Tuesday, January 1, 2013


     The popular word this time of year is 'resolution'. I hate making resolutions because I, invariably, like everyone else, break that resolution or lose sight of it within the first quarter of the year. Popular resolutions are 'lose weight', 'exercise', 'eat healthy', etcetera, etcetera, etcetera... While those are all fine and good, reality is not many people have the follow through to get those done or stay on the regimen that requires those to be done. Unfortunately, life 'gets in the way' and excuses abound for why we can't do this, that, or the other thing. I have used the excuse all school year that I'm too busy with work, with kids, with soccer to exercise. This past summer I used the excuse that we were moving and I had to pack. Excuses, excuses, excuses. We all have them in one way or another.

     I saw on a friend's Facebook page today that instead of making a resolution, she was going to pick a word - just one word - that would be her focus this year (see http://myoneword.org/ for more info). I like this idea because this one word can be incorporated into all aspects of your life. My word this year is PRACTICE. Why practice? As a teacher, I encourage my students to practice the skills that we are learning in class. Will they make mistakes as they practice? Most certainly! But that's the beauty of practice. You make a mistake, you pick yourself up, and you try again. Eventually, after enough practice, you have mastered the skill and it becomes second nature - you can do this now without thinking. I don't think that resolutions offer that great buffer of making mistakes. They tend to have that feeling of 'I'm going to do this, but once I make a mistake, fall off the wagon, etc, that's it. I'm done.' I want to practice making some changes this year. Will I make mistakes? Fall off the wagon? Stray from where I want to be? Of course! I'm human and we live in a world with a lot of readily available temptations.

     What am I going to practice this year? I'm going to practice living a healthier life. I'm going to practice exercise during the week, making healthier food choices, and getting to bed at an earlier time during the week. I'm going to practice more financial responsibility. Taking care of my family on less money and making better financial decisions for the livelihood of my family. I'm going to practice patience. Patience at school, at home, in public. Patience with family (especially my children 😊), coworkers, and strangers. I'm going to practice humility. I'm in an different position than I was a year and a half ago - my opinion and ideas at school are valued and sought out many days. I don't always handle it as graciously as I should. I'm going to practice love. I have some students that will give me lots of practice in that arena. But I really also need to practice love at home - letting my children know that I love them all the time, no matter what they do, showing my husband that I love him and value him and all he does for us. Will there be other things I need to practice? Probably. But I think I need to master a few of these before I can move on to some of those other areas that need practice. 

     I encourage you to think of a word that you can apply to your life this year and think of all the ways that it fits into your life. It's an interesting concept. Happy New Year. May it be filled abundantly for you.