A new year and a new you
Christmas decorations have come down, and with it the holiday magic has begun to fade.
After the fun of family gatherings and the glow of Christmas lights, the days seem kind of lackluster.
With longer nights, shorter days and morning fog, the sun is more obscured. Have you ventured out into the cold to get a better glimpse of the sun and just enjoyed the perfection of a crisp winter day?
Winter break is over. Classes have resumed after a three-week vacation, so teachers are back to work. Many teachers and students had enough time away to actually miss each other. The first day back the schedule seemed a bit restrictive after all the free time, but the start of a new year is an opportunity to become a new you.
Standing on the threshold of a new year brings a fresh, sparkling quality like the crystals on the grass after the morning frost. New beginnings carry with them the exuberance of a playful puppy.
The beginning of a new year offers a fresh start and often getting started is the biggest part of the job. To maximize this time of year, determine an area of unhappiness that you are ready to address by picking an old habit that needs to be changed.
People who get what they want are people who know what they want. Wishing it to be so won’t make it happen, so set an intention. Next, actively take steps to make it a reality.
Besides examining one’s life to determine the areas needing improvement, one must also take time to articulate their desires. Following that, a plan for acquiring these outcomes is necessary for their manifestation. Start small with a couple of realistic goals to build confidence.
As a teacher facing implementation of the new Common Core Standards, I’m determined to expose my students to several of the new performance tasks so I can get a feel for what life in the classroom will be like after the current standards sunset.
Certain steps help foster greater success with goal setting. If you state a goal in present tense, it creates a little internal tension because you know it’s not currently true which motivates you to make it so.
A big determiner of success lies in examining the underlying reasons for setting the goal because they provide the motivation for the change.
Dr. Oz’s gadget guy tested recent tech toys and liked the app for graphing your mood. Often a bad mood can sabotage the best intention. Being aware of your moods puts you at choice about whether to indulge the feeling or divert and get back on track with your intention.
Another step toward success is setting a deadline because it motivates action. Reporting progress to someone else increases accountability and the likelihood for success.
Keep the goal in front of you, repeating it morning and evening. Don’t leave the outcome to chance. Determine steps daily that will help move you closer to completion. Your resolve is bound to be tested so expect challenges and persevere in spite of them.
Once your resolve has congealed, actively pursue the steps you laid out until the problem area in your life changes. Putting in the effort to achieve a goal naturally makes you feel good. Task completion and a job well done can even cause euphoria.
Rewarding success helps to expand the celebratory and exuberant emotions that can fuel the next goal.Buying new trinkets, gadgets or sweets are short lived rewards. Planning events with friends and family are rewards that produce a feel-good effect and have the added benefit of generating a positive memory that can be drawn upon later.
Like a fresh snow that blankets the mountain trees creating a winter wonderland, determine the new year intentions that will create a wonderful new you. What will you write on your clean slate for this year so that the new you can sparkle like a fresh blanket of snow?
Kristi McCracken, author of two children’s books and a long time teacher in the South Valley, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.