Monday, January 2, 2017

Why Make Resolutions When You Can Make Goals?

If you consistently do not hold yourself to a resolution or
a set of resolutions, why continue to do so? 
Another year down, another new year is upon us.  With that comes a slew of New Year's resolutions, little things (or big things) that people say they are going to do in the new year.  However, when looking back at the end of a year, how many people can say they have actually accomplished what they set out to do with their resolutions 12 months prior?  I am just as guilty as everybody else when I used to set resolutions each year.  In 2010, I set a resolution to run a marathon.  I started a training program on January 1st and worked at it for about a week and a half.  On January 14, my brother passed away unexpectedly.  Rather than using a training program to ease my pain, I turned to food and alcohol.  Nine months later, I snapped out of it, scaling back on alcohol significantly and joining Weight Watchers to get my eating and weight under control.  I never have gone back to attempting a full marathon, but I do have a few half marathons under my belt now.  Since then, I haven't made any New Year's resolutions.

Set yourself up to score!
I'm not sure where I saw it, but in the days leading up to New Year's Day, I saw something that really struck a chord with me regarding resolutions.  Essentially, what I saw pointed out that resolutions are mostly empty words.  If you don't meet the resolution, there isn't anything to hold you accountable.  However, by changing it from a New Year's resolution to a New Year's goal, now you have something that can hold up more easily.  With a goal, you will take steps to meet that goal.  If you don't meet your goal in the time in which you planned, you can modify your goal or modify the steps needed to meet it.  A resolution usually ends up as abandoned with a simple, "Meh?!?!".  Why set yourself up for failure with simple words when you can set a goal, identify the steps needed to achieve that goal, and execute the plan? 

I have narrowed down three goals that I have for the coming months and year.  It would be unfair to call them New Year's goals, as I have been working at them for a few weeks already.  However, they are goals for 2017, so I'm going to count them.  

Goal #1: Lose 50 lbs by the end of the year
After my brother died and I went on a 9-month binge of eating, drinking, and depression, I eventually lost 65 pounds on the Weight Watchers program.  I made it down to a weight that I hadn't seen prior to my first season playing football in college.  However, in the past few years of having children, taking on my responsibilities in my life, and sheer love of food and the occasional beers, I have gained a great deal of that weight back and I am not necessarily happy with myself.  Around Thanksgiving, I returned to Weight Watchers and began to get my eating habits back in order again.  My goal is to get back to about 230 lbs by the end of 2017.  What is it going to take?  Tracking my food intake, exercising (I need to get back into running again, I haven't done much since my knee tendonitis of the early part of 2016), and attending a weekly Weight Watchers meeting.  If I am diligent with those steps, my goal should be knocked out!

Goal #2: Gain a position in administration as a dean or elementary assistant principal
In 2014, I graduated with an educational specialist degree in school administration.  Nearly three years later, I am actively pursuing positions in administration in my district.  It isn't because I don't like my current position; I absolutely love my job as a learning strategist and technology coordinator. However, I feel that I have a lot to offer as an educational leader and can make a great impact on student learning, teacher professional development, and family and community engagement.  What I have done to achieve this goal?  I put together a portfolio consisting of my resume, evaluations, letters of interest, letters of recommendations, and achievements such as my Google Certified Educator certificates.  I have applied for four positions in the past few weeks (an elementary assistant principal opening, a middle school dean opening, and two high school dean positions).  I have spent time with one of my school's assistant principals going through mock interviews.  For two of the positions, I was contacted for interviews over the winter break.  I am now playing the waiting game to hear back on those positions.  If I don't get one of them, I will continue to research open positions and conduct myself to the best of my ability in an interview.  

Goal #3: Turn my (relatively) weekly blog into the beginnings of a book
If you are reading this, you have figured out (probably) that I enjoy writing.  I am pretty consistent in getting a blog post out on a regular basis.  I feel that my blog allows me to share things that I have learned, ease stress, and connect with people in ways that I wouldn't be able to otherwise.  The more I have thought about my love of writing, the more I have thought about writing a book.  I am by no means close to starting, let alone finishing, a book at the present time.  However, I would like to get a start on a book and have some of it written by the end of 2017.  At this point, I want it to be a memoir of how I got into education, where I am now, where I want to be, and how I want to make an impact on students, teachers, families, communities, and education as a whole.  I'm not necessarily looking to write a New York Times bestseller, but if one person reads it and is inspired, then any work I put into it will be completely worth it! 

Here's to an amazing 2017!  Set goals, follow up, achieve, share, and celebrate!  You can do it and you won't be disappointed! 

Until next time...