Pledges for 2023

In thinking about the pledges for the coming year I think I need to include an equal share of big picture, more strategic aims, alongside some more measurable smaller targets.   I think this should provide a balance between things which will be easier to assess in terms of achievement at the end of the year, alongside aims which are much broader, more challenging but also equally more difficult to evaluate come the end of the year.

So lets get into my pledges for 2023…..


I last did some short podcast episodes in 2021 with a plan to build on this in 2022 however other priorities meant this didn’t happen.   It is definitely something I want to progress and something I have been in discussion with a colleague about, however have so far not managed to progress.    For 2023 it would be good to get maybe 2 seasons of podcasts produced and shared, with hopefully at least 6 or 8 episodes in each.    My thinking would be focus on cyber security, digital citizenship, data protection and technology in schools as the key themes of the podcasts.

Time management

The last few years have felt as if time has been flying by, with weeks, months, terms and years flying by in what seems like the blink of an eye.   I think therefore, in the year ahead, I want to look at how I manage time particularly trying to ensure I allocate specific time for reading, for exercise, for relaxing, etc, building up appropriate habits in relation to how I use the finite time available in each day, week, month and year.    Part of this will likely start with some long term initial planning at the start of the year in January.   My hope is that through better planning of my time I will be more satisfied with how it is used, but also will achieve a better balance between being busy and relaxing.   

Also related to this, especially at home, I need to let and encourage others to contribute rather than trying to take things on myself.  More delegation should hopefully allow me to achieve more or at the very least focus on things which are more important or where my efforts add the most value.


I would again like to keep up my running in 2023 however with more consistency.  As such am thinking a minimum of 50km per month, which would equate to 600km for the year as a minimum.   I would also like to very much achieve at least one 10km run every two months, so meaning I should have completed six 10km runs by the end of the year.   Now it would be good to achieve more however I am also concious of avoiding pushing my exercise too much.    From a weight point of view I want to try and keep my weight around the 84kg mark, which was always part of my aim in terms of regular running.


Having struggled with reading in 2022 I would like to again stick with trying to read 6 non-fictions books by the end of the year.  This equates to one book every two months which I think should be achievable.    I already have a number of books purchased ready to read.   I will share some info on some of the titles in a future post.

Bigger picture

The last couple of years I have worked hard on maintaining a to-do list however I feel this may have led to me focussing on things at a micro and small scale, and in focusing there I have taken my eye of the bigger picture.     As such, in the year ahead, I need to spend more time looking at the bigger picture, at strategic tasks and aims over the smaller day to day tasks.    Part of this will be rolling up the regular day to day tasks which currently exist as separate tasks to achieve and considering them as a singular grouped task, taking the small tasks each day and bundling them up as routine single task.   Equally I will need to establish the more strategic projects, tasks and aims that I want to look at possibly either on a monthly or termly basis.  

Holidays and Experiences

I would like to ensure I create some new memories, particularly family ones in 2023.    There are clear opportunities over the summer holiday period, easter holiday period and also key points in the year such as my birthday, wedding anniversary, etc.   I need to make sure that I make the most of each of these opportunities.   I think it will also be important to take photos as a record of events so I have something to look back on and refer to.     Linked to this, I think it will also be important to continue journalling and keeping records of achievements, etc, on a week by week basis, again so that I have something to refer back to in being able to more effectively and accurately reflect on the year once I get to the end of it.   Part of me wonders about having achievements and challenges as part of my journal template so that it makes me stop and think, plus take note as I regularly seek to journal my thoughts and feelings.

Contributions to the wider Edu and Tech communities

I would very much like to see me building on 2022 in 2023 including continuing to contribute to other organisations, podcasts, blogs, magazines, etc with my thoughts and ideas.    It has been very enjoyable and at times challenging to do this in 2022 however I have definitely considered it to be worthwhile so it is clearly something I want to continue.    I would be particularly good to be involved in some bigger conferences if possible and even in some international events however this will be dependent on logistics, etc.     It will also be useful to explore the potential for new opportunities and challenges so this needs to be something I keep my eyes open for as 2023 progresses.

I have considered personal studying a certification as an option for 2023 however had decided that the cost v benefit especially of the technical certifications I have been looking at is not sufficient to justify the time, effort and cost.   This may however be something for me to reconsider as the year progresses.


In work I cannot think of a particular target or focus in 2023 however if there was to be something it is in relation to innovation and change.   I would like to be able to focus on innovation and change projects and hopefully creating a culture and appropriate support functions which encourage and promotes this.   Other than this, I hope to support the members of my team to grow and develop such that they are able to continue to feel engaged, challenged and also to better contribute to the school.


In work I often use a single word or phrase as a theme or focus.   I think this might also be useful in setting my pledges for 2023.  So what one word or phrase would summarise what I want to achieve:

              New opportunities and experiences

I think the above summarises what I want from 2023.   2022 has felt a little routine, albeit with some notable achievements and positive points, but I just don’t feel there were enough truly memorable moments mainly as our memory needs the unusual and the new.   So in 2023 I hope to try and find and achieve the unusual and new.   Here’s to 2023 and the year ahead.   

And happy new year and all the best for 2023 to all in my PLN.


Author: Gary Henderson

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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