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It’s abit of a cliché, New Year New You, but it seems that everybody thinks that once the clock hits 12 at the end of the 31st December, we all magically transform into a completely better version of ourselves. We make resolutions and goals, but how many of us achieve them?

We start out with the best intentions. I’m going to lose weight and give up smoking! You purchase brand new trainers and sign up to the gym, you go to your first yoga class and buy a book on mind over matter. Then by the end of week 1, you’re having a cheeky cigarette while you’re waiting for a takeaway.

Why you ask?

Its simple. Because we all make unrealistic targets for ourselves. We run before we can walk… Literally! If you haven’t been for a jog in 10 years, then maybe your aim of finishing the London marathon this year is a bit of a stretch. How about being more realistic. Why don’t you begin with a half hour stroll per day, then work yourself up to a fast paced march that progresses into a jog and then a full on run. By setting yourself small and realistic milestones to hit, you’ll feel more motivated and be far more likely to continue and challenge yourself further.

Lets take teachers for example. You might be the most loved teacher at your school, but maybe your students aren’t receiving the best grades at the end of the year. Ask yourself why this is happening and focus on small targets to change this. Use monitoring forms and ask the children and colleagues for feedback so that you become more self aware and then know what areas need to be looked at. When it comes to improvement, its all about marginal gains.

When creating your new year’s resolutions, think SMART!

S – Specific. What do I specifically want to change or achieve this year. The more specific, the better. As a teacher, it might be that you spend too much time getting the children’s attention at the start of the class so you don’t have enough time to get through the whole of the lesson plan. If that’s the case, then this should be your specific focus. When you set generic and vague targets, you become uninspired and forget the real reason you started it in the first place. It has to have a real meaning to mean something to you.

M – Measurable. How can I measure it against my current performance so that I can monitor my results. Think of ways that you can check your progression over time so you can see if its improved. Using the example from before, as the teacher, you could write a report of each lesson and see how much of the lesson plan you got through on a day to day basis. This will help you to see if there are any patterns in the results and most importantly, if you’ve improved over time.

A – Achievable. If its not, then you will lose enthusiasm and it will demotivate you to keep going. If you have 30 children in the class, its going to be impossible to get everyone settled and the register taken in one minute. Make sure that the targets you give yourself are motivating and fair.

R – Realistic. Don’t set goals that are pie in the sky. We all have dreams that we inspire to make a reality but not all of them are going to happen. Id love to score the winning goal in the World Cup final, but at the age of 35, I think its probably unlikely. However, scoring the winning goal in my friends 5 a side league is a lot more achievable. If you’ve seen me play, you’d say it’s still unlikely and although its brutally accurate, the odds are far better.

T – Time Bound. Set a timeframe for when you want to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you don’t have a deadline to meet, you’ll lose focus and be right back to the 2023 you.

Don’t look back at the old year and the old you. Instead look at the new year, new you with a sense of vigour and ambition and I promise that if you think SMART, you’re off to the best start.

Are you a teacher or teaching assistant looking for a fresh start. Why not contact Tick Education so we can assist you in finding your dream job. Remember it’s a new year new you.

Check out our other blog posts full of tips and tricks for education staff on www.tickeducation.co.uk/blog