Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Plans & Goals for 2016: PUSH

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." 

T.S. Elliot

It's a bit of a tradition of mine to spend part of New Year's Day taking stock of the previous year and looking forward to the year that is to come. In consideration of my goals and plans for this year, I picked a word to keep me focused, grounded, and yet inspired. My word for 2016 is PUSH.

PUSH. Move forward. PUSH. Don't give up. PUSH. Never settle. PUSH. Keep going.

To me, the word "PUSH" embodies so many things. It's a reminder to myself to Persist Until you're Soaring Higher. You persist. You keep going. Whatever the challenge, you fight. Persist Until. Not persist until you give up. Not persist until you're done, because you're never done. Not until you've can always achieve more. Persist Until you're Soaring. Not barely lifting off the ground, but soaring. Soaring above, soaring beyond. Soaring higher. Not just in a consistent way. But soaring higher, onward, and upward. Always persist. Persist until. Always be soaring. Soaring higher.

With that in mind, here are some ways I will push this year.

"We don't know who we are until we see what we can do." Martha Grimes

This year is about pushing myself. Life is too short to wait. Nothing great was ever achieved without a push. Never settle for where you are. Always want more. You are not competing against anyone else; you're just competing with who you were yesterday. Push forward. As a teacher I never want to stop learning. I never want to stop growing. There should always be progress. Always be improvement. I will push for this every day of 2016.

"Push yourself into the scary position where success is the only possibility." 

Dan Waldschmidt

Push the envelope. Push the norm. Push mediocrity. No advancement, no progress, was ever made without questioning the status quo, and actively seeking to change the norm. As teachers we know that "just because we've always done it that way" is no reason to continue to do something we don't believe in. This year I will strive to challenge convention. This is a year of not settling. This is the year of doing my absolute best!

"Surround yourself with people who push you. 

Challenge you. Make you better."

Pushing connections has so many implications. Pushing connections with my students, with my colleagues, and my family and those who support me. In such a busy world, taking time to make and sustain genuine connections takes conscious effort. I'm learning that it doesn't just happen. It means making time. My schedule is always packed (generally stressfully packed), so I never just "have time" to grab coffee to catch up. My days before school, during school, after-school, and in the evening are scheduled to the half-hour. I push to utilize and plan every minute of everyday to accomplish as much as I can. Since I never just "have time," I need to push to "make time." I need to learn to make time for these connections with people.

This year I am also pushing myself to connect with educators who inspire and encourage me. Whether on Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, Teach Happy Membership, at conferences, etc. I am going to push connections with those who make me better.

You never fail until you stop trying, so keep pushing. 

While this year is all about pushing onward and upward, it's important to consider that soaring higher will not always be smooth. With push sometimes come push-back. Progress is often met with challenge. However, when brick walls, obstacles, and life come in the way, this year is about pushing through. Not giving up. 2016 is about staying positive, choosing joy, and pushing through. 

"Push your limits...Get comfortable with being uncomfortable." 

Michele Valentine

Push limits. Push boundaries. Push outside of your comfort zone. This desire to push outside my comfort zone is where my word for 2016 originated. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Great things have never come in the comfort zones. Discover limitations and push past them. This year is very much wrapped around this goal to push and fly out of the familiar. Fly out of the safe. As Eleanor Roosevelt so aptly put it, "Do something everyday that scares you." 366 days (since it's a leap year) of things that scare me. This is what I'm pushing for. 

"You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them."

Let's see what limits we can push this year!! I'm looking forward to pushing, making progress, and rocking 2016!!! Be sure to check out #2getherwearebetter with Ashley Schroeder (HERE) and Ashley Olsen (HERE) and all their linky friends for their plans and goals for 2016! Join in the fun!!

Let's make 2016 amazing!!! Let's PUSH it!


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  1. Danielle! I love, love, love your one little word - PUSH! You did such a great job of explaining it and I can tell that you've taken the time to really think it through! I'm so excited for 2016! I know it will have great things in store for you.

    1. Thanks so much, Laura!! You are always so sweet and supportive -- you have no idea how much I appreciate that!! I loved your New Year's post! I can't wait to use your Resolutions banner with my firsties when school starts next week! Thanks so much!!!!! Happy New Year!!!

  2. Push CONVENTIONS! Yes, yes, and yes! You go girl!!

    A Rocky Top Teacher

    1. Awwww, thank you so, so, so much, Sarah!! I loved your blogpost! Sounds like you had an amazing 2015 -- can't wait to see your adventurous 2016!! Just wanted to say I absolutely LOVE you!! I look forward to your iteachtvnetwork shows each week!! Thank you for all your inspiration and encouragement!!! Happy 2016!!!

      xoxo, Danielle