I’m tired of making resolutions every January 1st and then feeling guilty about not staying on track the 364 days that follow. While some people are quite successful at keeping their resolutions, most of us drop the ball within the first week. Why do we even put ourselves through this exercise in futility every year?
This year, in honor of Carol Dweck and her phenomenal book Mindset, I have decided to focus my energy on changing my mindset – the way I see and respond to the situations and people around me – rather than on losing weight, getting up earlier, or making sure I don’t let ungraded papers pile up on my desk! Don’t get me wrong, I need to lose weight, get up earlier (although 5:15 isn’t all that late), and commit to a faster turn-around time for student work. Hopefully I’ll do all three this year, but I’m not tying these behaviors to “resolutions.”
Instead, I want to change my mindset – to be more positive, more kind, more empathetic, and more gracious.
Because the truth is, while being thinner and grading papers faster may be good goals, my students won’t remember me for either. They’re going to remember how I treated them and how I made them feel, long before they remember how I looked or how many days I took to return their work.
So, what’s my mindset for 2015? I tried to capture it in the poem below. Sure, it’s kind of corny but sometimes the corny sticks with us longer than the cool (think about commerical jingles, like “The best part of waking up is Foldgers in your cup” if you don’t believe me!).