Well, 2016 is upon us. Typically, a change in the calendar year also brings with it a resolution or goal of some kind to be better or at least positively different in the next year. These goals can be personal, professional or a combination of both.
As educators, we have a couple of times a school year to set goals or reflect on the current year. One of them is at the outset of the school year when hope springs eternal and the year has a fresh horizon of possibilities. Another time is around now and involves the change of the calendar year and the midpoint of the school year.
Instead of setting a particular goal or making a couple of resolutions that you may or may not keep, I’d encourage us all to, instead, reflect on this past year (or school year) and use a three tiered approach to do so. It’s a simple process where you chart out (or list, if you will) how the year has gone and categorize your reflections in the following groups:
- Working well. Keep it going!
- Not working well. Time to cut the losses!
- Let’s make it better or take the next step!
It’s not important that you list be balanced among categories or that can even come up with multiple reflections that fit each category. The third category is the one that will require some next steps or some new actions on your part compared to what has been done so far this year. It’s also the category most akin to a typical resolution. The point of this exercise is to look beyond just thinking of “what might be” or “I think I will” but rather to give serious thought and consideration to the efforts you’ve given
over the past year and how those efforts can impact those around you (and yourself) moving forward. It’s deeper work than merely deciding to embark on the journey towards a goal. It might just result in a year that accomplishes more than you thought, in more ways than you thought.