Last summer I made a very tough decision to live life without Target. Yes, Target! The store with the Red Bullseye logo. I did this for a number of reasons (many of which are unimportant) but what is important, is how often I used to go to Target. It was my “go to” store for everything, big or small. If I needed groceries—Target. If I needed a new outfit—Target. If I needed a greeting card—Target. A book, a present, shoe polish, a dining room table—you name it and I would get it from Target. Target was like a friend, always there for me when I needed something, making me smile (when I found a good deal) over a great cup of coffee (did I mention that there was also a Starbucks located in the Target?). You get the point. However, one day last summer, I made a hard decision to quit my Target habit cold turkey! I did not wean myself by going from shopping there six days a week down to four days, then three days, etc. Instead, I made up my mind on a Friday and haven’t been back since.
That was over 500 days ago. Before I took my stand, I could never have imagined a day, let alone a week, without visiting my friend. It was a habitual affair of sorts. I would stop by even when I didn’t need anything, for fear that I might miss something on sale or something that I forgot the day before. The cold turkey feat was not without its challenges and required extra planning. I often had to reroute my car on the way home so as not to idle too long at the light in front of the store. I had to delete the Target app off of my phone and iPad, so as not to be distracted or deterred by my goal. And the list goes on… but in the end, I emerged as the victor!
I offer this story as a tale of optimism for the human spirit. When you want to do something bad enough and you are committed to it, nothing is impossible.
It felt like a good time to offer this boost, as we move into the time of year when our New Year’s resolutions start to fade. It happens every year. On New Year’s Day, I can barely get time on any machine in my gym. However, yesterday, at a peak time, I could have had my pick of ANY machine, as I was one of only a handful of folks who decided come out and keep the staff company.
While working out was not a resolution of mine, I can only imagine that this was on somebody’s list somewhere. This clearly highlights the fact that CHANGE IS HARD! It is hard whether you are trying to change something that may seem relatively easy or something that is difficult. I’ll state for the record that I fully believe that change is good for you. Even when it seems tough, you are learning and growing as a person. Monaco (2016) suggests five positive outcomes from embracing change. However, I know many people who do not like change or see the positive outcomes that it may offer. These ideas are further explored in the Thinking Maps Learning Community (TMLC) NAVIGATOR. “Becoming an Agent of Change” questions the responsibility of all educators to delineate the difference between innovation and change. Angela Lee Duckworth’s Ted Talk highlights research on what it takes to sustain change in “Do You Have What it Takes to Achieve Your Goals?” If one of your goals was to grow as a career educator, “Instructional Support for a Change” emphasizes the role of professional development through TMLC courses, standards-based practices and student learning outcomes.
Deleting Target from my life was just the first of a long list of other goals that I was able to achieve during the course of the year. But I had to start somewhere. I can now look ahead to 2017 with positive strategies to kickstart my commitment to new goals. I’m glad that I was open to change. I don’t miss Target as much as I thought I would. I might even say that I’m better off without it.
HOW HAS CHANGE PROVEN TO BE A GOOD THING IN YOUR LIFE?
About Kisha N. Daniels: Dr. Kisha N. Daniels is the Director of Consulting for Thinking Maps, Inc. and has worked extensively in the areas of teaching and learning with children, teachers, administrators, and university students for more than 20 years. She holds a BA in elementary education, master’s degrees in school counseling and administration, a specialist certification in curriculum and instruction, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has held an array of positions in large, urban districts (teacher, counselor, principal, central office administrator and university professor) where she has devoted her work to utilizing engaging curriculum to support diverse learning styles.