Principal’s Corner: Looking to the new year

Published 8:33 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

Principal’s Corner by John Double

The new year brings us thoughts of making positive changes for the upcoming year. Whether we look to improve our health, economics, environment, education, employment or anything else in our lives, we also need to understand what we are truly looking to change in our lives. John Rampton’s publication (March 2016) “7 Tips to Make Positive Change in Your Life” lists the No. 1 tip as “Identify and understand what you want to change.” We often identify what changes we’d like to make, however, don’t always understand what we are truly looking to change.

John Double

Most often, the changes we want to make are related to past decisions and practices in our lives. As Former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 

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If we are looking to stop unhealthy behaviors (ie. sedentary lifestyle, smoking, etc.), we need to also understand and address how we got there in the first place. If we are looking to make healthy changes (ie. lose weight, eat better, exercise more, etc.), we need to evaluate how our current habits and practices are contributing. Each of the changes we look to make is somehow rooted in our past.

Looking to understand what got us to the place we are will help us truly make meaningful and lasting changes in our lives. This allows us the insight to know that a diet will only help us lose the weight over the short term, as it’s the changes we make after the diet is done that help us maintain the weight loss. It allows us to evaluate the hurdles keeping us from exercising regularly, as establishing lasting habits require them to also fit them into our lives. It helps us to understand why our financial practices affect our current situation, so once we resolve our current situation, we do not find ourselves in a similar one in the near future.

While we are creatures of habit, we are all also very capable of changing our behaviors and practices. Change is not easy, as our practices and habits are there for a reason. Making positive changes in our lives is very admirable and worth investing the time and energy to do it correctly.

Good luck with any changes you are looking to make for the upcoming year, and remember to not only identify what changes you want to make, but understand them to increase your chances of success.

John Double is the assistant principal at Southwest Middle School.