On Goal-setting and Creating a Safe Environment for Learning and Living

As a sixth grade teacher, I talk about goals and reflect with kids about themselves as people and learners. Goal-setting is not easy and straightforward. It can be difficult to get the right balance of specific and general, of big steps in small chunks…a focused nugget of growth that will inevitably encourage sprouts of understanding and light in other areas. Goals should not overwhelm.

Too many are discouraged from the get go during the first step of brainstorming; others can’t break the big picture down or are hyper-focused on the details. When multiple people are involved, open discussion about vulnerable spots in our character are necessary but scary to most. My number one priority and focus of my energies (as a teacher and a mother) is creating a safe environment. All guided and independent learning can then take root. If it is safe to flop and flounder then real growth can happen because fear doesn’t inhibit risk-taking and creativity. The best way to make an environment safe for yourself and others? Put yourself out there and be the model of failure and learning.

To that end, I described my failure in a previous post; here is what I learned:

December’s goal progress was minimal, but my understanding of goal setting in all these areas of my life has grown by leaps and bounds. I have a clearer sense of what I need and what my family needs. I tried to make January’s goals more specific in some areas, more realistic in others. The fact that I am a grown up goal setting — for life as a mother, a wife, a teacher, a future Birthworks childbirth educator and who knows what else — doesn’t make my process any different than my eleven-year old students. All the difficulties and failures are worth the learning that occurs in the trying and experiencing  of life.

Living is the best learning, and goal setting — a natural, reflective and creative process — is a natural function of the mind. Ordering our intention invites abundance and allows us to manifest the life we wish to live, to be the people we know ourselves to be….or possibly to be even greater than we can imagine ourselves to be.

All that said, January goals coming…….

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