I’ve developed a tradition over the last few years. While most people consider January 1st the date of their new year and new resolutions, I don’t actually make anything official until our first school day back from Winter Break. I start the school day off with fresh starts: new seats, new units, and fresh post-its on their desks. I say something like, “Well it’s a new year…has anyone ever heard of New Year’s resolutions?” To which they groan, “Yesssssss….” (Today one kid even blurted out, “I hate those!”)
Next comes the transition; I give them a detailed account of how I blew out my knee on the soccer field. Using a human femur that I once recovered from a box of discarded science supplies in the school dumpster, I give a good mini-lesson on knee anatomy while I’m at it. Finally, I tell them how I started this blog with a list of really random “goals” to help me out of my injured depression. My very first 24 goals get displayed on the screen. By the time we’ve cycled through the subsequent year’s goal, they start to realize that my “New Year’s Resolutions” aren’t exactly what they expected.
And we go back to the post-its. At this point, they are listening. What does she want us to do…? I can see them wondering. I explain that goals need to be broken down, into small (sometimes micro) steps. Their assignment is to write 1-3 very small goals they hope to accomplish by the end of the school day, with little check boxes next to them. Tomorrow we’ll talk about what worked, and what didn’t, and write 1-3 new goals on the post-its.
Since it’s the first official day of the year for ME, it also means that it’s time to post my 2015 goals (even though my students got a sneak peak this morning). All last year, I kept a living document on my phone of things I might want on my list. It’s seriously hard to finalize because I don’t want to overshoot (much like I did in 2014), but I also don’t want to undershoot because then I’ll get bored (teachers call this the instructional level).
I’ll remind you one more time, that people generally overestimate how much they can get done in one year, and underestimate how many things they can accomplish in ten years. I figure if I can do about 20 a year, that’s 200 in ten years. Tonight I did the math, and I’ve crossed off 50 things since 2012. A nice round number, right?
So without any further ado, here it is…THE LIST.
Tbh, it’s a bit lofty. Twenty four goals means two goals a month, and from experience, that’s hard to do. Ideally, some of these can be combined (perhaps tasting expensive caviar after attending the opera and practicing the piano – so classy). I also know from experience that while some goals can be ongoing, others need to be a one-shot deal so that it can be crossed off my list, and off my mind.
Now that I’ve officially posted my goals, what do you think? Am I nuts??