I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in taking the opportunity of a new year to reflect and do some planning. What follows is an excerpt from my forthcoming, The Onward Workbook, (available on May 1).
Here are some activities to help you reflect on last year and launch this new one. These can be alternatives or additions to resolutions. Of course, you could also engage in these activities around the start of the school year too!
- Choose one word that will set the tone for the new year. Think of it as a chapter heading for the book that is your life. Print this word out (you might even do a quick Google search and find it written in a cool font!) and place it somewhere you will see it every day.
- Write a New Year’s letter to yourself. Consider reflecting on the best and hardest parts of last year, anything from last year that you want to let go of, hopes for the new year, and visions for how you want to feel this year.
- Enter in your calendar one day per month when you’ll do something that brings you joy. Go through the whole year, identify that date, and block it out. You can decide now or later what you’ll do on that day.
My word for the year is flow—that state of being when we’re completely, blissfully engaged in whatever we’re doing. For me, it’s a state that is close to awe and wonder, and one which I experience sometimes when writing, often when in nature, and often when engaged in a creative activity. I’ve selected an image to remind me of this intention—of a recent moment in Costa Rica where I was surrounded by hundreds of dolphins. It was a pinnacle of a flow-experience, one that I don’t suspect I’ll get to replicate many times, but I’m holding it up as a reminder of how I want to feel.
Here’s another alternative to New Year’s resolutions that I wrote about a few years ago.
As you return to school and to coaching, consider holding some time for your coachees to engage in some guided planning, intention-setting, or goal setting for this year. And don’t forget to also find some time to do this yourself! Happy 2018!
The opinions expressed in The Art of Coaching Teachers are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.