As we begin 2013 and prepare for the new school year this is a good opportunity to pause and reflect. We have an opportunity to think about what we achieved during the past year, our relationships and our areas of growth.
I have often heard that it takes 21 days to build a habit. The 21 day theory is debatable. Other research has indicated that it may be more like 66 days and up to 254 days to form a new habit.
The important thing is to take the time to establish some goals for the new year. Some goals may be achieved in a short period of time, while other positive habits may take longer to develop. What is important is the repetition of the desired positive behavior.
One behavior I have encouraged our students to develop is a called a growth mindset. Caroline S. Dweck wrote a book in 2006 called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. She explains that people have either a fixed or growth mindset. In her book she argues that these mindsets influence our performance in learning, sport and many other aspects of life. Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
People with a fixed mindset believe that they cannot improve their talents and abilities. They are hesitant about attempting tasks that they may fail. People with this mindset can have a negative attitude about challenges.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that they can improve and develop their talents and abilities over time. They do not assess challenges as a chance to fail, but as an opportunity to improve.
In Galations 6:9 the Bible encourages us to persevere. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
As we begin a new year, I wish to encourage our students to develop a growth mindset that they can apply to all aspects of their life. Furthermore, this is a good opportunity to pause and establish some goals for the new year, not just the next 21 days. Let’s make 2013 a fantastic year!
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