Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back in the Habit


Ever feel like you are running through life on a treadmill?  Going nowhere fast?  Maybe it’s just me! I started this blog 3 months ago, and at the start I had this brilliant idea that I would hit the ground running.  After my first couple of weeks writing, that run turned into a light to hefty sprint...and now... 3 1/2 months...later I feel like a sloth.

I had the idea that I would post to my blog at least every week...that weekly post turned into a bi-weekly post...then to a monthly post...and here I am now, at what appears to be a quarterly post.  I started this as an outlet...to de-stress from my day, and hopefully be a resource to many of you.   I told myself that I would put my cape on and handle any and everything that came my way.  I didn't register the fact that I was starting at a new school twice the size of my previous one...or that I had 3 times as many responsibilities, or that I would have more involvement with my districts leadership team.  (These are just a few of the factors I didn't consider).   

                                                   Image result for superwoman logo

After the first few weeks went by, I forgot about the superhero inside.  When I say that I forgot, it's not to say that she no longer existed...it's to say I didn't take the time I needed to re-energize myself in order to let her shine.  Let me explain.  When you go through your daily routines and life in general, you have to take a minute every now and again and let yourself unwind.  This is what you call "self-care".  I was horrible at it.  There were many days that I didn't eat lunch because I was so consumed with the day to day needs in my building.  When I missed lunch, I was so tired and hungry by the time I left work, (many days 2 hours after I could have left) I would rush to pick up something quick to eat, get home, eat, and then get ready to do it all over again the next day.  I was exhausted...When I finally did make it home, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on my computer.  If I did turn it on, it was to finish up on something I didn't get to during my work day.  Truth be told, blogging was the last thing I felt I had time for in my schedule.  Even my weekends were consumed with taking care of things for other people.  The only "care" I gave to myself, was when I wanted to do nothing at all.

                                              Image result for relaxing

As the semester progressed, nothing slowed down...the only thing that completely stopped, was the motivation and fire I had at the beginning of the semester for blogging.  This is not what I wanted.  I had to find a way to take care of me so I could be better for others, but more importantly, so I could let the superhero inside of me do what she was intended to do...motivate and encourage.  Something had to change.  Like many of you, I thought about what could I resolve to do better in 2016?  As I was pondering this, my principal sent out an assignment for our staff.  He asked us to view a video clip explaining a very simple concept by Jon Gordon. The concept is from one of his many books, "One Word that Will Change Your Life"   We were challenged to think about this, and find our One Word.

(Click on the book to watch the 3.5 minute clip)

At the start of each year, we tend to set all these new goals...things we want to do, but in reality, most of us fail to stick to the action plan to reach the goal.  This isn't to say that setting goals isn't important, but Gordon suggests instead of focusing on this big goal, we should pick One Word to live by.  One Word that describes something we need to either improve or work on in our life, and if we focus on that One Word, we will easily reach our goals.  After watching this clip, and thinking about what I would choose... (Because realistically, there are so many words and so many things I can work on), I settled on FOCUS.  I chose Focus because when I thought about it, I realized that I have so many "irons in the fire" that I never fully take one out and let it cool before I add another one.  When I do this, it has me pulled in so many different ways.  If I narrow my sights in on "Focusing" better, I can fully complete one task before I add another.  Doing this will allow me to be a more effective and efficient counselor.  

With that being said, it’s important to take time out for yourself.  Like the flight attendants say, "Please secure your own mask before assisting others."  So in 2016, I'm done with setting unrealistic expectations and securing everyone else's mask while I'm still trying to breathe. (Because really, what good will either us be if neither one of us can breathe!) In 2016 I'm going to FOCUS!  What are you going to do?  What will be your One Word?