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You need more than a wish. You need ACTION.

Everyone makes resolutions at the beginning of the year, but at Teaching Well we’re being more intentional in 2020.  We’re really talking about creating a statement and giving ourselves a plan of action.  Not just a wish and a dream.


We’re taking this slowly because for real change to occur, you need to plan and be deliberate.  You don’t need to rush lifetime change.


So here’s what we’ve done so far:

  1. Took an inventory on what we did in 2019 and reflected on what we want more of and what we want to change.
  2. Identified and wrote our our mission (either personal, family, professional).
  3. Determined the key characteristics that are going to help us achieve our mission.

It’s all well and good to hang up a mission statement somewhere and repeat it when you see it.  It’s even better to identify the type of person you need to be to get yourself to make the mission possible.

BUT we all know that talk is cheap and unless you get a plan, even the most well intentioned students who know exactly what they need to do still may forget to complete their projects successfully if they don’t have a plan with specific actions to accomplish their goals.

So this week we are getting into action. Specifically critical actions.  These are the actions that we must take (habitually, perhaps even daily) to ignite those key characteristics that will make your mission possible (not just a statement on the wall).

What are critical actions?

Critical actions are things that people could record you doing.


These actions should be done on a daily or regular basis.


Essentially these critical actions are things you must do to create habits that will result in developing the key characteristics needed to make the mission possible.  

How do I come up with my critical actions?

Using our family mission possible statement as an example, we reverse engineered this part.  

We asked ourselves the question, how can we engage those key characteristics to help us reach the mission possible? 

We tried to come up with an action we could use to PROVE to ourselves that we were actually exemplifying that key characteristic.  That way we had proof and were actually walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

Why would I want to go through this process?

Because I’ve seen SOOOOO many teachers tell me that they are overwhelmed and time-crunched.  They have good intentions to do something different but they don’t know how to start.  

We create intentions, we are wishful, we are hopeful and try to be positive but then things get busy, papers pile up, you’re not just dealing with work stress but home demands.  Maybe a lot of it it REALLY good stuff, but it still takes your attention and energy. 

When we create more than JUST a mission statement but also ground it not only in characteristics that we need but MORE IMPORTANTLY things that we can can do, our choices become so much clearer.

If we take charge in doing these three critical actions each day or week, you will move closer to making your mission possible.

If you simply wish for things to be different or for someone else to do it, odds are that your mission will remain unfulfilled.

That’s what I don’t want to happen.  You see, when we don’t make an actionable plan, we set the deck against ourselves. 

Last week we did a manifestation and visualization mindfulness practice in the We are Teaching Well Facebook Group.  Some people may think it’s a little woo-woo to do practices like that, but one of the key parts of it is that you need three components…Desire, Dedication and Trust.  

If we simply write our mission statements, say our intentions, or wish upon a star that things will be different, we are simply staying in the DESIRE space.  We next need DEDICATION….that’s the part where the rubber meets the road, where we actually do something different. Then we simply must put a little TRUST into the process.

Again, we write the mission possible statement first and then we reverse engineer.  What are the characteristics we need to get to mission possible, and then how do we develop those characteristics….through daily or regular critical actions?

These critical actions are the like the behind the scenes things that people do to take their lives to the next level.  We often just think they got lucky, but really people who make intense change in their lives more than likely have a plan or road map to get them there, that’s why this step is the most important.


Action of the Week

  1. Download the pdf OR get a piece of paper
  2. If you haven’t already done so, fill in the first two steps (Mission Possible Statement and Key Characteristics).
  3. Now spend some time thinking about what Critical Actions you could take daily/weekly that will engage those Key Characteristics. 
  4. Schedule those Critical Actions in your calendar for the next month.
  5. Post/share/email your Critical Actions to help you stay accountable!

You can access the exact template I used to do my own calendar audit AND mission possible statement/life plan here. 


If you’re feeling inspired and want to share, please jump over to the We are Teaching Well Facebook Group to share your CRITICAL ACTIONS.  Look for the post pinned to the top of the page from this week’s article about taking Critical Action. from last week or your personal mission possible statement.


The goal of January is to create a personal “Life Plan” that will take you from just simply creating a mission statement to making your mission possible!


We begin moving toward our mission possible life plan by focusing on what we need to get us there.  Just like in our classrooms we have standards we want to hit every year, but we have to have a plan to get our students to where we want them to be. 


Have a great start to your calendar year and a great second half of your school year.  

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Danielle Nuhfer
danielle@teachingwell.life

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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