It's {almost} a Wrap! 2014-2015 Top 10 Highlights #8 New Years Goals

I am all about creating little goal setters in my classroom. I always implement personal goal setting into my school year for my students in some way. This year it came in the form of Morning Meeting lessons and my new spin on "One Word" for New Years. Are you familiar with "One Word"?  "One Word" is a way you can set generalized goals or a way to use "one (or two) word" that reminds you of your goals. In 2014, my one word was prioritize and this year, my one word is simplify. Notice a trend?!? I sometimes feel overwhelmed and often have to remind myself that I am {not} a superhero!

I love "one word" as a goal setting and New Year's strategy because we can often set many goals with a desire to improve in many areas of our lives and sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves with all of our goals; however, it is often possible to change one way of thinking or behaving and in turn, improve in almost every area of your life. For example, if my goal is to simplify, I can do this in my household, my classroom routines, my lesson planning, my diet, etc. If my one word is moderation, I can apply this to adult beverages, reality tv, complaining, spending money, and eating cheesecake. ONE word is easy to remember. It can stick with you. It can reverberate in your brain throughout your day.

My daily goals are often related to being more productive and trying to get it all done. I want to blog more, I want to focus on my TPT store and all of the products I have running through my head. I want to update my older products and I really need to get back into a workout program. I want to cook homemade meals for my family and at some point, the housework needs be done. Trying to "get it all done" is often what causes my stress!

I am a person who creates "to-do" lists and expects it ALL to get done in one day. I have no concept of how long it should take me to complete all of those tasks. I used to have a hard time focusing on the most important things to accomplish, but I have since learned to focus on those tasks that are time-sensitive. I'm also a recovering procrastinator. :)

This year, an idea popped into my head that was

life changing

...what if "One Word" was combined with a "One Thing" strategy? Instead of giving myself a litany of tasks to accomplish that usually ends in one of the following ways:

1) procrastination: I can't get it all done so why should I even try?

2) going to bed feeling unaccomplished

what if I learn to train my brain to prioritize better by thinking "If I can only accomplish one thing (during my planning time, in the evening, at 4 pm, etc), what does that ONE THING need to be?"

One Thing changes EVERYTHING. I can always accomplish ONE THING...not ONE MORE thing, but ONE THING. {The secret though, is that once you accomplish that one thing, you sometimes have enough energy to knock something else off the list. You feel SO GOOD about accomplishing that "one thing" that you just keep going!}

One Thing tops my 2014-2015 End of Year Countdown at #8. I taught my students to start thinking about ONE thing they wanted to accomplish each day. I shared my planner with my students and strongly encouraged them to get a calendar or daily planner so that they could jot down their "one thing." (I offered to make calendars for students who could not get planners and also had a parent donate the small pocketbook calendars from the dollar store). Nearly all of my students came in with a planner or little calendar book that they thought was really cool. Each day, I would give them a minute to write down their "one thing" they planned to accomplish and we either did a share around the room or I asked them as they went out the door at the end of the day. (This few minutes to think was great for them and for me. I was able to jot down my one thing while they were thinking of theirs). We talked about the importance of commitment and that if you write something down, you are more likely to do it. Saying it aloud to another person creates an even higher level of commitment. I helped students get their one thing down to something specific and doable. It is unlikely that you can "become a better basketball player" over night (and that's not really a measurable goal for one day), but you can set an action goal to practice for 20 minutes or shoot 20 free throws after school.

So what were some of my students' "one things"?

Did you see some of the things they came up with?!?! I thought their ideas were precious and important. And, I couldn't help but to think that I was sending home a much sweeter child that was more willing to be helpful around the house, with new-found energy and commitment to be productive and helpful. I thought many parents might be thinking "Who is this kid and why is he cleaning my child's room?!?!" Haha!

I also think that while my students may not feel overwhelmed like adults do, and I may be trying to teach them something that they do not yet fully understand (the importance of goals, time management, consistency, and follow-through), I do believe that I have planted a seed that provides them with an awesome life strategy. Just do that "one thing" that is weighing on your mind. That will make your life better and that, my friends, is really important for you to take control over.


If you've missed any of my highlights, you can click through here.


Transitioning to a New School


Spiral Math Homework


"One Thing" Goal Setting Strategy


School Budget {Govt} Project


Bill Peet Author Study Projects


Poetry Workshop


{State} Travel Brochure Projects


Classroom Read Alouds {Chapter Books}


Ecosystems Museum Projects


"Teach Me How to Teach" Projects


Top Math Highlights