Winter Break Wisdom Quote 10: ENTHUSIASM!

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IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL FOR SO MANY! How did this happen so quickly? This long Winter Break we looked forward to for so many weeks is now over. While some schools began a week later and still have a week to manage returns and put decorations away, the majority of us are back to work today. Last night was the time to find that school tote bag from the back of the front hall or mudroom area, to see where you left off with lesson plans, objectives, and units of study. Yes, today it’s time to refocus on your work.

Are you ready?

Probably, even if you don’t fully think you are. Regardless of the specifics of your Winter Break, just by being out of the classroom and away from your regular routine HAS distanced you. You’ve gotten a break by not being “in” your daily environment. Even if you spent your Winter Break going no further than the local movies or food market, you’ve had a break from the routines you were following before the holidays.

Today is an ideal transition day to begin to migrate away from holiday festivities and embrace your work priorities in a new and invigorated way. Did you travel over this break, only to face loads of undone laundry when you returned? Did your holiday guests finally depart, leaving you with ornaments to wrap, pine needles to sweep, or thank-you notes to write? Do you still need to dash to the mall to make those returns? How could Aunt Ella really think you could wear a pair of men’s large gloves? All of these activities are remnants of a holiday season we all worked so hard to make into a wonderful experience for those we hold close. Overwhelmed by the transition? Join the club! (Why is it that it always feels so easy to set up the decorations, but taking them down seems like so much more work?)

Even if you are overwhelmed, start small, doing just one task at a time. Use the evenings this week to tuck away the décor for next year, get your home in order, and begin your return to school with a clean, organized feeling. Choose one thing at a time and categorize your priorities between those that you “must do this week” and those that you “think would be great to do this week.”

A new year inspires in many of us is a newfound energy and enthusiasm. Hence, today’s quote by Henry Ford. With a transition day of so many to-do tasks, a little enthusiasm can go a long way. By embracing today’s tasks with enthusiasm, you can tackle them and cross them off your list, leaving yourself time for a few extra tasks perhaps.

If you happen to be a parent or guardian in addition to your “day job” of teacher or educator, chances are good that part of your list for the past few days has involved motivating your kids to tackle their own, probably procrastinated, to-dos. (“What do you mean you can’t find your backpack?”) Was there a Winter Break reading assignment to be completed? What about that research paper that was assigned long before Thanksgiving? It’s likely everyone in your house could benefit from a bit of enthusiasm to get through today with a high-powered sense of accomplishment.

Few people really want to feel the return of that pressure and tension that often comes with school and work. But, by choosing to be enthusiastic about the work in front of you, you just may discover you really are excited to be returning to your professional responsibilities after Winter Break.

Even if your holidays were hectic and action-packed, just by doing different things over the break, you have gotten distance that can serve you well. By blanketing your work in enthusiasm, and by taking things one step at a time, as the image on today’s PeachQuotes Studio™ Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 10 reflects, with enthusiasm to drive you, you’ll head toward your work with an attitude that is often contagious to others.

Consider taking enthusiastic steps, one at a time, in the direction of each tomorrow this week. Choose what you’ll wear. Pack your lunch and tote bag. Clear a few emails in between home tasks. Spend the last of that gift card on a treat for you to use each day. Any of these actions will help you feel connected to both your Winter Break and your professional work. When you wrap that new infinity scarf around you as you head off to school, you’ll be cloaked in some of your Winter Break warmth. Clip the tags off those new gloves, and treat yourself to a new set of pens—just because. Any of these actions will provide a positive transition bridge and reminder to your recent break from routine.

Sprint into 2017 with newfound energy, enthusiasm, and effectiveness. To inspire you to get your year off to a fresh and organized start, check out the amazing and dreamy Teacher Peach products on Amazon and at teacherpeach.com. For more great ideas about classroom re-entry and other terrific ways to begin your 2017, continue to check our blog, too.

Today’s is a great chance to share your enthusiasm with others. Chances are, everyone around you will be starting a new diet, so remind them that everyone can indulge in enthusiasm without gaining an ounce of weight. The right dash of enthusiasm may even burn a few extra calories!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 9: CHEERS!

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Yesterday’s PeachQuotes Studio™ quotation was from Edith Lovejoy Pierce, and referred to the many new opportunities we can look forward to in 2017.

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).

Cheers to a New Year and another chance to get it right.
—Oprah Winfrey

We chose this special quotation for the start of 2017 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 have a strong sense that 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 2017 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 at the same time. 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 2017? What ITs are you hoping to get right during this next calendar year? To inspire you to hit your 2017 ITs, one at a time, check out our IT products on Amazon and visit us 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 2017 routines that really work. Until then, share your ITs here!

Winter Break Wisdom Quote 8: OPPORTUNITY!

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The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
—Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Yesterday’s PeachQuotes Studio™ quotation was from Brad Paisley and referred to 2017 as a 365-page book that we each have the privilege of authoring.

Today’s Winter Break W.O.W. Quotation 8 is all about what that book might be called. According to today’s quotation author, Edith Lovejoy Pierce, it is called “Opportunity.” Edith Lovejoy Pierce was a poet and a pacifist who lived in Evanston, Illinois, just 10 miles north of Teacher Peach’s Chicago offices, as a matter of fact.

The quote’s main point, that “the book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day” speaks again to the chance we have to clear the decks, let go of past issues, and start off 2017 with a new determination. Some people embrace new beliefs and others simple turn over new leaves (only to turn them back before Valentine’s Day. That’s why so many health club memberships are dropped before this chocolates and flowers holiday). The common denominator is that we start anew, each in our own ways.

New Year’s Day is a very popular start date for many. We’ve all heard the resolutions that go something like this: “Yes, now I’ll begin my diet, my new exercise regime, and my new list of new habits. Well, now that I think of it, since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, I think I’ll just hold off until Monday. Yup. I’ll begin all that on Monday. Well, maybe Tuesday. After all, Monday IS the nationally recognized holiday. Yes, Tuesday it is. Maybe.”

Whenever you opt to begin your New Year changes, take small, smart steps that will lead you to your goals. To inspire you to get your year off to a fresh and organized new start, check out the Teacher Peach Planners and Organizers by searching for Teacher Peach on Amazon or by visiting us at teacherpeach.com to continue to check our blog for great ideas about classroom re-entry and more terrific ways to begin your 2017. Enjoy a very Happy New Year from the team at Teacher Peach.