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Episode 7: 21.4.20202021

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Description: Spend some time this week intentionally setting your goals for the upcoming school year. Challenge yourself to see who you could best share this week's invitation with. Your spouse? Your family? Your students? Who needs some self-care in your life? 


1. The 21.4.20202021 Journal will help you put this week's episode into practice.

21.4.20202021 Journal
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2. If you want to learn more about Gretchen Rubin's work, please visit here. If that link does not work, please copy this URL into a new browser:

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The Self-Care for Educators team cares about the content-accessibility for all educators. If you have trouble accessing the audio for the podcast, the transcription has been provided below.

Transcription: Hi everyone, and welcome to episode seven of Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren, and in this episode, I have a big challenge for you—or invitation, if you will. This one's a little bit different in terms of ... I don't have a specific theme, but I do definitely have an invitation for you to play with this week, and I want us to share with each other, so let me just get to what it is. So this week the invitation is to create your 21 for the 2020–2021 school year. Let me say that again. Your invitation this week is to create your 21 for the 2020–2021 school year.

So, let me explain what I mean. If you're like, "That's so many twenties. I don't know what she's saying!" So, this idea comes from Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen Rubin, as in the author of The Happiness Project, Better Than Before ... She has an amazing podcast that I highly, highly recommend called Happier With Gretchen Rubin, and she has been talking about this idea for years.

I have done this on her urging, or her suggestion, for a while now. So, I created for myself my 18 for 2018 list. I created my 19 for 2019 list and my 20 for 2020 list. And typically when she refers to making these lists, it's to welcome in the new calendar year. So, she talks about this a lot in December, getting ready for—obviously for—January and the start of the a month. And then she does a check-in about halfway through. So, what was that just a few weeks ago? We were ... oh my goodness ... a few weeks ago, we were halfway through the year. Which might be a really good thing this year, but my tweak on this is for us as educators, that rather than just thinking about the calendar year, you know, for us, we kind of get to new years.

I want us to think about the start of the new school year. So I love, love, love when educators sit down and create their list for the year. Now you can go a thousand different directions with this. There's no right or wrong here. So, let me just give you some ideas of ways that you can play with this.

We'll put a template that's in the Show Notes on the website. That'll just be a real simple template that obviously you can see ... it's just ... it's got 1–21 listed there, and so you can think about writing down what your 21 commitments that you have for this school year. What are 21 promises you're making to yourself? 21 promises you're making to your students. Or 10 promises you're making to yourself and 11 promises you're making to your students. Or promises you're making to your family. You get the idea. This could go on and on. You could write down seven projects that you want to complete. Seven ... why did I just say seven? You could do seven, and then you can write down books that you want to read or places you want to visit or neighborhoods you want to take a walk in.

I had someone share with me that she and her husband did this list. Then, they wrote down all the places that they wanted to go to dinner, because she said, "You know, we just get in a rut. We go to dinner every Friday night, and we go to the same stupid places, because we're exhausted. And, so we decided to just write it on our list, and we just go to a different place each week." I love that idea. Oh man ... you could sit down ... You could do this with your family. You could do a list for yourself for your family. You could do ... have your own children do this. Have a list with your partner. Have a list with friends. You can clearly do this in your classroom, too. Depending on age of students, students could do this, right? What a great activity to do with this start of the school year. 21 things they're looking forward to or they're excited about or they hope to learn about this year. If you've got younger kids, you know, you can break the list down. You could ask them some questions about this or you could have parents or guardians write down their 21 wishes or best hopes for their child for the school year.

I think this year more than ever, this is going to be powerful. You know, putting that positive spin on it, making sure the list doesn't feel like this daunting, negative ... like burdensome list, but that we actually have some things that we look forward to. And that ... or maybe it's things that gosh, we have been meaning to do for a long time and just have not gotten a chance to. Like, get that done; put it on the list.

So I'm going to share with you just some ideas from my list. So, I do mine—since I don't really have a traditional start of the school year, I don't have a classroom anymore—so I do mine for January. And then, I always check in again around this time. So, you know, my list has things like, "get the tattoo that I've wanted to get". And I know you're going to ask ... No, I have not done that yet. "Start my next book", which I've done. "Take a daily gratitude photo", which I've done. Journal every morning". Check. "Three to five acts of kindness before boarding a flight". Well, I haven't been on an airplane since March 12th, so that one's on-hold. But, I do try to do that. As I mentioned, when I go out into the world. "Read every day." "Use my kitchen more." ... "Take a staycation with my husband in Colorado." "Create healthy work boundaries." "Control my technology." "Find my abs." "Finish our house projects." "Be fully present." "Walk at least 20 minutes every day." "Drink 65 ounces of water." "Sell out an event." "Start up podcast." Yay!

You get the idea there. And, then the other thing that you might consider—and you'll see this when you look at the Show Notes—when you look at the list is a lot of people like to choose a guiding word or phrase to just, you know ... You've probably heard of this. That idea of one word or just a few words as kind of your mantra if you will. Or maybe it's an entire quote. Just your guiding phrase. I chose "Grace and Grit" as my phrase for 2020. In the past, I've had transform, equanimity, breathe. Right? You get the idea. Others have had things like patience and kindness and hope and ... or optimism or rest or calm. Another thing if, you know, throwing ideas out there ... You might think of a guiding question. You know, like a ... just a thoughtful question that you want to use. As educators, you know, we're used to guiding questions with our students. What if we created a guiding question for ourselves for the school year? You know, questions like, "does this fulfill me?" "Does this make me happy?" "Is this a hell yes or a hell no?" You get the idea.

So, I am so excited for you guys to play with this. I wish we could have just like a giant workshop where we're all sitting down together, and we had all these amazing art supplies, and we could create these beautiful lists together. Maybe you can do that with your own squad, but I'm going to ... I'm going to just close my eyes and know that you're ... that we're all doing this virtually together. And then you guys, what I really, really want more than anything ... oh my goodness ... I want to see your lists. Either take a picture of them and send it to us. Okay? Maybe we can get something ... That's what we'll do. We'll get something started over in the Facebook group. If you haven't joined us over there, by the way, we're just at all together. We'll share ideas there. I think it's just so fascinating to read each other's lists and get ideas. And you guys are going to think of things that I haven't even thought of yet.

So, I just cannot wait to see what you've come up with. Get started. Start your list and then share it with us. I cannot wait. And then, we'll check in and kind of hold each other lovingly accountable as the year goes on. Okay?

As always is a huge, huge, huge, thank you to Brooke for making this happen. And I mean, that's so literal you guys. This happens because of Brooke. A huge thank you to Marzano Resources and Solution Tree for these jobs get to do, and a huge, huge, huge, thank you—my Self-Care Squad. You guys ... you are the reason that I get out of bed in the morning. So grateful for you. I am also so grateful for those of you that have subscribed to the podcast. If you've left a review or you rate us wherever it is that you listen to your podcast ... that just helps our squad members that haven't found us yet to find us. So I thank you for that.

Go have a kick ass week.

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