If I had a Nickel

If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me what I do during the summer, I would surely be able to afford a Caribbean Cruise. I am finishing my 27th year in education, and as the summer months approach friends, acquaintances, strangers, and Facebook followers inquire what I do with my three months off each year – I only wish.

I explain that those three months are not much different than the other nine except there is so much more to do in the summer than throughout the regular school year. It seems that in my early days there was some “down” time, but those days are long gone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do take some time off to rejuvenate and reflect before the new year begins, but nowhere near 3 months.

That is the beauty of working in education where there’s a new year with new faces and the kind of excitement that can only penetrate the hallways of a school. It is kind of like the smell of a new car. What’s not to like about that?

While I have the luxury of a built-in “new” start each August, the same can happen for us any day we choose. We are creatures of habit and fall in patterns waiting for the next vacation to take time to reflect; Christmas to reach out to a loved one; New Year’s to start a diet. All the while, our precious days pass us by while our lives are on autopilot. If we are not careful, we will “wish” our lives away.

Each New Year, millions of us set New Year’s resolution, and as you probably know, very few sticks with it. Year in and year out, we set those resolutions. I think resolutions are a great idea. However, I suggest that if you break your resolution that it is OK to start again. Consider that you had a goal to start working out, but after the first week, you only went to the gym once. Most would stop there and admit failure. Einstein once said, “I am not smarter, I just stick with the problem longer.” The key to forming a new habit; and ultimately a lifestyle change is consistency.

So if you fall off the wagon with your workout regiment, start over. If necessary, start over again and again. Even if you start over 52 times that means that you went to the gym 52 times in a year. When’s that last time you made that happen? Perhaps it’s not the goal you started with, but you have created consistency and are well on your way to realizing the change you desired.

We don’t have to wait. We can choose to start fresh right now, in an hour or tomorrow – we can even select all three if we want. You see, the perfect time is now. Instead of waiting for the New Year to “reset’ a resolution, or waiting for a Monday, waiting until school ends, waiting until after the holidays, waiting until the time is perfect to call, I want to encourage you to set that goal or pick up the phone right now. You’ll be glad you did.

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