It is time to update my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions! Many people believe that making resolutions public will hold you more accountable. I do not believe that because I always hold myself accountable for my actions. This year, I made my resolutions more persona and more important to me. Now it is time to show my progress and see how I am doing. What are you doing about your New Year’s Resolutions?
Normally, I put together three to five resolutions and report my progress quarterly. I will continue to do that, but my resolutions have changed significantly. I will continue to make changes in my blog and other changes, but I have changed my priorities. The last few years have been difficult! My career in teaching has changed significantly. I love my career, but I have suffered setbacks because I teach what the district thinks is unnecessary.
Preparing my students for college or career is a district goal, but computer applications do not have relevance. Business courses such as Personal Finance, Career Exploration or Virtual Business has lost importance as well. Elective classes provide more than just a subject my students may have a passing interest. Emphasis has switched to test scores as more students drop out of school. My students learn practical skills for school and career.
My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions are the following:
- Permanent Teaching Assignment – I have been without a permanent teaching assignment since June, 2012. What that means is I am still employed (same salary & benefits), but take daily assignments much like a substitute teacher. I am working on finding a permanent assignment for next September. I am networking and applying all my skills to reach my goal. My other choice is to just accept my plight and work as a pool (substitute) teacher for the next 2 -3 years. I am not ready for that yet! Update: On September 30th, I was hired as an “out of classroom teacher” at a high school (quasi administrator)!
- Taking Time off – I included this goal last year. I did take one weekend off, but was unable to do it again. If I keep it as a goal, I am more apt to try to achieve it again. I already have a week scheduled in New York and I want to add a European river cruise next summer. In addition, I want to take at least two weekends away. Update: My wife and I went to New York for a week this summer and I am still trying to schedule a weekend away.
- Read one book a week – A few years ago, I read two books a week for an entire year. It was intended to improve my writing! I think it helped, but it was fun to read all those books. Most were mysteries and a few were business books. In fact, I read a twenty book series by one author during the summer. It was great to follow the characters through all the stories. The author would build the character through multiple stories which was really interesting. Update: I am reading two (2) books a week! It is becoming harder and harder to find new books to read, but I am finding new authors which is always more fun.
- Take an online class – I was thinking of learning a programming language. Nearly forty years ago, I was programming in APL. I used it to create a monthly analysis of the company’s performance. It was like a mini annual report. This was before spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. A programming class might enhance my skills as a teacher. Update: I wanted to take an online class in HTML or Java to enhance my skills, instead I am taking online classes in class master scheduling. This skill is more limited, but it will enhance my skills and make me more valuable in my profession.
- What’s left? –I could pay off debt, but I do not have any except for a small mortgage and car loan. I am already paying additional principle on my mortgage and car loan to have them paid off in three (3) years. I max out my retirement savings in my 403(b), IRA and Roth IRA. I suppose I could invest more or payoff my mortgage earlier, but I choose to travel instead. Update: My mortgage and car loan is on target to be paid off in less than three (3) years. I replaced my wife’s seventeen (17) year old car recently and decided to lease it! The lease was almost equal to a no interest loan with all the incentives. My plan is to have just one car in retirement and sell my (Prius C) car to pay off to my wife’s (Honda Civic) car.
- There are some personal habits I think I will work on, but it is unnecessary to include them in my resolutions. I plan on smiling more, you know match what I feel inside with my outside. I do not need to lose weight, stop drinking or quit smoking. Some may call me boring! I would like to think of myself as a role model! Can I workout more? During the summer, I ride my bicycle six (6) days a week. Update: I am riding my bike four (4) times a week, weight lifting four (4) times a week and taking protein powder supplements to improve my health.
This is my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions – Nine Months Update! I did not give up on my old resolutions and I will include any progress on those when appropriate. Failure only occurs when you actually give up. I managed to achieve every resolution and in some cases exceeded my goals. I am still working on my older goals and will report on them as I make progress. My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions are the next stage of change and I will continue to make more changes.
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