Happy New Year! It’s now time when traditionally most make declarations about changes they will make and think about how they will become better versions of themselves. Right now, you might be feeling exhausted, stuck, and unmotivated as the first quarter of 2021 begins due to the many effects from the previous year that have turned our world upside down. There is hope for a better year! Now is the perfect time to stop and think about what you are going to do next.
You must find a way to move forward and to thrive despite loss, pain, and lasting change, and so as the saying gaining traction today goes, “so what, now what”? Let yourself consider the opportunity in front of you to make this year (2021) your most authentic new year. To assist you in starting your “new year, new you”, the next three weeks will be dedicated to our new series that will focus on the mentality of ‘so what now what’.
‘So what now what’ is a process and phrase introduced by Linda Cliatt-Wayman that Dr. Elko stated repeatedly as he worked with the University of Alabama’s football team that led to the teams’ latest BCS Championship Season. This phrase means So this or that happened now what are you going to do and respond. He claims that ‘so what now what’ has become a cultural norm for the team and is the reason why they were able to achieve their BSC National Championship. Elko believes that an important characteristic of any profession, especially education is that its members commit to reflect on their practice, their role, and their actions as it relates to their field to improve it for the benefit of not only themselves but for those they serve. The ‘so what now what’ mentality and culture can be used practically in any field and by any person to help you to focus on what is important now. It helps people learn how to ‘win’. If you repeatedly focus on ‘so what now what’ and repeat this over and over, you will begin to make actionable steps toward what matters. Click here to view a short clip on how the University of Alabama used ‘so what now what’ to win.
So as we are all working to rebuild our culture differently, what are you willing to do differently to get you to the next level in the year 2021 and the years to come? ‘So what now what’ as it relates to this blog series is all about setting goals and being honest with yourself and owning the work that will assist you in becoming a better version of yourself regardless of what has happened in the past (so what, now what?). ‘So what now what’ is all about turning your negatives and your losses into positives and failing your way to success. ‘So what now what’ is the process you can use in 2021 to help you focus on now and set goals that will get you results. It can also be used as a motivator to help you be the best you that you can be. We know now that we will not be able to simply return to the way things were before. Working on building a new culture right now is part of helping everyone build a new foundation for the future. Over the next three weeks, we will also highlight elements contained in our companies' all new I Incorporated Journal available to you on Amazon, that was inspired by the book, Begin Again Differently by Claudette Yarbrough, our agency's executive leader and CEO.
This week’s blog will feature YES, Inc.’s own Tiffany Warren. Mrs. Warren has made an impact on the lives of students, educators, and leadership alike with her enthusiastic personality and go-getter spirit. She has been an educator for 19+ years and is known for her ability to make the classroom (no matter what age) come alive! We now dive deep into her experience with goal setting in the classroom and how it has changed the dynamic of a downhill situation.
Tiffany’s Story: “New Year, New Goals. Now What?”
AAHH! Let’s take a breath, and treasure this moment right here! Let’s be honest, we can all agree that 2021 had so many uncertainties. We faced sooo many challenges and setbacks on how we plan, learn, and teach. We had to modify teaching skills, reflect on individual growth, and re-examine ourselves in every decision made last year.
We can all agree that last year was so unpredictable. When you thought you got the hang of it, it failed. We learned that failure leads to success and it’s ok to fall flat on your face with the understanding that the “why” in what you're doing is greater than all your challenges. Most importantly, out of all of the uncertainties, we have learned that preparation is crucial to success!
While I was reflecting on the past year, I’m reminded of the time when I made time to set measurable, specific, attainable, timed, and realistic goals for my classroom. I had to take over a 1st-grade classroom that was abandoned by their teacher! The school at the time had substituted for the last three weeks before I was appointed to be their teacher for the remainder of the year. When pondering whether or not to take on this challenge, as a leader in the school, I was reminded that my true “why” was to make a difference in the lives of students. So, I immediately pulled out every skill that I had acquired in the classroom in the past no questions asked! I had six months to get them on track, and one overall goal which was to get the class to standard and for them to pass the class. I knew it was going to take a lot of work because I wasn’t dealing with children who were just hurt by instability in the classroom, but I was dealing with children who were also suffering academically and with very low parent involvement (All of which were things I knew were essential for student success!). I had no time to think of what happened in the past though, I had to think about the now. What was I going to do? Not only did I have to come up with goals for the students, but I also had to make sure goal setting was a part of my life so that all other responsibilities were not neglected.
I think I may have found the key to success! This leads me to say that goal setting is a skill we must all get the hang of. As an educator setting goals, whether personal and/or work-related, goal setting is a must! People fail to realize how each aspect of their lives can have effects on others. When setting goals in this particular situation, I created them very similar to the Wheel of Life developed by Zig Ziglar. The wheel presents seven very important areas of focus as it pertains to setting goals and completing tasks in alignment with those goals. I was then able to take the step towards making sure every actionable thing that was done for the classroom was completed in a way that effectively met the ultimate classroom goal, and to ensure that time was allotted to work towards that goal. With a little bit of goal magic and very hard work, I was able to get 100% of my 20 1st grade students not only to pass but to excel in reading and math! The parent involvement reached an all-time high and I was still able to focus on the other goals I set in every area of my life. I had the opportunity to further prove the point that I teach to anyone who would listen, which is that they can succeed in achieving their goals when they are well thought out regardless of the lack of resources or tools. Learning is empowering! With teachers and students, I made the point that learning is something to be proud of! You have the tools to learn but how you use them is all up to you!
How can you set meaningful goals?
Dave Ramsey is a huge fan of the Wheel of Life, and uses the idea of the Wheel of Life in his Entreleadership training. The idea behind the wheel of life is that every part of you is important. To be successful as a whole, you have to set goals carefully and intentionally in every area of your life—not just work. Goals force practical steps into your life necessary to fulfill them. With them, you can lay out actionable steps. As a result of not taking the time to make goals in every area of your life, it could create an imbalance that could lead to instability and potentially result in missing the mark with your goal. Dave Ramsey took the Wheel of Life a step further by creating an easy way to set effective goals for every area of your life. Dave breaks down goal setting into 5 Essential Guidelines for Your Goals. Check out his free Goal Setting Worksheet Here. Many people in business use the SMART goal method to assist them in creating meaningful goals. The SMART method revised by George Doran and his team is an acronym for S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). He believed there was a SMART way to create and agree on management goals and objectives. Both methods are highly effective tools you can use to help chart out and write down goals so that you can put your goals into action!
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