Here are some of the tips and tricks I use to push myself further:
1 – View Inspirational Speakers
I challenge you to some time to Ted This week: My good friend Angela Maiers shared this on her blog in her post TED TALKS – Like You've Never Seen Them! a Google Spreadsheet with every Ted Talk ever Given and the topic.
There are only two things that change you: the books you read and the people you meet. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results — sometimes you've got to be inspired to go in a new direction.
I'm going to use these in class this week and also share them with flat classroom student researchers.
2 – Sing a New Tune (or Rediscover some Old ones)
If I feel stuck in a rut – I make a new playlist in itunes for a purpose. If I'm stressed, I make a mellow list – if I need to be inspired, I make a list of inspirational music. I always buy at least one new song for this list and if I don't know a new song to get – I head over to Pandora on my itouch on on the web to listen and find new music.
Music has a powerful connection to the soul and I have 3 jogging playlists since I do couch to 5K and need to keep pace. Listen to this music in the morning like football players listen to music as they head to a game -they know it works – use music to your advantage.
I'll also head over to my husband's iTunes library and export one of his playlists for me.
3 – Wack Yourself in the Head
I love the “Wack on the side of the head” creativity set and have a “Whack Pack” app on my itouch to help me be more creative. I love reading these at least once a week to push my creativity. For example, my favorite Whack from this week is this card which you can view live on their website.
4 – Intentionally Break Your Routine (and Make New Ones)
I was in a rut on my health and needed a change. Unhappy with my weight, I will not quit until I'm at a better weight. So, my youngest son is overweight but wanted to do tae kwon do – we enrolled him in class 2 nights a week and my husband and I go run while he is in class using the Couch to 5K app. It was tough to break our old routine, but life changes and sometimes there is a word for routine –RUT!
If your routine has become a rut and is keeping you in unhealthy shape or your child with a bad habit, it is time to break that routine – break out of the rut and make a new one!
5 – Give Yourself “Secret Surprises”
Last week, Kris B responded to my 10 Totally Random Tips for teachers and said:
“Tape positive phrases somewhere that only you will see every now and then. For instance, the bottom of my desk drawer is lined with ‘Love and Logic’-type phrases I can use with positive children instead of lashing out (“You can say that again with respect.” “I have an easier time helping you when you speak politely.” Remember: You are the grown-up!) Just the accidental glance at these phrases now and then keeps you in the right frame of mind.”
I do that too! If I have something I'm working on I'll have a Bible verse, or a quote or something to remind me who I want to be! We need positive affirmations in such a negative world!
Also, I have list of free things that make me happy: hot bubble baths, drinking a Fuze, finding a new joke, sitting in the dining room studying my Bible while burning my favorite candle, reading a new book, messing around in a new technology, or just writing. (I love to write – it is my relaxation — wish I could do it more.)
All work and no play makes teacher have early gray!
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