- Workshop Participant

"It was awesome! Very helpful and motivating as we begin the next season."
- Workshop Participant

2. Print and Online Materials

If you are interested in reading about the power of mind sets and their influence on your success, these two books are interesting reads:

  • Mind Set: The New Psychology of Success, How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
  • Change Your Questions, Change Your Life:  10 Powerful Tools For Life and Work, by Marilee Adams, Ph.D.
  • Scarcity, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

  • Learning Matters 
  • Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
  • How full is your bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton
  • Leadership 101; What Every Leader Needs To Know, by John Maxwell
  • How to Succeed at University (and Get a Great Job) by Thomas Klassen and John Dwyer

Energy Drainer/Energy Gainer List

What are the things in life that just drain you?  You can feel it… your mood is different, you might dread something, you could feel pain and hurt.  It could be clutter, mess or inefficiencies.  It’s not always just about inefficiencies. Sometimes you are doing work that is no longer your job, or never was. Take a hard look at what’s on your plate and have a conversation with yourself about what needs to stay and what needs to go.  Energy gainers are things that you love, that give you energy and a sense of purpose or peace or joy (think people, activities and habits).  Energy drainers have the opposite effect.  Need help?  Apply to work with a coach.

You can begin to do this by writing a list of energy drainers and energy gainers. For the drainers: what can you eliminate within the next 30 days? For the gainers: which ones can you implement within the next 30 days?  Awareness is the first step, and then action!