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  • Writer's pictureJ94

What the What??

To ignite your life you must focus on ONE Thing long enough for it to catch fire. – Gary Keller

As I was sipping my first coffee of 2022, eating a few leftover M&Ms, and waiting for the aspirin to kick in, I googled “new year’s quotes” and there were thousands! I started reading through them and could feel the stress levels begin to rise, the guilty conscience start to kick in (instead of the aspirin), and sense of hopelessness to creep over me!

Lame Quotes

Let me share a few of the lame, fluffy, and not surprisingly anonymous quotes that tried to buck me off my 2022 horse!

“This is the beginning of anything you want.” – What the what? I don’t yet know exactly what I want, so how can this be the beginning? What if it takes me a month or two to get started? Is this still the beginning, or is the beginning when I actually decide what I want and actually start?

”Start the New Year the way you want to end it.” – What the what? I’m pretty sure that eating M&Ms and popping aspirin is NOT how I want to end 2022, but I really don’t know! And what does this quote imply that you start and end in the same spot? And what if you first read this after starting off in way that you don’t want to end, do you have to wait another year?

“This is the start of your best year ever.” – What the what? How can anyone know that? We can never know what curveballs life is going to throw us! Yes, maybe this will be the best year of my life – OR maybe this will be worst year of my life! I can’t know! So, how do I start something that might disappoint me along the way!?


So, eleven hours into the new year, I was almost ready to crawl back under the covers of 2021 and keep going down the stress, sugar, and sabotage road that I had decided to leave to find a new road.

New New Year's Thoughts

Before you start thinking “typical New Year’s resolution mentality”, let me be clear – I don’t really believe in “resolutions”. I prefer to look for refinements and not just for the New Year. What works, what doesn’t work, and what can be refined to work better. And the New Year is a good time to reflect on what can be refined and how those refinements can translate into actionable and achievable goals for the next year broken down into days, weeks, and months. (See my blog post from last year.)

If 2022 is going have a chance of being my best year ever and be the beginning of anything I want, I need to look back on what my 2021 goals were last year and how that went.

My three educational goals last year were to improve my (1) ppt skills, (2) minimal marking techniques, and (3) feedback techniques. These were indeed met. But, I must admit that the extremely stressful semester of being back in the classroom after so much corona chaos was more than I had planned for or expected. So, my goals took a bit of a backseat to make room for reEntry techniques and focus points. This helped to reduce the stress and keep my teaching on track.

However, all of the stressful, chaotic, and turbulent experiences of teaching in a pandemic with unpredictable changes made it more difficult for me to keep up my health and fitness goals.

Why am I mentioning this at all? It’s not really about teaching – or is it?

For me it’s EVERYTHING about teaching. It’s EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING!

The ONE Thing

In 2018, for the first time in my adult life, I was able to prioritize my health and fitness, lose some weight, and get moving. And for two years, this acted as a catalyst to being better in all other areas of my life – including my teaching. However, in 2021, I let the corona chaos take the lead and began to let things slide, allowed old habits to creep up, and let sugar and sabotage take over.

As I began to plan my way back on track and get past this sugar-induced, sabotaging vicious cycle, I realized that having my health and fitness in check is my ONE thing. This is the ONE thing that helps set other things in motion, that makes everything else more achievable, and that creates the momentum to succeed in other areas of … especially my teaching.

So – instead of trying to start 2022 without any idea of how I want to end it, I’ve decided to take a different approach. I am not going to expect to have everything figured out today or tomorrow. January 1st or 2nd is not my starting date for anything. I’m allowing myself the month of January to decide on what refinements I need to make, what goals I want to achieve, how to make them happen, and what my target dates will be. And I will let my ONE thing be my guiding light!

Instead of lame and fluffy New Year quotes, I’ll take my cue from Gary Keller - “There is magic in knocking down your most important domino day after day. All you have to do is avoid breaking the chain, one day at a time until you generate a powerful new habit in your life.”

What is your ONE thing? What refinements do YOU want to make this year? What are your teaching goals and how are they intertwined with the rest of your life?

If you want to get some clarity to make long-term achievable refinements and goals, get your FREE New Year's Gift! A chance to work with me to figure this out and find your ONE thing that can unlock the life you want both in and out of the classroom.

A Free New Year's REFINEMENT coaching call to help you create an action plan for your teaching in 2022 focusing on what refinements you can make to help achieve your reEnchanted goals! After 45 minutes, you will come away with actionable approaches, individual goals, and a clear path into 2022! Plus an opportunity to work with me in continuing your reEnchanted teaching path!

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