Happy New Year! Here's to a new beginning and to start a fresh! New Year resolutions are always fun to do with ourselves and our children. Studies show that many of these resolutions however, often end after the month of January ends. So, this year instead of a resolution I have decided on choosing a one word intention.
An intention, according to Webster means a determination to act in a certain way. A working definition is "to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim." The idea is when we lack intention, we often lose sight without knowing it. We have dreams or goals but no plan of how to get them. With intention, the idea is that the impossible will somehow become possible. Setting intentions can be specific or quite general. For example, some may set a new intention every day they wake up. Intentions can be to as simple as getting out in nature every day. Intentions can also help you meet short and long term goals all while trying to achieve your dreams.
When I think back to times in my life where I had to get through a really stressful time (even if they were also joyful times), I did have to set an intention. For example being the mother of two young children, my intention was patience. I loved this time, but I was also sleep deprived and anxious about the future, so I had to remind myself constantly to treasure it all. Another example, was the time in my life when I was achieving my doctorate and principal endorsement, along with renewing my national board teaching certification. There was no time for extra anything, so my intention in those three years was time management. Every minute of the day had to have purpose. The last two years living abroad, my intention probably has been travel and exploring all I could with my family. Now, I feel like in my new role as principal and new to a community, my goals must change and focus more than ever before on relationships. I have so many incredible relationships in my life which I am grateful for, however life has been crazy since moving here and it is time to slow down and work on these. Ironically, we moved here to Montana for relationships- to be closer to family, so it makes sense that I now work on more friendships and becoming a connected part of the community. Strong schools make strong communities but all that strength comes from strong relationships. Growing relationships with my students, staff, and parents may be my goal so I think my one word intention will be kindness. When times are tough, I will choose kindness and when times are great I will choose kindness. The quote I am thinking about from the book Wonder is “If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than necessary- the world would really be a better place”.
I have never set an intention like this purposefully before so I am excited to see how this goes. Maybe this is something you want to try yourself or with your child. In a school year it is a great mid-year point to check in with our child to see how they are doing and what they do want to work in the new year. Always having these conversations and open communication with our child on what we are good at and what we want to work on helps them also set intentions for their days, their months ahead, their new year. And of course us modeling these conscious choices to be better people is a great example to them.
We can only try. To a new year full of more possibilities and good intentions!