Sunday, January 1, 2017

Balance: One Word 2017

My first post of 2017!! 2016 was full of personal and professional triumphs, and it was also full of personal and professional lows. One that I felt helped me when things got dark and heavy was my word that chose to represent 2016. Hope. There were times that I had a lot of hope and times that I felt like I had none. However, I learned more about hope than I ever thought or imagined. I learned where to place and not place my hope. I always learned to look for hope. I learned there is always hope, even if it is the hope of a donut and cup of coffee in the morning.

This year my word might seem a little less ideological and might be a bit more practical, but I feel like that truth that I can learn from applying this idea will help me become a better Christ follower, a better woman, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, a better dog mom, and a better educator.

2017 is the year of the donut! Just kidding donut is not my one word of the year, but it was a close runner up. This year my one word that I will drive my thinking, my living, and my teaching is balance.

This word has two different aspects for this year, and it is my hope that my fellow For the Love readers that you can find the some the same truths in these words. I struggle with two very specific areas of balance in my life: balancing my professional life with my personal life and finding the balance of taking feedback and learning from it and not taking it personally.

In regards to aspect number one, sometimes if I could I would work 24/7. I’m going to share something that I think might just shock my fellow educators...we were not created to work all the time. Yes, what we do is so very important and sometimes to prepare and be ready for the important task we have at hand it requires us to give a little bit more of our time. However, when we get to the point that we start becoming obsessed with our work and our teaching that we ignore other areas of our lives, our teaching begins to suffer. Or at least that is what happens to me! My students deserve 100% of me every single day and when I am not at my best they feed off of that energy. When they feed off of, my negative energy chaos ensues. So what does this all mean for me? In 2017, I will leave what I can of my work at work. As educators we know that hours that we have to put into outside of the classroom and I’m not saying that I will stop pursuing and plan to make my teaching and my classroom better, what I am saying is that I will take time and manage my time in a way that I can make the most out of my time. (It makes sense in my head, just go along with it). Today I made a practical daily plan to achieve balance between my personal and professional lives.

Use Of A Daily Planner.-There is so many options out there for planners and agendas. From very simple to more complex. I love my planner! Wherever I goes. My planner helps me think about my day and how to make the most use out of the time that I have.

The Top Three-Each day I start with the top three things that must get done that day. Yes, I might have other things that I need to happen and need to get done, but if those tasks aren’t accomplished, they can be added to the top three for the next day. I make sure that before I leave work, I have checked my top three off of my list.

Leave Work At Work.- It will still be there tomorrow. When I’m home or when I’m with friends, I want to be focused on them and not on rehearsal plans and field trip forms.

Take Time To Do The Things I Love- I love long walks and hikes with my dog. So I make it a priority that the first thing I do when I get home is a long walk with my precious pup. Each night I will do one that I love. Serving others, watching Netflix, reading, writing, or dinner or drinks with friends are all things I love, and when I am doing those things I won’t be doing or working on work.

What works for me might not work for you, and that is really what balance is all about finding what works for you.

Another area in my life that needs balance is how I receive feedback. Feedback is so important, but my downfall with feedback is that I somehow take every little thing personally. For example, a judge at choral contest stated they didn’t like how I conducted one measure in one of our pieces. One measure out of like 85. I was so mad and so defeated. I know it might sound crazy, but that same judge gave me so much more positive feedback. I spent hours breaking apart that one comment that I couldn’t even be thankful for the positive feedback. I lacked balance. This one will be harder for me to handle and I honestly don’t really have a plan for this one, I’m just going to have to work through this one.

So what is your word for 2017? I would love to hear your thoughts! Have a great 2017 and my the donuts always be in your reach.

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