As 2016 comes to a close I am reflecting on what goals to set for 2017. This Guardian article puts new year’s resolutions in perspective:
“If you want to know what matters to people most, you need look no further than surveys of New Year resolutions. These are the top five according to the most recent YouGov poll: 1. Lose weight. 2. Get fitter 3. Eat more healthily. 4. Take more care of my appearance. 5. See more of friends and family.
So I think that puts us straight on where friends and family sit in our collective priorities. Also notably non-prioritised are resolutions to be kinder, to try to help the poor, read more and better books or stop watching junk TV. What we truly resolved to care about, it turns out, is quite simple – ourselves.” – Tim Lott “My New Year resolution is not to do better, but to do what I can”
2016 was a year of change. I got a new job, got an allotment, and gave up the allotment and moved from commuting to London to living in London. I also finished my seemingly never ending Masters degree in educational leadership. I also have began a process of simplifying my life – looking for small ways to remove complexity; for example storing all digital documents in one cloud service rather than four.
I have decided to structure my goals for the year linked to Martyn Reah’s teacher five a day pledge (more details here). I have however changed some of the headings to meet my own aims for the year.
To continue to keep it simple. Consider whether possessions are needed; following the principle of Marie Kondo’s Tidy. Does it bring pleasure? In addition living in a one bedroom flat – space is a premium.
Target: For every new thing responsibly get rid of an old thing. One in one out!
Get more serious about exercising – specifically do more. I am going to continue running but be more specific. Over the course of the year I would like to attempt to run 1000km. This works out at about 2.7km a day.
Target: Run 1,000km in 2017
I am lucky enough to live in one of the great world cities, London, less than a mile from the Tower of London. This is an opportunity that might not last forever and I should ensure we make the most of it. My wife and I have joined Tate so plan as part of this to see the majority of the exhibits in both the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain.
Target: Walk once a week in the city – take a photograph or two – write a paragraph about it.
This is the area that I am being more specific about and want to split into three different categories. Continuing to read regularly, I have read 100 books a year for the last five years and plan to do so again this year. I use the website Goodreads to track books read and my progress, see here. This has been more challenging since September when I don’t have an hour on a train; however as I don’t have a TV anymore it is still achievable. Secondly, for the first time in a while I am not completing any formal academic study; however I want to stay in touch with academic research. I am aiming to split this between Geography research and Education / Leadership research. I think an achievable goal is one article per week; with two weeks off! I am also vaguely interested in starting a PhD – so want to spend some time researching the feasibility as well as writing a proposal.
- Read 100 books in 2017
- Read 50 academic journal articles (split between Geography and Education)
- Complete a PhD research proposal (even if I don’t do a PhD go through the exercise of writing a research proposal.
As I am still settling into a new home and a new job I think it will be difficult to commit to a regular volunteering position. However I miss having an allotment so want to work with my wife to transform some of the garden space where we live.
Target: Create a garden where we live – develop a way to work with the other residents.
Ensure a meaningful work life balance. This is the last; as it is the most difficult; however I think it is important, in many ways the most important. As a teacher and senior leader the work is always never ending – but there needs to be a limit placed on work.
Target: I don’t have a specific measurable target – I will revisit this later in the year.
It is now time to celebrate the changing of the year, but I will try and come back and reflect on the progress made at regular points throughout 2017.