2016 Goals Update: Books & Being Intentional

My physical”to read” stack
in January 2016

Somewhere a while back I heard that if you can keep your New Year’s Resolution through Valentine’s Day, then you have a pretty good shot at making it stick. Well, Valentine’s Day is just 2 days away, and it’s time to reflect back on the first 6 weeks of 2016.

I didn’t set any formal New Year’s Resolutions this year; however, I did set two goals. Goal #1 is to read and/or listen to at least 100 books. (Past 3 years totals: 2013 = 54, 2014 = 84, 2015 = 57) Of the 100 books this year, my goal is to read at least 52, and fill in the rest with audiobooks. So far, I am at 11 books (6 books, 5 audiobooks), which according to Goodreads is on schedule. Success! My physical to-read shelf is huge, and I have an equal number of ebooks on hold or on my wishlist via the public library.

Goal #2 is my #OneWord2016, “Intentional.” I am striving “to be more intentional with how, why, and where I spend my time and energy.” (Read original blog post here) In the last 6 weeks, I have been keenly aware of my progress on this goal, although I haven’t been doing any formal monitoring (should I?). I find myself better able to prioritize tasks at home and at work to maximize my time. Energy is harder for me to regulate since I’m always “go go go!” and don’t stop to think often enough. Nonentheless, I’m proud of myself for sticking with my one word resolution beyond the initial hype in the first week of January.

#OneWord2016 goal: Intentional

Here’s how I’ve been more intentional: 

  • Less checking work email, grading, and lesson planning at home. When I do, I either set a timer  as a limit or mentally note that this is “work time” and when I’m done, it is no longer work time. And with that, not feeling guilty if I take a break from working, even when my to-do list is long. 
  • I’m addicted to my Passion Planner, in a good way (I have this one).  I have a full size one, and even though it is big, it’s perfect. I love starting my week by looking ahead at what is coming up, setting a focus for each day and a goal for the week. At the end of the week, I reflect back on what I accomplished, and use that to plan for the next week. 
  • Shutting off technology more frequently and enjoying time with my boyfriend and dog, or a book. 
  • Pouring time and energy into great projects with the one and only Justin Birckbichler, including #FlyHighFri (read blog post and Teacher2Teacher feature) and #Teach20s (read blog post). We’re also “well underway” with our EduRoadTrip podcast, featuring Justin, Greg Bagby, and myself. 
  • I have said “no” to some great opportunities, knowing I would not be able to give my full time and effort. As bummed as I feel/felt for not being a part of these things, deep down I know it was the best decision for me. 
Here’s what I am currently working on: 
  • Spending more time at home pursuing hobbies and things that make me happy! Including baking, playing piano, crocheting, and working on my scrapbooks. 
  • Not getting so distracted at work by other people and thi—ooh shiny! (As I was writing this, I got up to play with the dog for 5 minutes. Case in point) Really though, if I don’t number my to-do list, I end up doing half of every task, but not actually getting things done. 

I accept the fact that I am a work in progress, and 2016 has been a fun journey so far!

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