2018 starts like the rest This morning I got up like usual and went downstairs to the gym. I start every morning but Sunday this way. Today as it is Monday is international chest day and so I loaded up my bench bar. Started with a quick easy warm up but I have damaged my shoulders a bit so we start light. After my warm up I loaded the bar to 275lbs. Since moving home to work out I have not really done much past this because I worry about failure and getting pinned but today I looked at my little 2.5 lb plates and threw them on for a 280 lbs total. I sat looking at it and wondering if that 5 lbs was going to be ok or too much. This simple thought caused me to reflect, with 2018 arriving in freezing cold fashion (ask my very frosty German Shepard this morning) what sorts of things in life are adding that extra 5 pounds and is it too much? In our personal and professional lives are we adding up that "just too much" that will lead to failure or is it "just the right amount" to grow and achieve great things? We need to weigh (pun intended) the items we add to our lives to make sure they are the right amount that we maintain a balance and that we achieve positive outcomes.
Friends that build (work and personal application)- My dear friend Jacquie Flemmmmming posted a video talking about ambivalent friends those people that are there but really don't care. You end up putting so much more into the relationship to keep the friendship going. You look back at your text stream and don't remember the last time you talked to them and when you did it was not a memorable conversation or you left feeling less happy than you started. Those people are not positive pounds, they will lead to a torn rotator cuff or bicep tendonitis because you are the only one putting in the work. I so appreciate Jacquie and other friends that I have that are supports, that send a text just to share something cool they found or ask how things are going. Simple things that help support instead of drain. My 2018 Goal: Be a positive weight for others as I think I have been a negative weight in the past. I have great people in my life and those relationships deserve all I can give and the rest well that is 5 pounds I can't afford.
Good Professional Development (work)- I love work and I love learning. Both things take up a lot of my time and often creep into the personal life. I do not see this as a negative weight as it makes me a better teacher and a happier person. GOOD PD is a 5 lbs I am happy to add. Bad PD no thanks the weight of that can throw a back out. My 2018 Goal: Pursue PD that helps me grow and help others find the PD that is best for them.
Social Media (work and personal application)- So many people complain about Social media but it has it's upsides. I look at Twitter and some areas of Facebook as great positive weights to help me grow. I have met so many amazing educators and have gained opportunities that I would never have thought possible because of those Twitter connections. Facebook has grown to be more of a networking tool for me than social media as well. I do not spend my time on the games of yesteryear like I use to so much. Now I read about teaching practice, share ideas and build my professional muscles. I also get to stay in contact with friends and make new ones. My 2018 Goal: Less time wasted on Social Media.
Focus more on family (personal)- Sometimes I forget that family is around to spend time with because they are around, I take it for granted and family is really your best source of positive weight if they are available. You don't have to worry about them only calling when they need something or taking advantage of you (Well I don't anyway, I imagine everyone is different) and I think I have done a poor job of recognizing that. This does not mean I want to spend every moment with them but I can definitely complain less when family obligations arise (that is the best I can do for now). My 2018 Goal: Complain less and do More.
Balance- Just like in the gym if you load up too much on one side of the bar your going to strain things that with proper balance would not have happened. A balanced life is a positive weight that will help you grow. This balance is going to be different for everyone. I think the learning comes from finding it. My Goal for 2018: Find the balance between work and professional life, find a hobby, play games with family and friends, close the computer every now and again. I feel like this is a good start to continue building. These 5 pounds help me to grow already and the slight adjustments here and there this year will make for a more positive me. I am grateful for another year with my wife learning together in both life and education, I am grateful for my friends near and far that help me to be better and hope that I can be that friend for them and others in return. I am grateful for the learning opportunities that I have been afforded this year and the ones still to come. It is all about growth. Look at your extra 5 lbs are they helping you grow or weighing you down? Set goals and have a great year everyone. Happy 2018.