Each time January rolls around, we all start thinking about our New Year's Resolutions. What are those things we will do to make us better? Lose weight? Exercise more? Be more patient with the children? Read more? Spend more time with family? Say no more often?
This year, I thought long and hard about what I wanted my resolution to be. And I couldn't come up with anything. It's not that I think I have hit perfection. Far from it. It's just that I feel like each resolution is just an empty promise...something I should be doing every day but don't, can't, won't. Or I am already trying my best.
So what does that mean for me now? I think this year I will try to come up with challenges instead of resolutions. Why? Resolutions, to me, are so final. "I am resolved to lose weight by next week!" And if I don't? Well, I guess I can't be trusted with my resolutions. Challenges will allow me to try, fail, and try again. Challenges will allow me to change direction as needed. Challenges will allow me to recognize that life is still a journey. Challenges are pliable.
So...in the spirit of the new year...here are my New Year's Challenges.
- I am going to challenge myself to learn another language.
- The more global I become, the more irritated I am that I only speak one language. I feel it is very self-serving to assume that everyone will be able to communicate with me in English. And, yes, this has served me well to date. But enough is enough. This might not happen this year but I will begin.
- I am going to challenge myself to make peace with those I struggle to understand.
- I am faced with certain people who create drama every chance they can. I am going to try to understand their need, in order to help me be more caring and accepting when faced with the drama. I tend to avoid drama at all costs. But I cannot always avoid these people so I must learn to understand and accept them the way they are.
- I am going to challenge myself to be more satisfied with my life.
- I find myself constantly comparing my life to everyone else's. Not my personal life, but my professional one. Should I write another book? He did. Should I apply for another award? She did. Should I join another organization, participate in another twitter chat, run another class? They did. I am going to really only choose those items I WANT to do, not choose items in order to out do someone else. Teaching isn't a competition. It's a calling. I need to stop feeling like everyone else is just passing me by. And I will begin as soon as I finish my ISTE award application.
- I am going to stop telling myself I am a failure if I don't meet a challenge as quickly as I hope to. Challenges are trials. Try and fail. Try and fail. Try, try, try.
What will your challenges be for 2016?