With the year almost coming to an end, I decided to take stock of my progress on all my projects so far. While I made good progress with some crucial home projects and achieving important milestones as a family (and even being on target with my reading challenge this year! Woot woot!), I have sadly neglected this blog.
This realization has come as a rude awakening, more so because throughout the year, I had this sense that I was contributing to this blog. Sure, I checked off posting on the blog periodically, sharing content that I found interesting or significant. However, until this stock-taking, I seem to have missed the crucial qualitative evaluation of the content I had posted so far.
There’s an important lesson here. A lesson about planning. Sure, I set reminders for myself to regularly post on the blog. However, I should also have set time aside every 3-4 months for stock-taking instead of leaving it all for the end-of-year self-evaluation.
We all know the importance of setting ourselves realistic and achievable goals. This way, we have something quantifiable to work towards. However, we all tend to quite easily lose track of the bigger picture in the minutiae of the daily grind. And more often than not, circumstances change and with them, our priorities do as well. Likewise, we change too.
Let’s take the reading challenge I set for myself this year. I decided that I’d read 40 books this year, which is quite a challenge for me, what with my family and work commitments. But I’d also wanted to explore more genres instead of reading just my usual mix of books on education, teaching practices, and feminist literature. I told myself I’d explore at least 2 new genres this year—science fiction and horror. I’d compiled a list of the most popular and highly recommended books in these genres and added them to my reading list. While I thoroughly enjoyed the science fiction books on my list, I didn’t take as well to the horror ones. I managed to finish two of the books in this genre on my list, but the others just didn’t interest me as much. I tried to push myself to finish them, but as they say, life is short and you don’t have to finish every book you pick up. I’ve learned that horror fiction is just not my cup of tea. And it was time to reevaluate my goals—in this case, my reading list. I decided that I’d rather read books that interested me instead of trudging through books I had no penchant for. If I had stuck to my original list, I would’ve just been chaining myself to a goal merely for the sake of checking something off on a list rather than accomplishing something that was meaningful for me.
Coming back to my contributions to my blog this year, while I did share content that resonated with me, I did not create any of this content myself. The purpose of this blog was to share my experiences as an evolving teacher and writer and grow as an education blogger as well. I lost sight of that picture for most of the year, but I’ve at least learned a crucial lesson—about the importance of frequent self-evaluations to ensure that I’m working meaningfully towards my goals.
On that note, I’m going to spend a good part of December setting my goals for next year. It’s always a great idea to get started early, isn’t it?