A New Year’s Resolution

It’s the New Year and with it comes the usual resolutions that many people make. Like most, I’ve sat down and put together a list of things that I have resolved that need to improve or change in this upcoming year. For the most part, my goal is to change the way that I do things in a few aspects of my life and, with the changes, hopefully change some of how I’ve been feeling these past few months.

Seize the Day

One of the things that I’ve noticed in myself is that I have been EXPECTING things to happen a particular way and then, when my expectations aren’t met, I’ve reacted in a less than suitable manner. So, much of my current angst at work is, in fact, been created because I am not “seizing the day” and making each day a great day. In fact, my mood over the past few months has been more akin to “seizures”! Not wanting to go into details, I can safely say that the great discussion and advice that I have received these past few days from my last two posts, especially from Jean Tower who pointed out

The relationships have to come first. People have to know you care about and understand them and their work before they follow you down some new technology path. Laying groundwork takes time. I start with hints, showing good examples, step up to “we ought to be thinking about this” language, and then nudge further. By the time we actually take the leap, everyone feels truly like they own part of the decision. Having established relationships and laid the groundwork, I can more easily introduce the changes that lead to small wins. The point is, I think, to reframe our measures of leadership success. I no longer expect to (or hope to) make huge, wholesale changes all the time. I don’t think I am setting my expectations too low, but rather, that I am looking at the bigger picture and the long term.

This really struck me since, for my part, I’ve had to be honest with myself about what exactly I am doing right now. And being honest means that I have needed to reflect on why I’m in this profession. Unfortunately, my answers, after some deep reflection, wasn’t where I want them to be – I’ve had my vision clouded by my “desire to rise up the chain”. After reading Jean’s comment, I realized that I needed to decide why I was doing what I’m doing and what I needed to change to make things positive right now – I needed to “reframe the situation” as Scott suggested.

Reframing the basement

I’ve done a fair amount of renovating through the years – having moved 8 times and redone 6 houses in that timespan, I’ve spent many an hour ripping out and reworking things. What is always interesting is that you never know what you’ll find once the renovations begin! My last project, the basement in our current house, went from a little take this out and replace that to a gut and do over. I spent many hours reframing the basement so that it would suit our family structure and yet be practical. One of the things I did was made sure that there  was adequate space for everyone and I didn’t leave much space for storing up things. By doing this, we have to make decisions about what we need to keep and what is no longer of any use to us and needs to go – somewhere. Somehow, over the past few months, I’ve been storing up things that I really should have let go – a very real reflection of my own personal happenings – I’ve been storing up things, waiting for changes here or there – relying on others to do the reframing for me. So, over the holidays, I’ve spent a few hours cleaning things out, getting rid of what needs to be gotten rid of and putting other things away properly so that I can find them – like that darn Christmas tree stand  which I spent 4 hours looking for – when I need them and not waste time doing unneeded looking for things.

The same is what I plan to do in a few aspects of my life. When I run into a problem, I tend to do cleaning – it helps me to sort things out and put things in perspective – and my wife really likes it too! So, as I was doing the sorting and cleaning,  I was able to think about what Jean, Scott, Mighuel and others have said and put some perspective on what I feel needs to be done. So, in no particular order, my 2010 Resolutions:

  • Begin to do my workouts in the morning – body, mind and spirit all need care (besides the PX90 needs dusting off!)
  • Finally quit my cigar habit – occasional is still occasional
  • Get my planning and correcting done after my workouts in the morning when I’m fresh.
  • Eat healthy – 6 meals spaced out for consistent energy – I know this is a huge energy changer!
  • Run a 10km with my daughter in July – a specific goal that will spur me on.
  • Read regularly – a book a week is my goal.
  • Blog regularly about technology enhancing school and helping school administrators

Not earth shattering but they each give me specific things to accomplish – I’ll be putting even more specific dates on a few things so that the goals are specific.

So what does this have to do with my current situation? Well, I’ve realized that much of what I’ve been pawning off on others or on circumstances is really mine and I need to own it. Time is a key factor in my life – it has changed hugely with this new job and I haven’t adjusted accordingly. Also, instead of adopting and owning my current position, I’ve been allowing others to frame it for me, not something I usually do. I’ve wandered from the path and need to get back on. My focus will once again be improving the school where I am – one day at a time.

Finally, my future posts will focus on using technology as an administrator – something I should have been doing all along!

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