We’re not denying the value of reflection. As educators, we understand how important it is to think back and see what worked and where we need to pivot. However, you can’t move forward if you’re not at least looking in that direction! So yes, take a glance over the last year, but don’t forget to turn back around. Think about driving your car. Sometimes it’s necessary to reverse (back out of your driveway or a parking spot), but it’s much quicker to get where you’re going if you drive forward.
So how do you look forward into 2022 as a Year-in-Preview?
- Set goals! To clarify, goals are not resolutions. We don’t do “New Year’s Resolutions” because everyone knows that they never last! Work goals, fitness/health goals, reading goals, personal goals, basketball goals (maybe not that last one, unless that’s your thing. In which case, GO FOR IT)! Make small goals. Make big LOFTY goals for the year. They don’t all have to be SMART goals. You have our permission to dream BIG. Some of these bigger goals may come with smaller steps you have to take before getting there. Include those benchmarks too in your plans for 2022.
- Plan vacations – big, family trips or a weekend with your friends… or spa days, golf days, pool days, whatever you need to rest and recharge. Put it on the calendar! Make time for yourself this year.
- Professional development – continue to learn and build your craft. Add to your toolbox. Learn a new skill. Develop a new activity, lesson, unit.
- Any big life changes on the horizon? Getting married? Having a baby? Adopting a pet? Moving across town, across the state, the country, or the world? Renovating your home? These are all exciting things to look forward to.
- Make a vision board (or five)! Make your goals and plans visual and hang it up somewhere you will see it every day. Where do you see yourself going professionally? Personally? In your family and friend relationships? If you don’t have a vision, you won’t have a direction or a purpose in the big picture of life.
What if you can’t reach that goal by December 31st? Some things just take a little longer, and that’s okay. That’s why this isn’t about New Year’s Resolutions. This is a jumping-off point from where you are right now to get you where you want to go, or at least pointed in the right direction. Start with this year and see where you end up. Then, when you’re sitting down at the end of December, thinking about your year-in-review, compare notes. How many goals did you crush? How much closer are you to this dream or that idea? We bet you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment, and who doesn’t want that?