Autumn has well and truly arrived and with it so has the opportunity to start afresh.
Most people make their resolutions in December, right before the new year. For me, and most other teachers, it marks the start of a brand new year and a chance to start over again and try new things. Getting ready to start new classes, meet new students and reflecting on last year’s progress naturally allows me to become a little more introspective and thinking about the kind of teacher and person I want to be. I’ve found the resolutions i’ve made during the final long lazy days of summer are more meaningful and thoughtful than those made during the almost comatose days after Christmas.
Christmas is about thinking of and giving to others. There’s a whole industry and guilt built around it. Relaxed, sitting under a warm autumnal sun without a worry in the world is a perfect time for looking within and thinking of the future. Before the Halloween and holiday
stress fun begins, take some time to really think about your goals and how you can best achieve them or at least prepare to achieve them when January comes around.
Take a moment to think about it, a lot of people break their new year resolutions in January not because they don’t care about their goals but because they don’t have a game plan or know where to start. With the traditional bloated feeling after turkey and potatoes on December 27th, you promise yourself in January you’re going to eat healthier and go to the gym. January 1st arrives there’s no gym membership and you still need to buy that smoothie maker or research the perfect protein powder. Not much changes. If you start thinking now, you’ll be well and truly on your way to becoming closer to the person you want to be and the life you want to live.
Once you have your goals written down, write a minimum of three things you need to do to achieve those things and put them on your calendar. Things on a to do list are as useful and productive as a dog chasing it’s tail so schedule time for achieving your resolutions and commit to it. Your progress will surprise even you. If its habit forming you need to crack (like waking up at 5am), look into Gretchen Rueben’s four tendencies and find out how you form habits and what motivates you to get things done. It’s a short online quiz and once you’re done, her blog and youtube channel has a wealth of great advice just for you.
Telling people about your goals and what you want to achieve is also a great way to make your self more accountable for your actions. It’s why we usually always meet deadlines in the office made by the boss. There are consequences and someone to hold you responsible. it’s difficult, I’d say almost impossible to continue to stay motivated by yourself. If you’re one of those people who can just decide to do something and just do it, I salute you.
Intrinsic motivation is amazing to get you started and that new project rush is indescribable. When it comes to long term motivation to get up that extra hour earlier or hustling in your spare time, it’s outside factors that will keep you going. Whether that’s a friend tasked with periodically checking in on you progress or extra cash coming in every month, that extra motivation can go along way.
If you started something a while ago and it’s been left in dusty corner somewhere (literally or digitally) it’s not too late to pick it back up and start again. It’s okay. Check out a previous blog about picking up where you left off here.
Start today. Comment bellow one thing you really would like to achieve and three things you can do right now to make you one step closer. Challenge yourself to complete those three things before the end of the month and tell someone. Here is my goal:
Finish the fantasy novel I’ve been working on since forever. I love writing and getting absorbed into the little world I’ve curated. I really want to get it done so I can finally show people and get feedback.
What can I do now to make it happen:
Actually wake up at six am, not 06:30 (thanks snooze button) to ensure I have that little bit of extra time to write.
I’m going to promise a friend I will send it on January 1st, even if it’s not finished. She’s a great writer and I would be disappointed to send her something unfinished, hopefully that’ll give me a little more motivation.
Physically turn off my WiFi router and block apps and notifications while I write the majority of the blog. I won’t get distracted by my shiny iPhone and if I find there is something to research, I can just write them down to research after.
Do you have any more tips to help me and others reach our goals? Let us know down below.