My good friend Erika offered to write a little something for Love Life and Lollipops in her area of expertise. She's adorable, savvy, and supertalented. Hopefully she can shed a little light for y'all on this new year and all it's here to provide for us;)
Happy New Year everyone! As an educator, New York State Certified School counselor and owner of an organizational mentoring service for students, MotivateMeNYC, the New Year is an especially exciting time for me. It is a clean slate for my students, a hopeful time when anything is possible, a chance to move forward and achieve anything to which we set our minds. For students it might mean getting better grades or fighting less with parents or family. For adults it might mean living a healthier life, saving more money or reconnecting with old friends. As I’ve been helping students reflect on the past year and reach goals for the upcoming year, I thought that there’d be no better place to share my message, support and tips than with Eve’s readers. Eve has been a close friend of mine for almost three years and even though she claims not to make new years resolutions, I do not know many other women that embody success, maintain organization and achieve goals the way that Eve does. For the rest of us regular folks (like my students) who are still trying to figure out the keys to success, here are some helpful tips that I use in my work with my students.
Improvement is a holistic process. The main reason that I started MotivateMeNYC is due to the dozens of parents who came through my office and said, “my child is so smart, why aren’t they achieving A’s?” My answer was always the same: You cannot separate the academic portion of the child from the social, emotional and psychological aspects of the child. What is the child preoccupied with, afraid of, upset about or angry about? It’s the same for us adults! If our New Years Resolution is to get organized, we must ask ourselves, is it simply a matter of getting organized or is it a bigger issue about having to face a memory or the fear that if we try, we might not succeed? If we begin to incorporate every aspect of our lives into our new years resolution, we are sure to attain success.
Recognize Patterns. As you can imagine, one of the most challenging aspects of my work with adolescents and kids is helping them increase awareness about their thoughts and behaviors. I mean, really, how many self-actualized teenagers do you know? The funny thing is, though, sometimes the most self-aware and intelligent people overlook many barriers to their own success. An important part of self- growth and achievement is to simply recognize patterns in one’s life that may hinder success. By starting to notice these negative thoughts and actions, we naturally move toward positive change.
Don’t make too many goals at once! I had a great session with my student tonight. When I asked him to tell me about his resolution for 2012, he replied by saying, “I want to get a basketball scholarship, get better grades, fight less with my parents, be more organized, watch less TV and----“ I had to stop him there. How can we achieve anything with so much on our plates? My advice to students is always to pick one concrete goal and make it specific and realistic. That way, we are more likely to stick with it and change for the better.
These are just some of my tried and true methods for working with students and helping them succeed. I hope that by sharing them with the readers of Life, Love and Lollipops, we can all stay on the path towards realizing our New Years Resolutions. Whether it be eating healthier, becoming more productive at work or spending more time with family, we can all achieve our goals by looking at ourselves holistically, recognizing patterns and making one realistic goal. I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful new year filled with many successes and triumphs.