A new year to rise above.


A new year. What awaits you in 2011? Many of us will resolve to set goals, both professional and personal, and execute plans to achieve them. Others will welcome the adventures of each brand new day with no particular plan for doing so, except to follow their intuitions, make decisions based on what they feel, and allow past experiences to guide them.

I think goals are important, but I’m not a fan of yearly resolutions. Maybe I failed to follow through on many of them in my life. Maybe I become just a tad cynical when I see the gym filled with new members in January and can’t seem to locate those same faces in the crowd in March. I rather like Jeff Delp’s plan of attack: Every Day a New Year. Each day, set a few goals for yourself. And then accomplish them. Pretty simple.

When we were growing up, every New Year’s Eve my father made us write down where we’d be in life in 1, 5, 10, 20 years, and we’d seal each year’s predictions in an envelope and read them only when that year arrived. For me, this exercise was absolute torture. I nailed some of the professional predictions- I’d be a teacher. I’d be a principal. Some of my personal goals went unattained, as they do for many of us. I’d continue to ask, Why do we have to do this? What is the point?

The point, that I’ve only recently come to realize, wasn’t to make us feel as though we didn’t accomplish all that we’d set out to accomplish. The point was for us to dig within ourselves and imagine what we wanted our lives to be and believe wholeheartedly that we could bring those dreams to fruition. It was a simple exercise that caused us to step out of our current reality, envision an ideal future, and reflect upon how, and if, we could make those visions a reality.

2010 was an interesting, change-filled year for me. Had I been asked last New Year’s Eve to write down what my life would be like on 1-1-11, I am fairly certain my predictions would only be about 27% accurate. Life is funny that way.

I am putting my faith in the resolution above: to rise above the little things. At work and at home we’re going to get hit every which way with the unexpected. There will be attempts to derail us. Whether your goals or your intuition (or both) guide you, may 2011 be the year that you achieve all that you set out to achieve, and may you be happy doing so!

6 thoughts on “A new year to rise above.

  1. What a simple yet provoking resolution!

    I too have always had a hard time with goal-setting. I DREAM too BIG and so I must either set a goal too small to feel worthy chasing or too big to achieve. I don’t know how to find the middle ground and make the exercise meaningful and worthwhile.

    I hope this is a year where I can remember things like ‘rise above the little things’ a little more often.

    Thanks Lyn, I look forward to a great year of learning with and from you! :-)

    1. Thanks for commenting, David. I think it’s important to dream big. But I agree that it can be frustrating to do so and then fall short of our desired outcomes, although I guess the “failing” is when the “learning” happens. Big or small, if our goals have meaning and value, we’re dreaming right. :)

  2. Lyn,

    Well said. Isn’t it true, that it can be so hard to stay above all the minutia and keep one’s eye on the prize. I like to keep my goal framed, clear and on colorful paper, to remind me of the “why” every day.

    Less is more, and in terms of new year’s resolutions, it couldn’t be more applicable.

    Happy 2011.

    1. Steve, thank you for commenting. I read your resolutions post yesterday and agree with your sentiments. I also believe that we should strive to collaborate more in the coming year. I think we’re making strides in that arena, seeing more teachers escape the isolation of their classrooms and comfort of their buildings and reaching out to other educators to improve their practice. Looking forward to all that 2011 may bring!

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