By: Mandy Matthews, EN-ACT Co-founder
I am bummed to say that summer is almost over. Yes, it is time to turn in our beach bags for book bags and enjoyable summer reading for lesson plan prep. Though summer is the time to refresh, reground, and practice self-care, I challenge you to keep it going! What is stopping you from continuing your casual date nights with your partner or spending 10 minutes to walk around the block? Educators, let’s unite, let’s be each other’s accountability buddy and set some goals for how we want this next academic year to go for ourselves.
These intentions are not just for you as a professional educator, they are also for you to stay present and grounded and to avoid burnout. I have some suggestions for how to set achievable goals, so you can have the best school year yet!
The goals that you set can be both professional and personal goals. Professional goals are things that you as an educator want to grow, learn, or experience this next year. These are the goals that can help with your morale and keep the wheels turning, keep you motivated. Personal goals are the things that you will hold yourself accountable for so you can ensure that while you are taking care of your students, you are also taking care of yourself. I can’t emphasize enough how important these goals are for your mental health and overall happiness.
Here are four tips and things that I do to keep myself in check throughout the year, or even just the day:
1. Identify Your Goals
This is probably the most difficult part, identifying your goals! This takes time; time to reflect, soul search, and vision where you see yourself in the next six months or the next year. Though I might not know where I see myself in the next five years, it’s a lot easier for me to vision a year ahead, or even just six months.
Here are four questions I ask myself while I am reflecting (FYI this usually happens when I’m at the beach!):
What do I want to learn this year?
What do I want to create in the next six months?
What will be my self-care routine?
What are my leadership goals?
After answering these questions, I create a game plan on HOW I will accomplish my goals. My questions then change:
How will I learn it?
How will I create it?
How will I create this self-care routine for myself?
How will I develop my leadership skills?
It’s important to identify the method in which you will get to your goals. It’s one thing to dream, but it’s another to spend time creating the game plan and steps in which you will get there. For this step, I like to use my Passion Planner.
2. Use a Passion Planner (or other mode of writing your goals)
A great tool to help create the next steps with your year-end goal is to create a “gamechanger” roadmap with your Passion Planner. First, choose one of your goals, professional or personal, that will have the most positive impact for you. Write it down in the center of a piece of paper and start writing all the steps that will help you achieve the goal.
After writing all the steps, review them and get more specific. Create a timeline and details on when you will do that step. From there, transfer and schedule that time for yourself in your Passion Planner or wherever you keep your calendar. Hold yourself accountable by ensuring that you stick to that time. Tell your partner, friends, colleagues that you will be unavailable on that day/time of the week to work on your goal.
3. Vision Board
If using a planner and visual mapping is not for you, try creating a vision board. Start by identifying your top goal for your overall happiness, and begin to picture yourself of what that looks like. If your goal is to get healthy, how does that look like in your daily routine? Do you vision yourself meditating more? Prepping meals on Sunday? Joining a hiking club?
Start to collect images from magazines, flyers, online and collage a vision board for your goal. When collaging, avoid trying to make the “perfect” collage. Make the collage for your own purposes, it is not about the end picture of what it looks like or how pretty it looks.
After you finish your vision board, post it somewhere where you will see it everyday. Above your dresser, on the side of the fridge, in your closet, wherever that space is for you!
5. Set a Daily Intention
My last tip is important, it is to write down a daily intention. Your intention could be a word, or a small goal towards your larger goal, or even just something that you are grateful for. Setting an intention during your morning routine is a healthy way to start your day with a positive mindset that will hopefully keep you going. I like to write my intention in my planner or on a sticky note, and place it somewhere where I will see it multiple times in the day. Setting up small goals and intentions for ourselves, will help us as we transition into achieving our larger year-end goal.
I know that in the next school year, I definitely want to maintain some of my summer habits that keep me going. Try one of these four tips and see how it goes for you. Remember to start small, so you can achieve big things!
This blog is curated by EN-ACT creators, Mandy Matthews & Estella Owoimaha-Church.
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