Goodbye 2021. Hello 2022.

As a teacher with many years of experience in the classroom, I’ve learned the power in reflecting on my practice in order to become better at what I do. Exit-slips, student surveys, feedback from my peers, and thinking about my day during my 70 minute commute all help me analyze and evaluate my teaching, allowing me to make changes and improvements for the next time around. This practice has become ingrained into my daily routine and helps me deliver future lessons more effectively.

Reflecting on the previous year is a bigger task, but again crucial if I want to consider setting goals, or in my case choosing my #OneWord for the year. This year I was guided by my #OneWord2021 which was INTENTION. INTENTION meant making plans, setting regular short term goals, and taking control of the steps needed to bring those plans to fruition. INTENTION allowed me to feel as if I am in control. By being INTENTIONAL I ensured that school work was planned and organized in the best way possible for my students. By being INTENTIONAL I made time to work my way through that ever-growing to-do list at home, and by being INTENTIONAL I found ways in which to carve out time for self-care whether that be through readingexercise, or meditation.

By being INTENTIONAL in my end-of-year reflection I aim to set myself up for success for next year. Joey Feith reflects by identifying his stars and stairs, and Justin Schleider talks about glows and grows, but whatever you call it, here’s my guide to reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the next twelve months.

I’ve tried finding the original source for this image without success. Thank you to @PrideandjoyMary for tweeting it to my attention.

Remembering Last Year 

I have such a terrible memory. I’m the person who when asked “how was your weekend?” has difficulty remembering the past 48 hours, so I definitely need help in reflecting on the past 12 months!

1 – Looking back through photographs helps me remember the experiences that I had with friends and family. Thankfully I use Google Photos, which gives free and unlimited storage for educators, to auto-backup all of my photographs. I can then search through my images by location (search my school for classroom photos and scans), or by faces (searching for family members). This puts a smile on my face and jogs my memory.

2 – Technology allows us to use metrics to identify our popular experiences.

I can use the Top 9 app to find my popular Instagram posts – you are following my @carmelhealth account aren’t you?

I can reflect on the year by taking a look back at what I was blogging about – Here are the Top 5 #slowchathealth Blog Posts of 2021.

Regular readers of the blog will know that I love my Peloton, and their #PelotonCooldown wrap up of my year of activity has already allowed me to set goals for next year (hint – more yoga, more stretching, and longer rides).

I’m surrounded by music all the time and I use it to accompany whatever I’m doing – music to study to, music to cook to, music to work out to…you get the picture. Spotify’s Wrapped feature took me on a deep dive into my most memorable listening moments of the year complete with great graphics and a Top 100 playlist. Here’s mine, which suggests my kids have been using my Spotify(!).

(Every year I collate a playlist of the songs that catch my eye ear. Here’s my 2021 playlist)

Reflecting On The Year

Are you looking for some prompts to help you reflect on the past year? Well. look no further. Here’s the questions that I’ll be asking myself before setting goals for next year.

Looking Ahead to Next Year

It’s that time of year when one of our #healthed skills, goal setting, gets a lot of media coverage. New Year’s Resolutions will be talked about at home and people will be encouraged to think of ways in which to improve themselves, usually after dwelling on their imperfections. However, because these resolutions tend to be behavior based often we set ourselves up for failure. “I want to quit caffeine”, “I want to visit the gym more”, “I’m going to lose weight”. The trouble with these resolutions is that they are too easily broken, which inevitably leads to failure (or guilt).

As mentioned above, one alternative to the traditional new years resolution is the concept of one word. The theory behind this idea is that we choose a guiding word that points us towards the type of person that we want to become. And unlike a resolution, a single word can’t be broken. I think of it more as a gentle nudge in the direction towards a more improved version of myself.

Since 2014 I have chosen my own #OneWord to guide me, and words have included resilience, advocacy, provocation, collaboration and environment. I’ll reveal my word for next year in a later post, but until then, consider these prompts to help shape your goal/word for the year ahead.

If you are considering choosing a #OneWord for yourself for next year, you should check out my #OneWord2021 blog post which shares my experience with choosing a word to guide my actions over the course of a year.

Next week I’ll share my chosen word for 2022….once I’ve narrowed it down from the ideas floating around in my head.

Here are a few #slowchathealth questions to take us towards the end of the year.

Q1. Have you ever chosen a #oneword before? How was it for you? #slowchathealth

Q2. What will your #oneword be for 2022? #slowchathealth

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