The new year starts with so much new. New goals. New hope. New drive. New perspective.

I love it. That new car smell that the new year brings with it is one of my favorites. (Isn’t it great that we get that twice a year as educators?) For all the conversation on goals at the start of the year, I hear comparatively little conversation about what it might actually feel like to achieve those goals. I think we’re missing this part of the conversation, and I worry that this gap begins to convince us to believe in this sort of formula:

Choose the right goals + Achieve your goals = Leave work with all the teacher feels, all the time

Maybe I’m alone in this, but it’s easy for me to get a little down on myself and my progress at work if I rely on how things feel (i.e. a “That felt like a great day” at the end of the day) to determine how things are really going. Sometimes even when we’re doing the things we need to do for our jobs, it doesn’t feel like we’d like it to feel.

I want to challenge you to think about these two questions:

What does it look like when you are doing your job well?

What does it feel like?

I can’t answer those questions for you, but I feel comfortable saying you should spend some time considering them.

There will be plenty of days that are not your prototypical Instagram worthy day that are absolutely successful days. The work you do as an educator is too important to let the feeling of the day (likely the end of the day) dictate your sense of success.

Have a successful new year!