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2015: Transitions – What’s Your Theme for the Year?

Dear Colleagues,

How helpful have you found New Year’s Resolutions to be? Loose articulations like "lose weight" or "quit smoking"? You’ve probably heard of this before, but I wanted to bring our attention to Chris Brogan’s approach to planning called “My Three Words”. The idea is that when you frame your goal with one word, one that comes from within you and clearly captures your intentions at that point in your life, it becomes a powerful tool for realizing your goals. He encourages people to choose three words, framing three goals for the year.

Since we are a community of practice focused on professional growth and learning, what are your goals for the coming year? Whether professional and/or intermingled with personal, I invite you to share them here.

Here are my three words:

Transition. As a Career Pathways instructor, I am excited at the opportunities to help adult learners transition to new phases in their lives. Yet for me, it is a personal as well as a professional theme. Transition to new work, back to school, to better health and fitness, and possibly to a new phase of life with the man I love. Most importantly, to help transition my son, who has autism, through the many smaller steps he needs to take in order to fully participate in society and lead a fulfilling and independent life.

For me, transition is about focusing on the vital few priorities so that the life direction I take is a function of my plan and not that of circumstance. In one of my favorite movies, Along Came Polly, actress Jennifer Aniston (“Polly”) is accused of being on the “non-plan plan”. While we can’t always help circumstances, nor can we plan for everything in life, we can shape its direction and enjoy the ride.  (You might also find this to be an interesting read, “How to prioritize when everything’s a priority.”)

Learning. Teaching is about learning. How can I do better at claiming time to learn so that I become a better teacher? How can I do more, to give back what I learn to my Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)? I plan to focus 2015 around learning, listening, doing, and sharing what I’ve learned. What are some opportunities for that? To grow my PLN and learn from others, and share what I’ve learned at conferences, trainings, and reflections on my own practice.

Community. I’ve always tried my best to give back to the world, donate my time and expertise for adult literacy. But how much do I really give back? Am I giving enough back to my family, who accepts my countless late night hours working and volunteering? To my friends who support me in my journey, to my community? What things, no matter how small, can I do to show how much I care to those who are close? What kind of actions am I taking today to form the memories of tomorrow?

These three words will guide me in 2015 (and coincidentally the acronym is TLC!)

Thanks for listening. I hope you will share -- and by doing so, help us all to get a great start at 2015 together.


Jackie Taylor