Whatever happened to …

… New Year’s Resolutions?

In a computer science class a few years away, I remember a group of students coming in on the first Monday in January and ask:

Sir, you’re not going to spend the entire class going around the room asking everyone for their New Year’s resolutions like Mrs. XXXXX did, are you?

My first thought was that Mrs. XXXXX mustn’t have done any lesson planning over the break.  Anyway, I said “no” to their apparent happiness.

I remember friends having these resolutions as a kid growing up.  I never really understood why and always asked “What’s the big deal about January 1 as opposed to any other day?”  The answers were always trite – because that’s what you do – often was the most frequent response.

If you pay attention to the media, you’ll note that the first of January is heavy with advertisements for diet plans or gym memberships, attempting to cash in on resolutions.  And, like these resolutions, they tend to fade as January progresses.

This year, on Social Media, I noticed a lack of people making New Year’s resolutions.  I kind of thought that there might be some sort of viral hashtag but I didn’t notice any.

I did find a couple of things that I would consider close.

  • Sheila Stewart did write a post about her resolution – to use Twitter lists more often
  • Julie Balen blogged about and encouraged others to participate in the #OneWordONT initiative

How about your thoughts for a Sunday morning?

  • Do you believe in and make New Year’s Resolutions?
  • If so, do you want to share yours with the class?
  • Did your school, perhaps, make a resolution for the new year?
  • Do you encourage and ask students about any resolutions they might have made?
  • Other than the calendar rollover, does January 1 have any special meaning for you?
  • Without a conscious effort, is there something that you did differently in your life for 2018?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is part of a regular Sunday series “Whatever happened to …”  All of the posts are available at that link.

Do you have an idea that you’d like to have discussed here?  Add it to the Padlet.

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3 comments

  1. What a great topic, Doug! In the past few years, my one word goal has been my resolution. I have shared it with the parents of the students in my class, and I’ve also shared it with admin. We do an Annual Learning Plan for our Board, and my one word goal actually aligns with my goals in this plan. This was intentional, as I wanted both to be a focus for me this year, and I wrote my Annual Learning Plan first.

    I don’t know about older grades, but most elementary classrooms still use the first day of school after the holidays to write resolutions. Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers are full of resolution activities. I haven’t done them in years, but do speak to kids all the time about setting goals and considering ways to improve. (I’ve even given time for this kind of reflection, but not just in January.) This is part of Growing Success (includlng the Kindergarten Addendum), and I think it’s worth teaching our youngest children how to reflect. I just don’t know if it needs to be on a fancy star and displayed on a board for all to see. I think that some resolutions are private (or just shared with a few special people in our lives), and I wonder if some kids feel the same.

    Thanks for a great Sunday morning blogging topic to get my brain working before I tackle Communications of Learning! Happy Sunday, Doug! Curious to see how other people respond to your post!

    Aviva

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for linking my related post, Doug. I am aware of my post nudging at least one friend to start using lists on Twitter.

    I didn’t catch that much from others about resolution making either — online or in-person. It usually gets an eye roll in our family. I do like that the Christmas break can lead to a slower, quieter pace (at times) that allows more time for reflection. I often think September would be a better time for making new goals and plans. Who wants to start jogging in January? 🙂

    I am starting to wonder if the “one word” approach is replacing New Year’s resolutions. It seems to be catching on. My fitness class instructor explained it and shared hers with the class. I noticed it as a topic on an HR related blog recently too (the writer chose transparency). Personally, I haven’t been able to wrap myself around one word yet, but maybe one year….

    I don’t think the discussion in classrooms should be mandatory about New Year’s resolutions. I would hope teachers could find an alternate activity that is open to what students feel like doing in that regard… and when, or not.

    Hmmm… doing differently… I think I just try to reaffirm my commitment to doing the things that keep me in a good place. Some slight adjustments maybe.

    Thanks for the Sunday homework… the kind that you get to answer the questions that you feel like answering 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As a child I often received gifts in the beginning of the summer. My birthday was much later in the summer and my father thought that waiting for my birthday to give me something I could enjoy for the summer made no sense. He would give it when I could use it rather than some “magic” day. I feel the same way about resolutions. Why wait until some special day? If a life change is worth making it is worth making NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

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