Yesterday’s PeachQuotes Studio™ quotation was from Edith Lovejoy Pierce, and referred to the many new opportunities we can look forward to in 2016. Today’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 9 focuses on one of the big reasons we all crave the fresh, new beginning that we associate with the start of a new year. According to today’s quotation author, Oprah Winfrey, we cheer in a new year because it brings with it another chance for us to “get it right.” This is where New Year’s resolutions begin (and in the same moment, many just as quickly fade away into forgotten convictions, but that’s another post for another day).
We chose this special quotation for the first day of 2016 for three big reasons.
First, its author, Oprah Winfrey, has the keen ability to distill many of life’s complexities into powerful words of wisdom. That is the focal point of this quotations series by PeachQuotes Studio, so an Oprah quote seemed a natural in this motivational mix for Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 9.
The second aspect of this quotation that resonated with us is the concept of seeing the start of a new year as a new chance. We all want a chance at something. Chances are often ours to take, embrace, and commit to rather than things to be received or expected. The word “Take” is often associated with the word “Chance.” Take a chance on me, take a chance on love, or take a chance on a new job. Chances are to be taken—if only we will.
The third aspect of this quotation that appeals to us is the “get it right” phrase. IT can be both singular and plural. If you’re resolving to get healthy this year, perhaps that is your big IT. If you want to get into better shape, perhaps a new walking plan is your IT. If you want more time, perhaps your big IT revolves around better planning or new routines when you return to school.
Many start-of-year IT resolutions fail because we tend to make many of them at once. The singularity of IT can be a great reminder to choose wisely—and perhaps even singularly. What is the biggest IT that you want the give yourself the chance to achieve in this coming year? Whatever you resolve to achieve in 2016 may be more effectively mastered if you work in a linear mode rather than a simultaneous one: Do you think you’ll be more successful if you choose one IT and do IT well before moving on to the next IT on your list?
As teachers know, little ones tend to focus on mastering their IT activities more singularly. When young toddlers work at learning to walk, for example, they don’t often also add words to their vocabulary. Any ounce of extra energy goes toward the particular IT at the forefront of their mind. They tend to focus all of their energy into mastering only that one new skill before adding it to their repertoire and moving on to another skill. Once that first IT is mastered, perhaps nap schedule, verbal skills, or fine motor skills will follow.
We can learn from these young learners by focusing on one IT at a time. Once that IT is right, we can move onto the next one.
As New Year’s Resolutions typically demonstrate, we tend to use the start of a new year as a clean slate, a line in the sand, and a way to separate our prior attempts from the new attempt we plan to make in the year ahead. Because we tend to cluster our resolutions into big and often ridiculously long, doomed-to-fail lists, these resolutions lists become self-fulfilling prophecies.
When we add so much to our lists, do we take anything off? Betting that day job is still on your list. School is still starting next week. Carpools, football practice, and such are no less on your lists. We’d never ask students to master everything at once. Why would we set ourselves up to do that with multiple resolutions? Are you really going to be able to get to the gym every day and hit 12,000 steps, and give up gluten all while getting to bed an hour earlier, and being sure the dog gets four walks a day? Sounds ridiculous when IT’s all spelled out like this, but many of us make resolution lists like this. Then, we wonder why we can’t pull IT all off.
What is your single most important IT for 2016? What ITs are you hoping to get right during this next calendar year? To inspire you to hit your 2016 ITs, one at a time, check out our IT products at teacherpeach.com.
Check our blog later this week for a different approach to New Year’s Resolutions called 365 Slices as well as more great ideas about classroom re-entry and 2016 routines that really work. Until then, share your ITs here!