10 Prompts to Help Look Ahead to Next Year

Earlier this week, I took time out of my day and reflected on the past 12 months, sharing my thoughts in a lengthy blog post. The practice was powerful and identified some themes I needed to be aware of. I responded to 10 prompts which have informed me of where I am and given me some ideas regarding where I want to be next year. Due to the success of my previous blog post and because I still want to model best practice and vulnerability, here are my (much shorter) answers to 10 prompts to help me look forward to 2023.

What type of person do you hope to become next year? 

I’m happy being me. I’ve been working on becoming me for the past 52 years, and I think I am close to being the finished article. I enjoy personal development, and I’m still enjoying my journey toward becoming the best father, son, husband, teacher, and person I can be. That said, I’d like to be more active next year (this year was challenging with double Achilles heel surgeries), and I can always work on my patience.

What overarching theme/focus will you choose for the year ahead? 

This question speaks to my 10-year practice of selecting a #OneWord to guide me throughout the coming 12 months. The theory behind the idea of identifying a single guiding word points us toward the type of person we want to become. And unlike a resolution, a single word can’t be broken. I visualize this as a word that sits on my shoulder and gently nudges me towards a more improved version of myself. In this article by Nicole Dean, she suggests that you decide what one thing if applied to every area of your life, will have the most impact and bring the most positive changes into your life. Then, apply that word to every area, situation, and task you find yourself. I’m still considering several possible words, but they are likely to be based around the idea of expansion. I want to broaden my horizons, widen my music and reading tastes, eat more expansively from new cultures, and visit new locations. Check out my very popular blog post in which I revealed my #OneWord2023 selection.

Who can help you develop as a professional? 

I love the idea portrayed in the image below. Taken from an article printed in 2002 it talks about how the manager of England’s soccer team has a network of ‘brilliant minds,’ also known as a ‘rebel ideas board.’ I refer to a collection such as this as a ‘Brains Trust,’ and although there are soccer experts on Southgate’s list, there are also brilliant minds from other sports. “The ideas that come forward are incredibly stimulating…use what you like and discard what you don’t”. My Twitter PLN has taken ten years to collate, and I know that when I need help and want to grow as an educator, I can call on a number of great minds. While I won’t name them in this blog post, I know, and they know, who they are. So if you still need to do so, ensure you don’t exist within an echo chamber. 

What personal qualities do you want to improve? 

My school has focused on personal qualities this year, and we encourage students to be bold, kind, and brave. I often find myself weaving these qualities into my everyday teaching. For example, when soliciting student responses to a prompt, I point out that brave students would have the courage to share their ideas. While on cafeteria duty, I ‘nudge’ students to be proud of their surroundings and throw garbage away. Acts of kindness are acknowledged. Always.

2022 tested and ultimately improved my patience. In 2023 I hope to improve my bravery (in trying new things) as I emerge from the shell into which I retreated during the pandemic. Referring to and modeling bravery with my new semester two students will be a great way to start the new year.

What strategies can you implement to ensure next year is a great year? 

Organization will be key to a successful 2023. My organizational skills have always needed improvement, and despite my best intentions at the start of the year, I inevitably fall into bad habits. However, I know that my best lessons, my best blog posts, my best sports practices, and even many of my most memorable family moments are those in which I have been intentional about planning. Thinking more about ways I can organize my planning at school and home will allow me to grow as an individual.

When next year gets stressful, what steps will you take to cope? 

While I hate to speak something into existence, there is no way 2023 can be anywhere as stressful as 2022. Read my 2022 reflection if you haven’t already done so. Listening to my body and allowing it to point me to the best coping strategy is always my aim. Sleep, good nutrition, joyful movement, and being mindful of my mental health allows me to deal with most stressors in my life.

Is there a big goal, a ‘stretch’ goal, a ‘moon shot’ idea you will shoot for next year? 

I would LOVE an invitation to present overseas (have your people call my people.)

Additionally, inspired by friends who have already had books published, I have an idea for a book that needs to be freed from my brain and put down in words. I started a draft version in 2022, and life got in the way. So if I had a ‘stretch’ goal for 2023, writing a book would be it.

With whom will you share your ideas for next year? 

Unfortunately, I have a track record of having more conceived than completed ideas!

When teaching my students the skill of goal-setting, I encourage them to recruit a team of motivators, and I will do the same. I know I’ll lean heavily on #TeamMilne. Sharing ideas with MY ‘Brains Trust’ allows me to refine those ideas before bringing them to a broader audience. My wife is level-headed and keeps my feet firmly on the ground. I trust what she has to say. Once finalized, my Twitter PLN is a great place to share ideas for further refinement and to hold me accountable. Let’s see if I can complete more ideas this year.

How would you like to remember next year when you look back on it in the future? At the end of each year, and often when signing holiday cards, I wish people a ‘healthy and happy new year,’ and that’s what I want for myself. I want my loved ones and I to be healthy in 2023, and I want us to be happy. If this year can also include professional success, that would be a bonus. With a potential trip to London being planned, reconnecting with overseas friends and family will be a highlight of the year.

How will you reward yourself if you deem next year to be successful? If physical rewards meant that much to me, I would have stayed in the recruitment industry when I stepped away from teaching after my first seven years in the profession. But instead, I found the lure of the emotional reward that comes with being an educator too strong, and I am thankful that I returned to the classroom two years later. 

If all of the above comes to fruition, that reward would be enough.

I wish YOU and those around you a healthy and happy 2023. Check out my annual #OneWord blog post to read more about the power of identifying a word to guide you over the coming 12 months.

If you like this post, you’ll also appreciate the following:

#OneWord to Rule Them All: A Fresh Take on New Year’s Resolutions

10 Prompts to Help Reflect on Your Year

Book of the Month

One thought on “10 Prompts to Help Look Ahead to Next Year

  1. Pingback: #OneWord to Rule Them All: A Fresh Take on New Year’s Resolutions – #slowchathealth

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