Happy New Year!!!
I always get a small laugh out of the fact that for most educators this isn’t really a “new year”, as that generally happens around July or August. However, it’s actually kind of cool because we end up getting two “new years” when most people only get one. This isn’t the time of year when books are fresh, lockers are empty, and names are new, but that doesn’t mean we have to be completely left out of the fun of the New Year celebrations.
While this is a typical time of year to set personal goals for the calendar year, I like to think about January as a time to step back and revisit my professional goals. If you’re anything like me, then your personal New Year’s Resolution from 2017 was out the door by February, or March at the latest, and was never revisited. I hope the same isn’t true about the goals you set for this school year. However, in the event that they’ve managed to slip from the front of your mind, this is the perfect time to stop and revisit those goals.
One of the biggest challenges with meeting a big, longer term goal is that often times we set those goals and forget all about them as we get caught up in the craziness of our day-to-day tasks. I’m hoping that today I can nudge you a little closer toward making sure those goals get met this school year.
So, first things first…dig up those goals. Where are they? What are they? Remind yourself exactly what it was you set out to achieve in terms of professional growth this school year.
Next, why did you set those goals? Remind yourself of the “why” behind those goals. What was it that motivated you to choose those goals in the first place?
Now, has anything changed? Do these goals need to be updated in any way? Perhaps you’re not sure and this is something you’d like to talk to your faculty head or SLT member about, do it!
Once you’ve reaffirmed your goals there’s something else I want to recommend to help you keep these a little closer to the heart of your efforts for the remainder of this school year. As with any long-term goal, setting smaller short-term checkpoints will help you to achieve the big long-term plan. Take some time to envision what meeting your goal will look like at the end of the school year. How will you know you’ve gotten there? What will we be able to look at that says, ‘yes, I’ve done it!’? Now…take that vision and break it down into smaller checkpoints along the way from today to the end of this year. What will success toward your goal look like in April? March? February? The end of January?
It’s a “new year” for everyone else but we’re already halfway through our year. It’s been an amazing first half and the second will surely fly by at a breakneck pace. So, take a few moments this week to sit back and revisit your goals. Think about how you’ll be able to ensure meeting those goals by the end of the year and find those checkpoints.
Once again, Happy New Year!!!