Springtime is the perfect time to reset and create lasting habits!
by Andrea Korreck, IASP President
As we get into spring, we think about new growth, such as flowers coming up and the grass turning green again. We might also think about cleaning up…..closets, landscaping, and so forth. This might also be a good time to think about cleaning up your administrative habits!
How many of you started the year with ambitious goals? (I hope we all did!) Then, how many of you got caught up in the daily grind and business of being a Principal, and didn’t quite get there? (Be honest, I’ll bet many of you did!) Then, the New Year came and maybe you vowed to get back on track. Practice self-care, get into classrooms more, make positive phone calls everyday, chart those formative assessment results, and on and on. Now, you are most likely looking forward to planning end-of-the-year activities and even setting plans for the next school year. Why think about the past goals? Why try to recover those resolutions and goals? Simple: it’s never too late to establish, or refine, habits! After all, think about how much more successful you might be with next year’s big goals if you work to reset and create those habits now.
First and foremost, consider your “Why?” Ultimately, everything we do is about the kids we serve. Would you ever tell one of them that it’s too late to change a habit, or to put forth effort? To me, that is a huge motivator! I want my students, “my kids,” to see an example of hard work within a purpose. If they see us slack off simply because the year is in its last few weeks, kids (and staff) will feel that and possibly do the same.
As human beings, we always want to end on a positive note! (Read Daniel Pink’s book, When, for the science behind this.) So…..would you really be happy with just ending the school year or do you want to end on a victorious note? Whether you end just having checked off your list of duties and tasks, or conclude having accomplished your personal goals will make a huge difference!
But what if it’s too late to really accomplish all I dreamt of when the year began? Again, would you ever tell a student it’s too late to at least improve? When you look at assessment results and they’re not as high as you’d like them, do you at least take note of the growth? There are at least two full months of school left for most of us and I’ve heard it said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Plenty of time! Look at your goal, or set a new one. Count the days left in your school year, and calculate how many times you can complete something related to that goal, realistically. Start charting it today, and reflect on it at the end. Did you grow? Did you improve? Use that to either continue or tweak into the next school year. Think of how much more successful you will be and how much stronger the beginning of a new year will be with that habit already begun!
I love meaningful quotes, so I have included a few below! Here’s to hoping that you use this springtime to clean up those habits and end strong!
“Our character is basically a composite of our habits because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns. They constantly, daily, express our character.”
“It’s not about perfect, it’s about effort. And when you bring that effort everyday, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.”
“Consciously create habits, because habits unconsciously dictate your life.”