With the start of the new year comes a preponderance of resolutions, anti-resolutions, intentions and every shade in between. I have found myself in many of those camps. I have made specific resolutions. I have made goals, goals upon goals. Last year, I set up some intentions which I will revisit in next week’s post. I have even contemplated abandoning goals for the year altogether. So, where does this leave me for this year?
This year, I have chosen a theme, a specific thought to keep in mind throughout the year to focus on. The biggest reason that I chose a theme rather than specific goals strikes right at the heart of the theme itself, the deep dive.
Just weeks ago, I finally figured out something that has plagued me for as long as I can remember. I have a lot of grand ideas; I like to make big, audacious goals. Many times, however, those audacious goals morph into things easily accomplished by surface activities like reading a certain number of books or taking a bunch of pictures.
I have some big goals that I have yet to accomplish, like qualifying for Boston or publishing a novel. I will not go so far as to say that my reluctance to dive deep has kept me from accomplishing those goals. It is, however, a significant factor.
This tendency to approach the meaty, significant work like a magnet approaching another similarly charged magnet has affected my teaching. Over the past year and a half, I observed how relatively easy it has been for me to knock out grading or formatting as compared to data analysis or unit planning. I desperately want to change this.
Thus, my theme for 2018 is “dive deep” in three specific areas: teaching, writing and running.
How will this work?
The main thing I plan to actively do this year is consistently remind myself to dive deep, keep going even when the going gets hard. This means that I will prioritize those three things over other things that I like to do such as reading and cross stitching. I do not plan to cut those things out entirely, simply reprioritize them.
I do not expect that this change will occur overnight. These habits have grown for nearly htree decades and will take a bit of time to reform. This theme also serves as my goal, my intention, for 2018. I want to look back on 2018 and see quality experiences in those three areas and more. When I read a book, I want to slow down and dig deep, really comprehend and glean significant information from the book. When I write, I want to dig deep as I put pen to paper, crafting narratives that address reality in real, quality ways. When I run a race, I want that performance accurately reflect all the effort that I put into training. When I look back at the two semesters of the year, I want to see performances from my students that reflect teaching molded and modified to best reach the students where they are so that they can succeed on the arbitrary high stakes tests.
Part of me wonders if I have bitten off more than I can chew. That part still clings to the idea that I will be able to achieve this depth and maintain it while still balancing my achiever tendencies regarding the ideas of “read-all-the-books” and “complete-every-cross-stitch piece” and, well, I could go on. This tendency will be the tendency, or in other words, habit, which I will strive to change in 2018.
From breadth to depth.