Resolutions for 2014

Well, better late than never, I guess.

1. Consume less caffeine

Since having Ben, and especially since stopping breastfeeding, my caffeine consumption has got a bit ridiculous for me – I feel dependent on it. I think I’m averaging 5-6 cups of tea or coffee each day. I’m not happy with this, and know I want to cut down.

Update: I’ve cut out caffeinated drinks completely where possible. Decaff only for me!

2. Consume less sugar

Ah, sugar, the new evil. It’s definitely addictive, and I am definitely addicted. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but I know I can’t eat a whole packet of biscuits anymore and get away with it. The sugar highs and sugar lows are too much. The additional pounds are going to creep on. And with the news that diabetes can lead to dementia, I think it’s time to get off this sugar wagon.

I’m not giving it up completely – I do, after all, love baking – but I need to find a way to make it less of a daily thing, more of an occasional treat.

3. Work less

Technically, I work 3 days a week. The current reality is that I’m working 40 hours a week. Most evenings, significant chunks of the weekend. In fact, I’m writing this on a Sunday night where I feel like I’ve spent my whole weekend either doing housework or working. I don’t want to feel like that any other weekend in 2014.

So, I’m going to try two strategies: firstly, to create more resources that are more generic. Lots of my resources are used for one lesson only, and that’s not time-efficient. So I might need to put more time into making one resource that can be used 6 times and less time into making 6 different resources for 6 lessons.

Update: I’ve created a really useful writing Success Criteria activity, and a writing Planning Sheet which I’ve used with 3 different KS3 classes.

The second strategy is a marking code. The idea is that you use symbols to mark statements instead of writing them out. In fact, the students then write them out – and hopefully, pay more attention to them. I’ll be trialling this next week.

I also need to think carefully about when I allow myself to work. If I’m not careful, work can be stretched out to fill the time you have. I need to work out when, during the week, I am willing to dedicate time to work – and not to work outside of those times.

4 Blog more

I love this blog. I spend a lot of time composing blog posts in my head which never make it to the screen. Again, it’s a time and priorities issue – I have a toddler, a demanding job, friends and family, a home to run etc. But I love reading back over the posts and reminding myself of what we did, what I learned, how I’ve changed. I also started it originally as a bit of an aide-memoire for when we have another child, or for when friends ask what we did with Ben. I don’t want that to tail off because he got to 12 months!

Last year, I only managed one blog post a month in October and November. That’s not enough. Ideally, I want to aim for at least 1 a week, but I’m going to set myself the target of 5 a month, and see how we go.

5. Have more adventures

When I think back to my own childhood, I remember wishing we had gone out more as a family. Weekends were so often dominated by commitments at church, and then, as we got older, horse riding and drama classes. We would go for a long walk on Bank Holidays, but, in Britain, we don’t get too many of them.

So I am determined that Ben should have more adventures. I think it’s easy to think, “We’ll just stay at home and have fun,” but that can be boring. Often, it’s more energising to get out and do something. Ideally this would be out of doors, but we do live in Manchester.

I’ve kind of scheduled in Sunday afternoons as ‘Mummy and Ben adventure time,’ because Tim often watches football on a Sunday afternoon, but this resolution is about more than that. It’s about saying yes when we’re invited to do something, even though the logistics may be tricky. It’s about doing things as a family, away from the housework and  routine. It’s about creating memories. It’s about having more fun.

I suppose I should probably put some things in here about saving more money, progressing in my career, learning a new skill and things. But, honestly, I think I put enough pressure on myself. I’ll just concentrate on this.

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