What does a new term actually mean to you? For a lot of us, a new term means new expectations, either from others or even from yourself. It can also mean new opportunities, to do things differently. A new term often comes with a sense of excitement but it could also come with a sense of mild, or even high, anxiety. You’ve spent the holiday reflecting and planning to ensure you start off the term right. But, with all that you want to achieve, you may sometimes be left feeling a bit lost.
How do you actually ensure your good intentions are put into practice?
Our experts have outlined 5 key tips on how to kick off Term 2 with the right attitude:
Einstein says, ‘You never fail until you stop trying.’ Yet when we receive grades that are less than average or our plans don’t work out as we anticipated, it can be easy to focus on the negatives. In Finland for instance, school children aren’t given numerical results until the 8th grade, which is probably for this exact reason. The holistic approach would be to acknowledge both our so called failures and successes, and to see learning as an ongoing process within and beyond the parameters of the school classroom. With this mindset, you can approach new and daunting tasks with a sense of adventure rather than the fear of failure.
PLAN FOR BALANCE IN ADVANCE AND TRY TO STICK TO IT
In an ideal world there is equilibrium and everyone finds it easy to achieve balance between work and personal time. However, letting your To Do List rule your life and squeezing things into a busy schedule can become overwhelming and stressful. If you make time for what keeps you sane and happy, you will be more equipped to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Establishing a list of priorities that are tailored to you and your personal values can be useful, so that what often gets neglected won’t slip as easily under the radar.
MAKE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY A PRIORITY
The benefits of physical exercise are widely known with one being improved memory and learning when undertaken regularly. However, it is not just about moving the body, but being aware of how we are moving it. With this awareness, not only can we avoid an injury, but enjoy the process of physical activity to make sure it becomes part of our schedule on a regular basis.
LET GO OF THE PAST TO BECOME MORE PRESENT
A lot of our anxiety stems from a dwelling on mistakes in the past and fretting about the future. Letting go and accepting that we cannot change the past, nor predict the future, makes it easier to embrace the things that are happening in the here and now with a positive mindset. A simple yet effective practice is taking a few mindful deep breaths to clear your head, and let your mind become aware of sights, sounds and smells of things that are going on around you.
BECOME MINDFUL OF YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Almost any motivational speaker will speak about the importance of goal setting and whilst it is important to have a roadmap for where you want to go, as any teacher will verify, perfectionism can make life a lot less enjoyable. The trick here is to set achievable, modest goals that won’t set you up for failure. It’s best to check in with yourself to see whether your expectations come at the cost of losing self-compassion in the process. You wouldn’t want to become a robot now would you?
Whether you are a teacher, student or parent a new term brings change and with the right mindset you can embrace this and create balance in your life with these simple yet effective steps for success.