When I started thinking about my resolutions for this year, immediately a to-do list of tasks popped into my head. That's how we usually do resolutions, isn't it? We start out confident at the beginning of the year: We're going to do this! So we make a list in January, check back in around December, and try not to feel too bad that we didn't get everything accomplished.
There's the rub.
Only 12 percent of people successfully achieve their New Year's Resolution goals, according to a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol. I don't want to be one of those statistics, and I don't want my students to be one of those statistics, either. I needed a better way to set a goal for the new year, a way that would enable me to be more successful in spite of what life throws at me.
So I thought about what I can do to reach my goals and model successful goal reaching for my students. [tweet_dis]It occurs to me that creating a list of things I need to do feels like just what it is: Yet another to-do list.[/tweet_dis]
Here is my To-Do list:
You know as well as I do that teachers have enough to-do lists provided for us. The last thing we need to do is give ourselves yet another one.
Yet I want to work on improving myself, making progress on being the person I'm supposed to be. How can I do that?
Then I thought about my friend and former business coach, Kelly McCausey. She helped me focus my business several years ago, and her wisdom also helped lead me to the realization that I wanted to be a teacher. She has been a small business owner since 2002, and her overall goal has been to cooperate with, and guide other women in starting their businesses. She has a servant's heart, much like I want to have as a teacher.
She and some other business owners I have worked with in the past have a unique take on New Year's Resolutions. Instead of making a to-do list, they choose a word to guide them through the year.
This year, Kelly's word is Awake. In the past, I chose the word Focus. That was a great word for the past, but it's only one piece of the puzzle for this year. My goals are about getting things done, balancing the tasks I need to accomplish with my family life and what I know I need to be doing as a teacher.
My first thought was the word discipline. However, it has some negative connotations I didn't want to taint my goals. I continued my research until I found the word that spoke to me: Achieve.
Achieve encompasses everything. In order to achieve my goals, I must be disciplined and focused. I must set goals, develop good habits, and stop getting sidetracked with things that don't matter, like watching “Hotel Impossible” instead of revising my special report, working on the first draft of my novel, or providing feedback on my students' writing. This word has all meaning of discipline that I am looking for, without the negative undertones.
This word can serve me well throughout the year, even when I complete the specific things on my current to-do list.
Some of your words for 2015
— Rob Miller (@jmsprincipal) January 2, 2015
— Claudia Swisher (@ClaudiaSwisher) January 2, 2015
@watersenglish Sounds great! I hope to kick it up a notch in 2015. Collaboration 2.0!
— Josh Flores (@mrjoshflores) January 1, 2015
— Lady Mellott (@lsmellott) January 2, 2015
— okeducationtruths (@okeducation) January 2, 2015
[tweet_box]There is much I want to ACHIEVE as an educator and a writer this year. What's your word for 2015?[/tweet_box]
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my Master's of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students' voices and choices.