Friday, January 1, 2016

#mtbos12days: 2016 Goals

Happy 2016!  I'm not big on new years resolutions, but I do believe that setting goals is important.  I have a few ongoing goals that I started in 2015 that I'd like to continue.

1.  Exercise: I started working out more at the beginning of the 2014 school year.  What helped me the most in finding motivation for this goal was the discovery that I can read from the Kindle app on my cell phone or tablet when I ride the elliptical.  I always look forward to reading, and somehow this translated into looking forward to working out.  I sometimes run into problems when I am in between  books, but in general things are going well.  At the beginning of the 2015 school year I wanted to incorporate more running into my routine.  I have a treadmill at home, and I learned that watching Netflix from my tablet does the trick in terms of motivation for running.  Probably the biggest motivator for me though has been my Fitbit, which tells me how many times each week/month I have worked out, in addition to number of steps, heart rate, and all sorts of other useful info.  For 2016 I am joining the #fitbos challenge. There are already close to 30 of us signed up.  Please feel free to join!

2.  Gratitude: This is a great goal for any of us.  We had gratitude and wellness week in my district, and I received the below in an email from one of my amazing administrators.  The information is from a Harvard Mental Health Letter.

“In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:
  • Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Make a habit of sending at least onegratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
  • Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.
  • Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
  • Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.
  • Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.). 
My first gratitude letter of 2016 goes out to the fantastic people of #mtbos who have brought a bunch of us together over the holidays with #mtbos12days.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading all of the blogposts over the past 2 weeks!  And now I am looking forward to #fitbos with both old and new Twitter friends.  Go #mtbos!

3.  Laughter and Fun:  At some point over the last 6 months when work was stressful and life was busy I realized that I wasn't having as much fun as I needed.  I started by spending more silly time with my kids.  They are hilarious and can always make me laugh.  I also made some time to go out with friends.  It's too easy to get swept up by the day to day, so a goal for 2016 is to schedule more time with friends and be more present around my children to ensure plenty of fun in our lives.  This goal is definitely about balance, and laughter and fun are part of that recipe.

4.  A professional goal:  I'm going back to school!  Through Twitter, I found a great online course for spring semester.  It is Mathematics Coaching: Designing Effective Professional Development, offered by Mount Holyoke College.  This is my third year as a coach (second year as a math coach), and I've been looking for opportunities like this.  Wish me luck!

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