By SSWAA Staff
Rebecca: Broadway Musicals have always been a big favorite of mine. I love visiting New York City and cramming in as many Broadway shows as possible. I’ve been to a number and so many more that I would love to see. One that I have not seen on Broadway is RENT. However, one of the featured songs from that show has been in my head – Seasons of Love. Some of the lyrics are as follows, “525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – How do you measure, Measure a Year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.”
The last couple of years have been challenging for individuals, families, communities, schools, School Social Workers, and the list goes on. It has been far too easy, in my mind, to measure the last 2 year in view of disruptions, illness, fears, anxieties, etc. In no way do I want to minimize the turmoil. Yet, a goal for me this year is to keep my eyes on the silver lining. To look for good. I want to be able to capture moments this year, measuring 2022, with smiles, hope, a hand-extended, support given, and compassion and grace realized.
One way I plan to do this in 2022 is by setting boundaries and giving myself – building in space – to rest and refocus. I believe that when we are overwhelmed and overworked, it becomes challenging to see good and have hope. This year I am making a couple of “key appointments” with myself. First, I am going to take some time for exercise. At least 3 days a week, I will have an appointment on my calendar to meet some women at the gym for an exercise class. I will commit to keeping this appointment as a way to honor myself and participate in health/self-care. And secondly, I am setting aside time for reading. I have 4 books picked out to read this year. I am going to schedule time on my calendar to read at least 20 minutes a day to expand my thinking and build space to renew my mind and refocus. Whatever your goals for the new year, I hope that you will join me in making time for self-care. You are worth it!
Christine: A new year is always exciting! I like to take time and reflect on the past year and review my goals. This year I am looking forward to completing some upcoming goals both personally and professionally. At the start of year I take some time to write down my goals, so I can keep track of them throughout the year. I also give myself deadlines and break down my goals into mini accomplishable tasks, doing this allows me to give a sense of accomplishment and continue to move forward.
One of my personal goals that I am working on this year is to finish my second Master's Degree in Education Administration. I have been working on this goal for 3 years, and will be finishing this in May 2022. Professionally, I am excited to continue to support SSWAA's professional development. I am excited for our Spring Webinar Series, the National Conference in April, and finding more resources for SSWRL. As the new year gets started, what are your goals and how are you going to achieve them?
I’m sure this resonates with most of the people reading this, and it’s incredibly difficult not to feel defeated right now. However, in these conversations with friends and family, and even in conversations with myself, I tried very hard to find the silver lining. The fact that we feel like we aren’t doing enough just shows we haven’t given up yet. We still have passion and drive in our bones, even if our bones are aching more than usual.
This new year I’ve reminded those close to me, as well as myself, that we are not done being the helpers. Our families, our children, and our communities need us. However, we can only control so much. We may not be able to be the strongest agents of change right now. Right now, maybe survival is enough. We are enough. Let’s focus on what we can control, and let that be enough.
For myself, I am focusing on this theme of control and being good enough in two ways. First, for my own students I will continue to show up and be the caring adult they need. That is enough. In my role as Membership Coordinator, I will communicate as much as possible with our members all the amazing benefits and resources they have access to, so YOU can also show up for your students - for all of our students across the country. Together we’ve got this. YOU are enough.
Ali: Every new year, I make personal goals for what I want to accomplish that year – exercise more, eat healthier, etc. Each year, I get caught in the everyday chaos and never hold myself accountable. In my profession when setting goals, I make SMART goals – Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Time-Bound. Goals can be daunting, so this year I’m focusing on making SMART personal goals as well.
First, I would like to read more. My
SMART goal is to read 1 book per month. I get so busy sometimes that I don’t really make sure I’m taking time for myself to read. Whether it’s listening to an audio book (or a combination of both) or reading a lengthy book with my children, I want to take the time to read more. There are so many books out there to help me in my everyday life of being a parent, marketing professional, or a topic that I need to educate myself on. Making it a goal to read more will allow me time to pause and focus on how I can better myself as a parent, person, and professional.
Every year I always state I want to exercise more and I start out really well in January and even keep it up for the next few months, but then schedules get busier and I take less time to focus on myself and my health. This year, while trying to stick with a SMART goal, I’m making it a priority to do an activity 3 times a week whether that’s riding a bike, walking in my neighborhood, or stretching. I’m also trying to get my kids involved in one of my weekly activities. I’m using an activity tracking app to help me stay accountable with this so hopefully I can make it a full year of staying active!
Here’s to a year of YOU – whatever your SMART goals are, make sure you are taking time to focus and strengthen yourself.