Writing down New Year Resolutions

Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to focus on one’s goals and develop a growth mindset.

In his two-year study, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson had 700 students write down their goals in a class called Maps of Meaning. Asking them to reflect on fundamental moments in their life that he referred to as “self-authoring,” Peterson instructed his students to list different strategies and goals that would help them overcome their obstacles. After 2 years, he found that the achievement gaps between minority groups and white students closed significantly for those who participated in the assignment compared to those in the control group who did not.  “The act of writing is more powerful than people think,” Peterson shared.

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Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

Inspired by both Melissa Dahl’s story for The Cut and Anya Kamenetz’s NPR story about Dr. Peterson’s research, I wondered if students in class, or even at home, are encouraged to reflect on and write down goals.  As a result of these exercises, would these students be able to learn resilience?

Resilience is something that researchers are now identifying as a ‘growth mindset’, a term coined by Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset. Adopting a growth mindset encourages people to realize that their abilities can be improved over time with intentional and consistent effort. Goal writing seems like a great way for students to start learning and improving their own resilience.

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Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

Around the same time that I discovered Peterson’s research, I was delighted to find a binder designed specifically for students and goal setting.  Titled ‘New Year’s Resolutions,’  the binder is curated by one of our Certified Trainers, Stella Maris Berdaxagar, who designed exercises for ELA students geared not only towards improving their writing skills, but also setting personal goals and writing New Year’s resolutions.

Berdaxagar’s binder has guided steps on how a teacher can provide activities that encourage teen and adult students to reflect not only on what they’ve accomplished in the past year, but also on what their new goals are, and how they plan to attain them. Berdaxagar also includes an impressive selection of engaging activities that help students learn skill sets that could last them a lifetime.

Please let me know what you think!

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New Year’s Resolution Binder by Stella Maris Berdaxagar

Ready to Impress?

Have you curated an impressive body of resources to share?  Feel free to contact me for a brief demo on how curators like Berdaxagar are easily packaging and distributing their resources with our online digital binders. 

You’re welcome to schedule a LiveBinders demo here.

This blog post is based on a personal project I have started about organization skills and learning in the digital age.  I’m always inspired by the cool binders I find on our Featured Binders page.

Motivating your kids to learn

September is nearly over and the enthusiasm for school is starting to subside.  Reality is setting in – parents might be dealing with kids who aren’t taking their classwork or homework ‘seriously’ or maybe they are discovering that their kids want to do well, but are afraid to ask for help.

Parents with kids who are clearly bright, but who aren’t applying themselves in the classroom might be interested in the following resources in this LiveBinder.

One article in particular talks about a book by Dr. Michael Whitley, which gives helpful guidelines for motivating your kids to learn. (see article to the right)

Click on the tabs in the binder to view other interesting resources on this subject.

Fostering an orphaned elephant

Our kids received a great gift a couple of years ago – instead of the usual gift card or plastic toy – our daughters were given an orphaned elephant named Makena. Makena lives on the David Sheldrick Wild Life Reserve in Kenya, Africa. The foster donation lasts for a year and you receive monthly reports about the reserve, any new additions to the reservation and the monthly goings on concerning the elephant, or rhino you are fostering. They send you pictures from the website and a digital image of a water color of the animal you are fostering. I believe the water colors are painted by David Sheldrick’s daughter.

The stories are charming – some heart breaking – and your donations make you feel like you can make the world just a little bit better. It’s also great to engage your children – my kids would love to visit the reserve!

Take a look at the website in the binder below – I’ve included some of their photos, the monthly reports since 2007 and also some interesting stories regarding the rescue of a rhino and some recent baby elephants.

To open click on the link below!

Enjoy!