The year of 2014 has been a year of tremendous growth for me as an educator and personally. As I began to consider my first blog post of 2015 already a week ago, I struggled for words. When you are in a state of continuous improvement and growth, resolutions seem a bit unnecessary. I didn’t feel that way last year this time, but some events happened along the way that have changed my perspective.
The first event should be a celebration. I achieved my resolution to run a marathon in late February. I was foolish to think that it would be easy to continue to keep my running habit going. It was about mid-April when my running had decreased significantly that I realized I had lost my motivation. I needed to set new goals for running to keep myself motivated. So then began the challenge of finding new ways to keep me motivated.
The second event was the passing of a dear friend in June. We were close many years ago, but time, distance and busy life stuff had its impact on the intimacy of our friendship. She was a one-of-a-kind friend. She help me find my way when I became a mother, coached me through the early years of marriage, and taught me why it is important to laugh and be silly. I had not stated anything in my resolutions to deepen the relationships with friends I had lost contact or make those friendships that mean the most a more significant priority. That was a critical change in direction of thought and time for me at that moment.
So I am looking at the beginning of 2015 and making resolutions a little differently. I wasn’t sure how I was going to blog about this and was having a bit of writer’s block (my apologies to the real authors out there who I may have just insulted). Fortunately, my pastor Chuck Macheca’s pre-New Year’s message helped to inspire what follows.
My plan for this year is to set specific times through out the year to assess my life.
First, I became more reflective in 2014. I want to continue to reflect. Blogging both on my professional blog and my family blog have helped me to reflect in ways I have never before.
A few key things I will ask myself:
- What was the best thing that has happened? (professionally and personally)
- What has been the most challenging thing that happened?
- With who have I had the most valuable relationships and what am I doing to continue to foster those relationships?
- What am I learning or have learned?
At this moment I have three words that I could use to describe 2014…
Focused Relational Faith-building
My goal is to every few months re-assess and ask myself what three words describe how I am viewing life at this moment and if those words have changed since the last reflection, examine why and is it for the better.
Secondly, I am going to take time to prepare.
I re-assessed mid-2014 and decided I needed to focus my efforts. I am still working on that, but I also need to prepare for the where I want to go next.
Questions that I will ask through out the year this year will be:
- What am I doing that I need to continue doing?
- What did I do in 2014 that I need to stop doing?
- What do I need to start doing?
As of right now I know I need to continue to focus on relationships with all the people I come in contact with both professionally and personally. I need to continue to blog both professionally and for my family. Finally, I need to keep praying and running.
What do I need to stop… well that list could go on forever. I seem to find all kinds of vices, but two things I will focus on is getting more quality sleep and eating better. It seems simple enough, but for me this will be a minute by minute, thought and action process.
Finally, I will commit to the basic mission of an educator.
What I do and say to both the teachers and students I serve is of significance. I must create in myself an “anything is possible” mindset and an attitude that an underdog situation is the best situation for creative solutions and overall student success.
I am midway through the book David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell where he relays the story of Vivek Ranadive’ coaching his daughter’s basketball team that lacked talent and whose coach knew nothing about the sport. It was in the sentence at the top of page 37 “He was an underdog and a misfit, and that gave him the freedom to try things no one else even dreamed of,” that I realized the gift of being an underdog. You have the freedom to try, to risk, to believe when the world says “impossible.” That is what I commit to, seeking the spirit of the underdog and to #beuncommon.
It is there that educators make a difference in the lives of children, unlock the magic of a learning strategy that makes what a student once thought un-learnable the stepping stone for ideas that lead to new inventions, and showing others that they are of great significance.
Yes, I will coach for significance.
So this year is the year I will not have resolutions, per se, but quarterly reviews and ongoing check ins. I plan to #beuncommon.
What are your ways you are taking stock and coaching for significance?