I’ve read a number of New Year’s Resolution blogs this year, many including terrific ideas on how to become better individuals—at work, at home, as a parent, as a spouse, and so on. I’ve hesitated to write such a post, supposing I’m the best person I can be year round. To be fair, I realize this isn’t quite true as each of us deals with the ebbs and flows of real life. Thus, I’ve decided to reflect on the past year to determine where I can improve—to become my best self.
I’ll attempt to not to be too cliche with my list as I’m fairly certain folks don’t want to hear how I plan to be more spontaneous or that I will smile more. Thus, I give you my top five for 2014.
1) Ignore negativity. It’s too easy to complain about circumstances we’re not happy with, far too simple to become irritable over others blatant negativity. It’s the more resilient folks that I admire, those who can smile at adversity while exploring steps to create positive outcomes.
2) Take risks and embrace change. Upon failure, have the resiliency to admit defeat and reverse the results. I recently traveled to to Disney World for the first time—admittedly hesitant. I did it to make an important person in my life happy. Upon letting go of my negativity, I experienced a childlike happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time. In the words of Walt Disney We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
3) Write more. Writing has become a liberating outlet that allows me to communicate thoughts and feelings that I often struggle with in natural dialogue. For the past few months, my excuse has been not enough time. George Couros writes A common theme that we hear in education (along with other fields) is the idea that there is no time to do things. Definitely education has had many ideas that have come and gone, so many are discriminating with what they are going to dedicate themselves to. Time really isn’t the factor here though; it is priority. Writing, as a tool to share knowledge, connect with peers and, and humanize a far too virtual life, needs to become a priority. Thus, I vow to write at least one blog post every other week for the remainder of this year.
4) Lay off of the technology. Engage in conversation during dinner rather than texting, tweeting, and updating Facebook statuses. Our virtual audiences are not more important than the person sitting across the table. I will nurture the interpersonal relationships that are unintentionally neglected at times.
5) Learn. Complacency is the result of a lack of ambition to improve oneself. I have found that education is the key to my progression. Thus, I will enroll in that online programming class to learn how to develop iOS apps, I will read The Lean Startup book that has been sitting on my desk for months, and I will continue to search for additional opportunities to improve myself as an educator. I believe that the more well rounded I become, the better I will be at cultivating relationships with colleagues and students.
Each us of has areas in our lives where we can improve, the list above is a much abbreviated version of what I can do to develop as a friend, husband (in 6 months), colleague, teacher, and more. Now let’s see your list…