As I was sitting on my couch, reminiscing about what an amazing 2013 my family and I have shared, I naturally began to ponder where 2014 would take us. I’m a big believer in making resolutions, New Year’s or otherwise, because they require people to truly reflect on what they want to improve in their lives. I asked my husband if he had any resolutions, and his response was, “the usual.” While many tend to fall into this blanketed approach to resolution-making, I am a fan of the SMART system:
1. Replace an hour of TV with an hour of reading.
I do feel a bit embarrassed that this is one of my resolutions because as an English teacher, I should be setting a better example for my students. The truth is, it’s much easier for my brain to de-stress by watching some trashy reality TV program. However, while slugging through five days of ice storm-induced power outages, I read two amazing books which made me realize that the stories told within the numbered pages is exponentially greater than a million hours of scripted television trash.
2. She’s a crafty one
This resolution goes hand-in-hand with the previous because I have taken note of the way in which I spend my free time. I felt very Little House on the Prairie, finding ways to keep myself occupied without the any devices that could be plugged in or charged up. My mom and I created a Christmas holiday gift tag creation kit, and I found myself enjoying the creativity process to be very rewarding.
The official resolution is to set aside time each week to work on something crafty. That isn’t as specific as I would have liked, but it’s going to be dependent upon the given weekend.
3. Technology By Necessity at Home
Just before the end of the December, my students and I spent a great deal of time discussion and researching the effects of using technology. We read articles about how the brain responds to the intrusively high number of hours that the average person spends in front of a screen, the inability of young people to focus on one thing at a time, the impulsive need to check in on social media, and even experimented with a cell-phone free day at school. This all leads to me to my final resolution for 2014: once I arrive at home after work, I want to put away technology unless it is an absolute necessity. I may need to use my computer to enter grades or work on a writing project, but using it for social media or “checking out,” will no longer be something that I want to do. Putting my phone down, ignoring the automatic urge to tap into an assortment of apps will not be easy, but I do intend on keeping this resolution.