Small Steps into the New Year

Contributed by Jody McVittie

A lot is written this time of year about what we “resolve” to do for the future. Goals are great but it can be really discouraging when, despite good intentions, they are not met. Way too often when I look at last year’s resolutions I realize that I didn’t exactly walk in the direction of my intentions. And then I get frustrated. They were big dreams. I take small steps.

This year I’m trying something different.

I’m aiming smaller. When I aim big, I don’t follow through so I don’t meet my goal. Taking small steps in the direction I want will create some movement. Instead of aiming for more “connection” which is a big-hard-to-measure dream, I’m going to listen more. It is doable and something that I can take in small pieces.
I’m setting up a practice. What can I do each day or week that will move me one small baby step closer? This one I’m going to take month by month. For January I’m going to practice not interrupting. I know I’ll make lots of mistakes, especially when I’m feeling enthusiastic, but each day I am going to practice slowing down just a little before I speak.
I’m going to hold curiosity and compassion about what happens when I try smaller steps. (Patience? Who me? Maybe that is one for next year!)

How about you? What small steps would you like to try?

• If you do this with your partner, your children or your whole family what small steps could you take?
• What kind of ritual could you make for the end of each month to look back on the small piece you aimed for?
• How would it feel to have made progress? What could you learn if you didn’t?

We’d love to hear your stories!

Here is another mother’s set of dreams for 2012.

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Teaching people to do the right thing when no one is looking ... Growing equity and democracy, on family, one student, one classroom at a time.
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