New Year, New Goals

This is the time of the year when everyone starts making New Years Resolutions. One of the more popular New Years Resolutions is about losing weight. This is a New Years Resolution I have made myself countless times. I used to say things like I will not eat chocolate this entire year (yeah right).

Everyone is going to holiday gatherings and indulging. I'm currently a weight watchers member and we were told that the average person gains between 7 and 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. If you start counting the holiday season with Halloween it's probably closer to 15 pounds instead of 10. I need to stay focused because I don't want to go back to the old me. I'm not saying I deny myself 100% because that's unrealistic. I don't want to push things off and say "I'll start again after the holidays." No one is perfect but if I indulge, it's just one day, I need to make sure I'm back on track the very next day.

When I used to call them resolutions I never stuck to them so now instead of resolutions I make goals. I also try to set realistic, attainable goals. If I make my goals too big and I don't reach them I'll be disappointed in myself. So I set numerous small goals and I reward myself (not with food lol) when I reach them. I know that using the word goal instead of resolution is just semantics, but I feel like that helps me.

I'm not just talking about my weight, although my weight and my health have been a major focus in my life the past two years. I always say "this year I'm going to be more organized" and that doesn't happen because I don't have a great system. I've tried a folder for each class, I've tried a hanging folder with different pockets, and I've tried having a tray for each class. If you can think of a way to help a teacher that can't find her desk that would be great.

The only thing that's truly helped is collecting less papers. I only collect essays, projects, quizzes and tests now. I don't collect classwork or homework anymore. I walk around with my iPad with my nifty online gradebook and I give them credit on the spot. I do a lot of journal writing with my students and they keep them in the back of the room. I tend to only check those at the end of each marking period. I tell the kids how many entries they should have and I use a rubric.

I have my students make goals in September and we revise/update them in January when we come back from the break. I make them come up with 3 measurable goals that are attainable. We come up with both individual goals and class goals. My school likes to use SMART goals.


What are SMART goals?

Specific
•Well defined
•Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project

Measurable
•Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is
•Know when it has been achieved

Attainable
•Agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be

Results-based
•Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time

Time-bound
•Enough time to achieve the goal
•Not too much time, which can affect project performance

Click here for a free PowerPoint Lesson and a SMART Goal template I use in my classes.




I hope you have a wonderful new year. Good luck with setting goals for yourself and helping your students set their own goals.




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