Reflections and Resources from Tarheelstate Teacher: The Most Wonderful Time...
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The Most Wonderful Time...

Are you ready to be great in 2016? New Year's is my most favorite holiday! It is the "most wonderful time of the year" to me. No other holiday gives me the same high--the joy, the turning of a page, the nervous energy, the power to harness my greatness.

Today I wanted to share some of the resources (and people) who have inspired me in the past few months and that will be supporting me through a new year of greatness! As I've read these books and followed these bloggers/podcasters, I've thought, "How did I not know about this sooner?!?" So, this post isn't really for your classroom or your kiddos (although I've shared three classroom resources at the end)...this post is really just for you because I want you to be in the know!

1) During our Winter Break, I finally purchased The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan. As a small business owner and a person who loves to learn strategies for productivity, I highly recommend this read! I'm near the end and plan to read it a second time with my husband when I'm finished.

The One Thing teaches you to live by a mantra of "What is the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?" That sounds so simple, but the book really goes into detail with each chapter leading perfectly into the next potential stumbling block or mindset that you should create in yourself. The book is divided into three parts:

1: The 6 Lies that Mislead and Derail Us {spoiler--a "balanced life" is not something to strive for...what?!?!}
2: The Truth: the Simple Path to Productivity
3: Extraordinary Results: Unlocking the Power Within You

So far, my "take-aways" include:
  • The Power of Focus: "If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one." 
  • That it's not about motivation or being more disciplined, it's about habits
  • What the 66-Days to a Habit Strategy is
  • The Importance of Time Blocking
  • To Link a desired habit to an already-established habit or routine {Do you brush your teeth? Link your desire to floss every day to your teeth-brushing routine!}
  • To start a step before the habit I want to create {I want to get up each morning at 5am to use 5-6am as a time block for creating resources and blogging. My habit needs to be going to sleep by 9:30 each night so that I use my 5-6am time block.}
  • How important it is to think about 5 years from now and work backwards to today, this moment, right now and the ONE Thing I should do to move forward
If you check out the The One Thing website you will find a ton of helpful resources:
I've printed myself copies of the 66 Day Calendar. They've even shared all of the graphics and graphs from the book and 6 excellent posters (shown in my picture)--can you say printable inspiration?!?!

2) This summer, I started following Crystal Paine's blog at {I like to follow her blog by subscribing to email because I always clean out my inbox and take time to read that way}. Crystal is a huge inspiration for mom's everywhere. She's a goal-oriented person who tries to help others succeed in their own goals and frequently blogs about her journey. Best of all, Crystal reminds readers to give themselves grace when what we wanted to accomplish does not measure up. I took Crystal's "Make over Your Mornings" course this summer--and let me tell you, this course really helped me get my mindset right as I made the challenging transition to full-time mommy and wife. Crystal's Money Making Mom book is next on my must-read list!

3) In Crystal's Make Over Your Mornings course, she had a lesson on goal setting where she encouraged participants to watch a podcast by Michael Hyatt titled "The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make in Setting Goals {and how to fix them}". Well, if you have never heard of Michael Hyatt and are in need of inspiration, coaching, and someone to positively influence your life, you must start following him!

I've begun going back through Michael's "This is Your Life" podcasts. I like to watch the videos {each are around 30 minutes long} and take notes while listening. Since I just started this habit over our winter break, I've tried my very best to set aside 30 minutes a day. I still have to figure out how to get these into my schedule when we start back to school, but I've got some ideas! I don't think I will try to make it happen daily, but will consistently write it into my schedule a few days a week.

Some podcasts I'm looking forward to listening to next include:
Why Doing Less is the Best Way to Do More
How to Create More Margin in Your Crazy-Busy Life
How to Achieve More by Sleeping More
How to Become Your Spouse's Best Friend
The Top 10 Mistakes Bloggers Make

See what I mean?!?! Michael discusses so many life topics--productivity, self-discipline, leadership, relationships, business! Surely, something on that list will interest you! I choose what I'm going to listen to next after listening to a podcast, but I allow myself the freedom to change my mind based on what's going on in my life at that moment and what I think will speak to me the most at that time. New podcasts are posted each Wednesday and I also follow him through email so that I remember to read or listen to what he's posted on his blog.

I love sharing the New Year's spirit with my students. Are you looking for goal setting lessons for your students? I think it is so important to take this time to help students become reflective and forward-thinking individuals and have written about achievement and goal setting from time to time, but I came across this perfect post at Cult of Pedagogy this week called "Helping Students Make New Year's Resolutions: A Step by Step Plan." I'm using Jennifer's materials with my students this week, and if you don't have time to plan or tweak something all your own, I think it's perfect for printing and implementing immediately!

Another resource that I recommend is Tracee Orman's New Year's resource. I absolutely loved using it with my students last year. She has updated it for 2016 and added new resources. I especially loved making the list of 15 things to do and 15 things not to do. I really felt like my students thought of fun and important goals for 2015. The updated version is another goody that I'm adding to my toolbox for next week. I'm also toying with the idea of adding a 30 minute block of weekly goal setting and reflection to our schedule AND using the 1st of the month concept with my students by having a lesson about goal setting (and the opportunity that the first of the month provides us to look back at we have accomplished and look forward to set goals for the upcoming month.

Want to incorporate goal setting and achievement discussions into your Morning Meeting routine or need bulletin board materials for the New Year? Achievement is one of my Morning Meeting themes. You can find all of the following materials in my TpT store.

My 2015 New Years Blog Post
Motivate Students with Daily Reflection
    Download: Free Weekly Goal Setting Reflection Form
    My Day by Day Goal Setting Lessons (Morning Meeting)

Good luck in your new year! Harness your energy and carpe diem!

Do you follow Michael Hyatt or Crystal Paine? Have you read The One Thing? Do you have similar authors/bloggers you follow that I NEED to know about? Comment and let me know! 

I'm linking up with my teacher talk friends for our January "Teacher Talk." Be sure to check out what's going on with some of my favorite bloggers!


  1. Great post! And since you asked.... I LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert! Her new book "Big Magic" is amazing! She also has a FB page and shares a lot of inspiration every day!

  2. What an uplifting post. So many great ideas for 2016. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a fantastic post, Tammy! I follow Crystal Paine, too. She has so many wonderful ideas! Just downloaded The One Thing; can't wait to read it!! Thanks for all the sharing!

  4. Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing these great resources and ideas.

  5. Your passion rings through in this post! I will definitely be bookmarking and checking out these sources of inspiration! Happy 2016!

  6. I loved The ONE Thing. I haven't checked out the website, though, so I'm off to do that now! Thanks for sharing -- great post!



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