For many, it feels like the new year started months ago and it’s been barely a month! As this first month quickly comes to a close it’s an ideal time to take a breath and reflect on the new goals you set just a few weeks ago.
Consider these questions as you revisit your resolutions:
- What is your main goal for the year?
- Did you opt to work on one resolution at a time? How’s that going?
- Are you jumping right in to tackle a group of goals all at once?
- Are any resolutions feeling too difficult?
- Is each resolution specific enough?
- Are you making too many resolutions?
- How might you take each resolution apart and break it down into mini-resolutions?
No matter the approach you choose, one month into any new year-long plan is a terrific time to fine-tune your game plan to help you achieve the most success. With some actual experience trying to achieve your goals, you may see them very differently than when you first established them. It’s so easy to be over-exuberant and set too many goals at the start of a year. Some of the goals we’d LIKE to achieve are not necessarily goals that really resonate. With a month of trying under your belt, you might achieve more success by confirming the goals about which you intend to be resolute.
A Resolution Cross-Check Process
When setting goals at the start of a year, it’ easy to just make a list without categorizing goals in any way. For many people, this works well. If you’d like to “balance” your resolutions list a bit further, look at each resolution and categorize according to the three filters below.
Then, assess if you are attempting too many changes in any one category. That’s the key—even when a resolution is not about starting or stopping a behavior and revolves around continuing something you are already doing—it still requires bandwidth and effort! Set yourself up for greater success by cross checking your resolutions against these filters:
- Things you plan to START doing. (Do you want to start jogging, getting more sleep, start eating less junk food, or start volunteering to help others? These are START goals.)
- Things you plan to STOP doing. (Do you want to stop running late, stop eating dessert, stop procrastinating or seeing the world through negative glasses? These are STOP goals.)
- Things you plan to KEEP doing. (It’s easy to overlook this type of goal. We tend to forget that some things we’ve already incorporated into our routines that ARE just plain working! These may include past goals you’ve mastered or great habits you jut do naturally like always walking two miles when you take the dog out. It’s easy to forget to give yourself credit for these accomplishments.)
In addition to my own “maintain a healthy lifestyle” resolution that means I will:
- STOP keeping clothes I won’t wear again, and someone else might much more often,
- KEEP up my walking plan and gluten-free diet,
- START, once again, to work on getting more sleep. (Yup. That was one resolution from 2016 that I didn’t fully achieve. I suppose I could have pre-populated that cell for 2017; I knew I blew that one.)
Every year, I try to accomplish or work toward completing one really BIG blue-sky resolution, too. This year is no different. I’ve noticed a lot of people segment this goal from their other goals for that very reason—it feels BIG, really big. It may be a goal related to your family, your work, or your interests. For some people, a BIG blue-sky resolution is often connected to all of the BIG and important aspects of your life. These goals don’t stop, start, or keep going—instead, they are OVER-ARCHING.
My 2017 BIG Blue-Sky Resolution
As an example of what I mean, my BIG blue-sky resolution for 2017 springs from my 2016 goal, which was to help teachers help themselves and their students.
In order to take this resolution to the next level in 2017, I plan to focus on the challenge under the challenge, something I discovered in 2016—helping kids discover their confidence and creativity. This is a huge undertaking, one that our products help to support, as does our company’s donation of 10% of the profits from every product we sell. Teachers do tell us that our classroom products really do make a difference to kids and families and that matters most to me.
One Product That Made a Difference
Several years ago at a conference, I gave a teacher two free samples of our “You made a great choice!” card. I urged her to just try it in her classroom. All I asked of her in return was to tell me how she used them and how she thought they made a difference to “her” kids. I didn’t hear from her for a long time. I’d forgot I had even given the cards out.
One day, many months later, I received an amazing note from that teacher. With her note in front of me, I immediately remembered giving her the cards and the words I exchanged with her. In her note, written in incredible penmanship I might add, she explained how she let her bag of collected conference materials hang on the back of her desk chair for quite some time. Finally, one quiet morning before class, she decided to go through the bag’s contents. She was taking the “You made a great choice!” cards I’d given to her out of the bag when she was interrupted. She evidently put the cards down on the corner of her desk where they stayed for the remainder of the week.
As a result, the cards were within her reach when she noticed one student out of the corner of her eye the following Monday. This particular child struggled with reading. He was beginning to decode more complex words with much less help. Progress! The child was extremely shy so she wanted to tell him how pleased she was but in a quiet way. She spotted the card and, then and there, she thoughtfully wrote and gave him this card, reminding him to take the time to decode, and that she noticed his efforts to do this in small group.
She went on to say that the little boy had move to live in another city with his relatives. She didn’t know his family had been living in a local shelter. When he came to say goodbye, she told him to always remember that he is a good reader and to stop and take each word apart, just as they’d been doing. He shyly responded, “Like you said in the card?”
She didn’t recall right away what he was talking about. But the boy reminded her about the “great choice” card she had given him months before. As he was walking out of her classroom, he turned. He told her he kept the card and his grandmother’s broken watch in a box that was always wrapped up securely in his sweatshirt. He told her he looked at the card every day before school, that no one had ever given him anything like that before, and he was going to keep it with him forever.
She apologized to us that she’d not written to tell us this sooner, but wanted to make sure we knew the card certainly helped one little boy.
As for the other copy of the card I had given her? She used it to write her note to me. Needless to say, I then sent her several sets for her desk drawer. This is the kind of story that helps us figure out how to help teachers reach their students.
As the year continues, and you continue to check in on how your resolutions are coming along, think about the kinds of resolutions your students may have made to themselves. When you notice a good choice or even a small step in the right direction, think about how you can make it into a positive change. Handing out a “You made a great choice” card can help just like it did for that boy. The cards can easily be purchased at our Amazon Shop along with many other motiving cards.
My BIG blue-sky resolution for 2017 is to help raise confident kids. Part of achieving this goal is helping teachers to positively impact more students—some the most important people—our kids! Let us know about your BIG blue-sky resolutions. If there’s a Teacher Peach product that particularly helps you achieve your goals, we hope you’ll share that too! For a quick look at many different Teacher Peach products, just click on this link to our Amazon page. Many products are Amazon Prime, too.