Friday, January 2, 2015

Teacher Resolutions You Can Keep

Hey there!  It's Alison from Ms. Lilypad's Primary Pond.  Happy New Year to you!  So, have you made your New Year's resolution yet?  I am not a New Year's resolution kind of gal - BUT I am big on goal-setting!  Today I'm going to be writing about setting goals/resolutions that you can actually keep!

Lots of people set New Year's resolutions for themselves.  But how many actually follow through with their resolutions?  For example, you might decide you want to lose weight this year.  But then by March, you end up canceling your gym membership because you just haven't used it, and that cookbook full of healthy recipes is buried somewhere in your pantry.  It's not that you weren't serious about your goal - it's that it wasn't specific enough, it didn't translate into "doable" actions, and it didn't have any deadlines.  When you set a goal, it needs to be "SMART:"


To turn a general "I want to lose weight" resolution into a SMART goal, you might divide it up into specific subgoals.  For example, you might resolve to cook 6 meals a week at home, and visit the gym 4 times a week.  But if you've been eating takeout 7 nights a week and your version of exercise is walking from the fridge to the TV, then leaping right into those goals isn't very realistic!  So you could further divide up those goals into subgoals.  You might decide that in January, you'll cook 3 meals a week at home and visit the gym 2 times a week.  In February, you'll cook 4 meals a week at home and visit the gym 3 times a week.  By March, it won't seem like such a huge lifestyle change when you begin cooking 6 meals a week at home and visiting the gym 4 times a week (your ultimate goal).  Of course, after March, you'll still want to schedule monthly check-ins with yourself to make sure you are sticking to your resolution.

This weight loss resolution example can be applied to all kinds of goals - Teacher Resolutions included!  One of my Teacher Resolutions this year is to catch up on my past issues of Reading Teacher (a reading research journal).  It's now January and...I'm at least 6 months behind.  EEK!  Seems overwhelming, right?  Especially because those journals take me a while to get through, AND I'm still going to continue to receive one once a month.  Here's what I did to set myself up for success (with this goal and with others):

1.  At the front of my planner, I have a list of 2015 goals.  I wrote down all the things I want to do/accomplish this year.  Catch up on Reading Teacher is one of them.

2.  At the beginning of each month in my planner, I have a list of monthly goals.  To determine these monthly goals, I look back at my yearly goals. With my Reading Teacher example, under "January," I wrote, "Read 2 full issues of Reading Teacher."

3.  At the beginning of each week, I sit down and look at my goals/to-dos for the month.  I add things to my weekly "to do" list based upon what I still need to accomplish during the month.  For example, for the first week in January, I might decide to read half of one issue of Reading Teacher.

This simple "filter down" system works for me - it helps me turn my yearlong goes into specific, doable actions that I can accomplish little by little.  I've set quite a few goals for myself for 2015, and I can't wait to start working on them!

Do you have a Teacher Resolution for the new year?  Comment below to share - we'd love to hear what your goal is!

P.S. If you want to read more about another Teacher Resolution I've made for myself, and how I'm going to use the My Teaching Life journal to make it happen, click on the image below!

Happy teaching!


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