“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”
Every year as the clock changes from 11:59 pm on December 31st to 12:00 am on January 1st, we have a new sense of ambition and fire underneath us to better our lives or others. Everyone sets new goals - they may be focused on their health and fitness or setting aside time for themselves each day. These goals or resolutions are what help to give a positive outlook for the year ahead. No matter what the past year may have dished out for each of us, we see that one minute difference as a fresh start.
As January comes to an end, sometimes the door to our New Year's resolutions also comes to a close. Although we may have jumped on the New Year goals all so eagerly, we may find ourselves pushing them to the side and only focusing on them when we think we have time or energy. Most of us know this all too well, and it may even deter us from setting New Year’s resolutions; I’m guilty of this. However; as many of us are student teaching, just starting out on the path to becoming a teacher, or somewhere in between, this is a crucial time that we also remember to take care of ourselves and try to set goals, even the smallest ones.
A focus of these goals tend to be around self-care, whether it be eating healthier, exercising, or bettering one's mental health and reducing stress. The end of January signals getting back into classes or taking on more in the classroom. For us aspiring educators, this could be one of the more stressful times of year; however, it doesn’t need to be. Though we may have not made any resolutions or goals for 2019 on January 1st or they have already been pushed to the side, it's not too late to set some right now to ensure that we are taking care of ourselves as we get back into our busy schedules.
Self-care is unique for each person and can seem like something that we may not always have time for. But, self-care can start as small as drinking more water throughout the day, going to sleep ten minutes earlier every night, or even just taking a short walk around campus or to a park every day. Focusing on just adding one small thing into your day that you want to do or will help you to relax is one way to achieve a self-care focused goal. No one is an expert when it comes to self-care but ourselves. I know I am not, but I can talk to my friends and look for small goals that I can set to work towards and figure out what works best for me.
What is something that you’ve always wanted to do for yourself? I know I personally wanted to drink more water; I talked to friends who I always see carrying around water bottles, and thought about my own schedule. I set reminders on my Fitbit and set small goals to work up towards such as drinking at least 32 ounces by lunch time. This is one area that I have found myself getting better at, mainly because I made it attainable and started small. When it comes to student teaching, in the short week I have already had I found myself feeling stressed about the projects and lesson plans I need to get done. I knew that if I did not try to find some way to feel better about all of the work, it would eventually catch up to me. Even though I have been knocking lesson plans out every day, I still feel stressed. I know that going to the gym or simply walking longer distances sometimes helps me feel calmer. Setting a goal for adding this into my schedule is hard and I have found myself debating if I have time or not, but I reminded myself that I could manage taking ten minutes out of my day to take at least a short walk.
I want this to be a reminder to everyone that even though we may be in different spots in our journeys to become teachers and we are all struggling with different things, we are also all there for each other. Ensuring that stress and other challenges don’t get to be too heavy is crucial. Do not hesitate to reach out to a friend or professional and set those small goals towards better self-care!
Let’s all use the change in time on January 31st at 11:59 pm to February 1st at 12:00 am as a time for a new us. Thinking about what we want to improve for ourselves and seeing what smaller goals we can use to work towards our ultimate goal. Any victory no matter how small is a victory, and we should always ensure that we are reaching our own victories.
Happy 2019 Student PSEA!
Happy 2019 Student PSEA!
Student PSEA President