Saturday, December 28, 2013

Resolute to Create Spaces to Grow As a Learner

With the New Year soon to approach, there is much talk about resolutions, make-overs, bucket lists, and a new term coined by Colby Sharp of the Nerdy Book Club, nerdlutions. While a little more than 40% of Americans decide to start anew each January with resolutions, only 8% actually achieve their goals according to a research study from the University of Scranton. I am actually one of those who falls in the latter data point. Each year, I make my resolutions but end up not totally following through, so this January I am taking a different angle. Instead of creating a list of resolutions, I will be resolute in my intent, to create spaces to grow as a learner.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary resolute means admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. This is a strong word that forms the basis of what I intend to do this year. I have a plan that is purposeful and I am determined to carve out the hypothetical niche to grow as a learner. Am I unwavering? For now yes, but then I think back on last year's resolution. I unwaveringly committed to knee replacement and all that was associated with the surgery. Through months of very intense workouts with my physical therapist I was able to build muscle to walk so much better than before. Now that I am on my own, I seem to find just the right excuse to not keep up the rigorous routine of exercising nine hours per week.  The right strategy will be to keep everything in perspective, rather than make an endless checklist of things to do. No more empty resolutions for me!  I am resolute to grow as a learner in both my personal and professional life. 

As psychologist, Dr. Lynn Bufka, noted in her post, Making your New Year's resolution stick"...It is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time." Fredrich Nietzsche said in Twilight of the Idols, Or, How to Philosophize With the Hammer, "All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking." When I found these quotes, I knew that I was on the right path to having a purposeful plan that I will steadfastly adhere to, for goals are only as strong as by what they are measured. 

In the spirit of having and using learning targets, "I can ponder life and next steps of my life journey while taking steps and recording them with my new Fitbit." What an ingenious plan!  Step one will be part of the 50 days of nerdlutions' challenge. I can exercise daily and grow as a learner at the same time. Thought patterns can give rise to starters for blogs and educational trainings. I can measure my progress by taking more steps and writing more. Hopefully, 50 days can develop into 50 more and so on. 

Reading is another tool for me to learn and grow. Dr. Bufka's article has provided tips for me to ponder and act upon.
  • Start small - 50 days is doable.
  • Change one behavior at a time - Record my steps with the Fitbit and write daily for 50 days, even if is only one thought for that can idea develop into another.
  • Talk about it - Sharing my experiences with family and friends will be an easy task.
  • Don't beat yourself up - Recognize that perfection is not what I am trying to attain.
  • Ask for support - To strengthen my plan asking for support when it is needed will be an important step.
With resolve, I take the challenge to explore new paths to grow and learn. I hope you are resolute in your intentions this year. Happy New Year as you search for the best 2014 plan.