Summer Plans?

So now that the art room is packed up and the totes full of planning books are stuffed next to your favorite chair at home, what's the plan for your summer break? Many of us have good intentions about making time to think about getting some ideas together, but then it's all too easy to flit away these balmy summer months with no plans at all..uh..and we all know how that works for us in the art classroom...NOT! It's true that we all need a "break" and there's nothing wrong with taking one. There is also nothing wrong with "scheduling" a break either, so that we maximize the time off and make the best use of these days. Or all too soon, we will look back and see they were swept away by Candy Crush, Facebook, Netflix and...nothing.

Setting Goals

Setting personal goals for the summer is a good place to start. Just make sure when you are setting them that they are reachable, or you will wind up being frustrated that you weren't able to accomplish anything. Want to paint more? Visit a museum? Volunteer at a Community Center? Write? Submit? Read? Draw? Make? Learn? Plan? Travel? Make a list. Keep it simple and reachable. What is reachable for some might not be reachable for others. Don't stress over it. We are all wired differently. Also, don't get goals confused with desires. Our desires are what should drive our goals. "Writing" is a goal. "Getting Published" is a desire. 

Setting Priorities

Now that you have made a concise list, number it in order of priorities. What is at #1? #2? #3?This will help you as you schedule your time devoted to each. Your goals do not need to have equal time. Some are more important to you, your career and your well-being than others and that's just okay.

Setting Schedules

Once you have prioritized your goals, decide how much time you will devote to each. For instance, if my #1 goal is to write, I might set aside at least one hour every morning to spend writing. Painting might be a secondary goal, but it may devote more time because of it's process, so I might set a painting goal to twice a week at 3 hours a pop. Setting these goals into your calendar helps tremendously when planning other life events of the summer. For instance, knowing that you plan to write each day from 8:00-9:00, helps you plan other events starting at 10:00. Or it might mean rising a little earlier if something else is planned.

Setting your Mind

A wise administrator once told a group of teachers that the most important thing I can do for students is to be interested in something other than teaching. That's a hard call for me, since I am so passionate about teaching, but think about it. If we are interested in something, it ignites our energy. When we bring that energy into the classroom, it sparkles. Use the summer break to pursue an interest, even if it's #5 on your list and see how it energizes everything else. You will find more time to do the things you love and love the things you do. 

Be Present

Summertime for me is a wonderful time to spend with my family. Nothing can be more frustrating to others than to visit with someone who is hypnotized by their mobile devices. Setting goals and scheduling helps us to enjoy the real world. The world we truly live for. If we are preoccupied by thinking of "more constructive" things to be doing, we just might miss a golden moment along the journey that will not return. The Bible says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21) No matter how ambitious, we present for those we love. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Patricia Clifford, “The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you finish the work.”