We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed, and the important things will not change if we keep our priorities in proper order.
~S. Truett Cathy
No this isn’t going to be about New Year’s Resolutions. Although I am a big proponent of reflecting and planning for the year ahead, standard issue resolutions are usually full of good intention, but little way to follow through.
And by mid-February we have either forgotten these good intentions or been defeated by them in some way shape or form. I don’t think any teacher needs an extra self-defeating challenge this school year
So instead, I wanted to offer you a three step exercise that may give you a little clarity without the overwhelm and empty promises that resolutions can often bring.
I’m big on setting a timer, so set a timer for 3-5 minutes for each step.
-List the things you want to LET GO of from the previous year.
-See if you can summarize or find some themes of what you want to LET GO.
-List the things you want to GROW in the current year.
-See if you can summarize or find some themes of what you want to GROW.
Look at your information and come up with ONE WORD that can help you remember what you want to GROW in the coming year.
Plaster this ONE WORD anywhere you can (even set a monthly reminder on your phone) so that you are constantly reminded of all that you are moving toward through seeing this ONE WORD, instead of remembering/guilting/shaming about a list or resolutions you may forget about by next week.
So when I did this exercise, I discovered through my list that I wanted to LET GO of the little voice in my head that is really very critical. I also found that I want to GROW a better relationship with not just my mind, but also my body and find some acceptance with myself.
After some deliberation, I decided to choose “curiosity” for my ONE WORD. I chose that because I hope to bring curiosity instead of judgment as I’m working on this relationship. I want to become curious about the times this voice starts to talk and I start to listen.
For me, curiosity seems to open up doors instead of shutting down and shaming myself.
My hope is that this curiosity will extend to my other relationships and my classroom. I am hopeful that practicing curiosity, will help as the school year of perpetual change happens whether I like it or not.
Curiosity feels lighter to me, and if I’ve learned anything about myself right now is that I need to lighten up a bit and no one but me has control over that.
So in the spirit of curiosity, let us all know your ONE WORD and WHY for the new year in the comments below…
To teaching well and a year of curiosity,
If you’re curious about how to bring mindfulness to the classroom in a streamlined way (wherever your classroom may be) check out The Path of the Mindful Teacher 10-Day Course on Insight Timer.