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Episode 18: (No) Quitter's Day

Description: This week, Dr. Boogren helps us reframe our stumbles and inspires us to keep moving forward.


1. Get your copy of James Clear's awesome book Atomic Habits now!

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. This is episode 18 of our third season, and here's what I wanna dig into this week. Okay. There is a thing called Quitter's Day . I hate the name of it, but it is what it is. What Quitter's Day is, is the day when most people give up their New Year's resolutions, and in 2023, this fell on January 13th, and I know we're past that date, but I wanna talk about this, because even though we're past that we might have even more quitting happening. We understand the why of Quitter's day, why it happens, right? We know willpower, motivation is this finite thing. In fact, many of you have heard me talk about the idea of decision fatigue, and we know that when we reach that place of decision fatigue, the first that flies out the window is our willpower. And, if we think about January 13th being Quitter's Day, it makes perfect sense.

Logically, we've got that motivation and that shiny new willpower that this year we are gonna set these resolutions. Or, if you don't like the term resolution, maybe goals or intentions, things, promises really, that you are making to yourself. And, we start out really strong. And, then most like ... And, we went back to work and life kind of resumed back to normal. We maybe took the holiday decorations down and life like went back to how it was, and we started making all these decisions again back at work. Right? Whew. Most of us went back to school and realized our kids are kind of feral again, and we need to read, and lesson plans, and all of the things. So, decision fatigue hit us hard. And again, when we reach that place of decision fatigue, where our brain is just exhausted from making so many decisions, will power flies out the window. And, we know that when we hit this place, what happens with our brain is our brain starts seeking shortcuts and shortcut number one is to act impulsively, and shortcut number two is to just do nothing to save our brain from making those decisions.

And, that is exactly why Quitter's Day happens. Our brain takes a hold of us and says, Oh, you're tired. Stop. And, it just absolutely crushes all those really great intentions and goals that we had. So many of us ... So, first of all, I wanna just stop and say that if you find yourself in this place where you're like, Oh boy, yeah, I had some big visions, and all of a sudden I realize I'm not making progress on them, or I have stopped, or I've gone backwards. Please know you're not alone. That that is a very normal human thing. There is nothing wrong with you. And, second of all, here's what I wanna remind us. We can start fresh at any time. So, let's make this the year that we don't quit. Let's decide that even if we've kind of fallen off track or lost our way, we can jump right back in. The invitation for you this week is to jump back in. Do not quit. Do not quit. Make this the year that you decide, Nope, that is not happening, that instead you are going to reground yourself.

Take a nice deep breath. Brush yourself off. Remind yourself of how awesome you are and decide what are you going to do to move forward. As always, I'm gonna encourage you to take the advice of James Clear out of the book Atomic Habits, and I know many of you are reading that book as we begin 2023, which makes me so happy. I'm revisiting it myself, and I want you to think about 1% better. So, often when we set those New Year's resolutions or we bite off more than we can chew. We have high, high hopes of like, Ah, everything's gonna change. I can do it this year. And, the truth is, for a thousand reasons, again, we know that oftentimes that just falls apart. So, let's dial it back, right? If we think about we've got this dial around our own goals and pursuits. Sometimes we turn it up and sometimes we turn it down, and I want us to think about, okay, maybe our dial got turned down a little bit. What do we do to just nudge it up a tiny little bit? What could 1% better look like for you this week? What I really encourage you to do is get back to basics.

For most of us, not all of us, but for most of us, oftentimes our intentions for 2023 are the things we set out to pursue are health related. We're gonna work out more, we're gonna go to bed earlier, we're gonna drink the stupid water. We're gonna make some changes to our food choices. And so, go back to basics. Go back to those things, our physical wellness. Think about what could you do that would be 1% better in one of those area? So, maybe it is, let's just ... Let's just go back and drink that stupid water. Let's do kind of a check to see where we currently are. What would 1% better look like? Maybe we got back into that bad habit of having our electronics or our phones with us before we go to bed. And so, our 1% better is, You know what? When I brush my teeth, when I wash my face, when I get ready for bed, I'm gonna leave my phone in the bathroom and not take it into the bedroom with me. Or maybe you are going to think about your physical movement, how you're moving your body.

Maybe you set some really big audacious plans around workouts, and you're going to do this program and it fell out of line. And so, just think about what is 1% better? Can you just make a commitment to just moving your body every single day? And, some days it may look like kind of a long movement session and sometimes it's just a tiny, little walk around the school that you are going to incorporate 1% better in your own taking care of yourself in your own wellness habits. So, that's what I want you to do this week. I want you to spend a little time reflecting. I want you to let go of any guilt. If you are like, Yep, raising your hand, I am part of that Quitter's Club and decide, Okay, yeah, maybe, maybe some things fell off, but you know what, that doesn't mean that I am out of the game. That doesn't mean I have totally quit completely. Instead, what it means is, I learned some things. I learned maybe that I , my goals were a little big, or I forgot about how hard it is to start the school year or when it's dark and it's cold outside, that it just really makes it hard to stick with my goals or, wow, I forgot how, how busy our family is in January.

We've got all these events and things to do, and so you recognize that and then you say, Okay. Here's what's going to happen from here on out. Here's some small little things I'm gonna do, some promises I'm gonna make to myself. Maybe you're going to commit to like a 30 day challenge starting right now. You don't have to wait till the start of the month. For the next 30 days, I'm going to commit to this 1% better, tiny, little, micro movement, or I'm gonna give up something that's not serving me for 30 days. There's something mentally about that 30 day landmark, right? Landmark, that's probably not the word I'm looking for. That 30 day timeline of like just 30 days. So, not giving up Diet Coke for the rest of my life, but I'm gonna try giving it up for 30 days. That's my 1% better. And, I want you to keep moving forward. We know when we fall down, we gotta get up again.

We know that if we find ourselves stumbling that it doesn't mean there's something wrong with us. It means we've got a system or a structure that just needs to be readjusted. And so, this week is about readjusting, recommitting, deciding you are worth it, that you deserve to set some goals and some intentions for yourself that you are going to follow through with this year, that this is the year it's gonna be different. That maybe so far it hasn't been different, right? You set the goals and then again, those resolutions just didn't happen. But, here's the difference. The difference is you're not stopping. You're gonna recommit. You're gonna read. You're gonna keep going, because you are awesome. Feel all of our hands on your back cheering you on. You've got this community of support and you are going to crush this. I am cheering so stinking hard for you.

As always, always a huge, huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this job I get to do. And, for you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. We're not quitters. We just stumbled. We're gonna keep going. Make it an amazing week. You are incredible.

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