New Year Resolution in July?

(Greetings from Greece-heading back to the US today after a trip of a lifetime. More on that in next month’s blog)

As I shared in my last blog post, May was a challenging month for me as I grieved some significant personal losses, prompting a time of self-reflection. Thinking back on cherished memories with loved ones who are no longer with me brings pangs of pain or smiles of solace (depending on how I’m feeling at the time) as I reminisce. That was my “vibe” as I headed into June, which happens to be my birthday month, feeling my feelings and processing them. On my actual birthday I was able to spend some quiet time alone in the morning, which provided me the chance to journal about my last year of life and anticipate my own personal “New Year”. I spent time contemplating and capturing important life lessons of the last year. Each experience contributes towards my own evolution. I also took time to anticipate my future and where this life’s journey may take me on my next trip around the sun. As I was going through that exercise, I realized that I was creating my own “new year’s resolution”. Even though it wasn’t January, the typical time for resolutions, it was the beginning of another year for me. It sorta seemed appropriate to kick it off like that.

If you’ve read some of my January blogs, you know how I feel about resolutions. IF they work for you, I’m all about it. But frequently they don’t last and become an exercise in futility, a waste of time and who has time to waste? However, I do love the idea of adopting a theme or motivation for the new year. Perhaps picking a word that can become your point of focus. Historically, I’ve used “intention” or “perseverance” for example. A couple of weeks ago my daughter, after waiting patiently, got a tattoo of “Patience” (see what I did there) on her neck. She had been considering it for a while and thought it would be a helpful reminder to her to be…patient. Since she got it, it’s been amazing to see how often we hear or use that word. It’s like your awareness increases, which in this case is a good thing. Please note, I’m not advocating for you to get a tattoo reminder (unless you want to and if you do, we have a good family tattoo artist to whom I can refer you).

Even though I had selected a word for myself for 2022. I decided to choose a new word to be my focus for the next year of my life. I opted not to share my word just yet, but I will at the right time. And I’ve noticed more opportunities to demonstrate the characteristic of my word. The universe is always happy to respond and push you towards your higher goals. I can’t say I’ve been consistent in this endeavor since my implementation but as with all things it’s a work in progress. Blogging about it serves as a good reminder and a small measure of accountability.  

As the school year…(insert cheers here) I hope you head into your summer break with a determination to prioritize yourself and your own well-being. Perhaps you have some energy left to sit quietly and reflect on the last year. What went well? What was difficult? How are you better now because of those experiences? What have you learned? Are there new strategies you can attempt for the next year? Can you establish boundaries? Where and how can you set up those perimeters or guardrails to ensure you are protecting yourself? How can you better pace yourself? What are ideas for attending to your own well-being?

I’ve had some opportunities to work with a few districts at the end of this school year. Usually, I’m the busiest at the beginning of the school year providing workshops and professional development for educators around their own self-care and social emotional health. But this year, people are more aware and committed to prioritizing the well-being of their staff even before the end of the school year, knowing it will be the focus in the fall. It has been super encouraging!

So, as you take your hard-earned, well-deserved break, perhaps this could be a good opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider setting a resolution. Maybe you have one for over the summer, like sleep in or take a nap or read a book or go for a walk every day or all of the above. However, remember it’s ok to start small and in fact that’s probably an even better approach. Engage in behaviors that seem manageable but beneficial. Get into good habits that bolster your well-being, as they become second nature, you can take them with you into the new school year and until your next birthday.