Image from iStock

Self-reflection and goal setting is penciled in to most calendars towards the end of a new year and the beginning of another. The task of setting New Years resolutions can often feel forced and somewhat discouraging as we may remember some past goals that have not been fulfilled. In the end, we forget about our smaller accomplishments and forego a pat on the back. These common, sour endings cause us to view our new year’s pledges with distaste and pessimism. If you have felt this way, you may have also felt as though you are only setting yourself up for failure!

For me, I focus on self-improvement more productively when I feel inspired. My written goals seem less like a to-do list, and more like a list of stimulating experiences and opportunities. For educators, motivation is especially crucial as we find ourselves routinely needing our inspiration “wells” replenished and full, especially because we need it for both ourselves and our students. So, this year I am setting “New Years Inspiration” goals to give my New Years resolutions and personal improvement ambitions an extra boost. Here are some ways I plan to create and find inspiration.

  • Pinterest- I plan to routinely peruse the education category on Pinterest for some ideas and insight. I will also create my own boards for quick, go-to inspiration such as technology-integrated lesson plans, project ideas, favorite education quotes and more. I may even print some of the pictures onto paper and create a literal inspirational board to hang in my classroom. Be sure to check out our blog post Four Ways to Use Pinterest in Education.
  • Twitter- Not only will I make use of Pinterest, but I will also keep up on my Twitter account. Following educational bloggers and teachers can keep an inflow of ideas for lesson plans and ways to create a 21st century classroom. The inspiration is endless! A great way to find information on Twitter is to search for hash tags such as #edchat #elemchat and #edtech.
  • YouTube- YouTube has created a channel for teachers, which provides plenty of resources for inspiration. You can also find some awesome videos on the regular YouTube channel, and I plan on watching a few clips each week to keep up my motivation. Do you Teach or Do you Educate? and Power Of One are a couple of great videos to get you started!
  • Writing It Down- The ideas above are all ways to find inspiration through the use of the Internet. However, I find that I remember things much better when I have written them down and placed them in my mind’s view. This next year I plan to write down my values and desires, and keep them hanging on my mirror for me to see each day. This will consistently remind me of what goals I am pursuing and why I am pursuing them. What better motivation than that!?

What “New Years Inspiration” goals will you make to facilitate your resolutions?