So it’s the final day of 2016 and the start of 2017 draws ever closer. As such now is the time to conclude my 2 part blog, which started with a look back on 2016, by looking forward and setting out my plans, pledges or resolutions for 2017. My targets for the year ahead are not as quantifiable as those set for 2016. This is the result of reflection which has led me to conclude that the narrow focus of quantifiable targets, which although good for motivation, fails to allow for the appreciation of the richer nature of life and the achievements of a whole year. As such this years resolutions are more broad strokes, with quantifiable and measurable targets set on a weekly or monthly basis as need arises.
So on to the resolutions:
I think this is of key importance which I why I am listing it first. All the achievements, success, etc. isn’t worth a whole lot if you are not happy. I also give some thought to the book I have just finished, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. He suggested that our feelings may have a link to our successes, so if I am more positive I am more likely to succeed. He also suggested a link between feelings and health with someone more positive more likely to overcome colds and other common aliments than someone who is negative or unhappy. For me this all links to mindfulness and being aware in myself of how I am feeling. So in 2017 I hope to be more happy which will require me to be more mindful.
I will continue my efforts from 2016 into 2017, continuing to blog and be active in twitter in particular however also engaging in conferences and other events as they arise. I also want to continue to write and submit articles for inclusion in #ukedchat’s magazine. This said, I will try to avoid myself feeling obligated or forcing myself to write a set number of pieces or tweets per week or per month. Where more important matters arise my connectedness may fall however this is to be expected and accepted. I need to keep a better eye on putting first things first.
I am not sure what my challenge for the year ahead will be, whether it will be to refocus on Google Certified Educator, on Microsoft Certified Educator Expert or on something totally different however in 2017 I will push myself to achieve some form of certification or accreditation. As it stands I still await results from the CISA exam I sat in December. Hopefully these results will be released in January and it may be that I choose to follow an industry IT route as opposed to an educational route for a while. I will leave the specific decision as to the route I plan to take to some point towards the end of January.
In order to find the best solutions it is important to continually experiment and try new things. In 2017 I want to make sure I engage in such experimentation as a leader, as an educational technologist, as an IT Director and as an individual.
I have found re-engaging with reading to be very useful and also fun during 2016. In 2017 my target will once more be to read a minimum of 1 book per month. I would love to subscribe to do 1 book per week however I don’t believe this is realistic for me both in relation to time available and also in relation to my chosen reading materials which can seldom be considered “light reading”. As such the target of 1 book per month seems more realistic and reasonable. I will also need to try and ensure that the books selected cover a variety of different topics as I feel some of my more recent reading has converged on a single topic which therefore reduces the breadth of benefit I get from reading.
I repeatedly reflected on my poor fitness level and also my poor commitment to fitness overall. In 2017 I need to do something about this. So I will be restarting walking across school campus every morning as a starting point. I will also be setting a weekly target for steps. Key to me here is likely to be coming up with some sort of motivational reward to encourage myself to actually stick to fitness efforts. This will become even more true if I am to take up something more strenuous than just walking, such as jogging. The main aim here will be to close 2017 in a much more healthy and fit manner than I came into it.
In 2017 I need to make more time available to spend with my youngest child, who is 11, and also with my wife. I also need to make sure that it is “quality time” as opposed to just time. One part of this will be to have some sort of family holiday in 2017, something which we haven’t actually done in many years. I also need to be more “romantic” as I wife puts it; Something which doesn’t come that naturally to me being more of a pragmatist and get things done type of person.
2016 was a good year especially when viewing the quantifiable targets, and possibly more so if viewed beyond just these targets. I hope that 2017 is even more successful. And so it begins anew………