Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

2018 Goals

We spent the last week on a very wintery family vacation – snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, tubing, swimming, bowling, eating, watching movies and hockey, knitting, reading, doing puzzles, and sleeping in. It was a perfect way to spend the second week of our time off from work and school.

I looked back on how I did with my goals for 2017, and of course have started thinking of goals for this year. These aren’t resolutions, because I think the whole “I’m going to change my life because the calendar flipped” thing is bunk. I more like to build on what I was able to accomplish in the last year, which might mean keep going with something, altering my goals, or scrapping them all together.

Here is what I hope to achieve this year:


  • Practice patience more with children and DH
  • Get back to regular date nights with DH


Body & Mind:

  • I’ve registered in an adult jazz/ballet class!
  • I want to continue doing yoga and meditation regularly
  • Continue to find activities I enjoy and do them regularly


  • I’d like to get back into doing longer-term assignments, rather than doing daily supply teaching.
  • I want to start implementing some of the strategies I’ve been learning about lately once I get my own classes (limiting homework, going gradeless, etc.)
  • I want to continue to view certain personal characteristics (empathy, making connections with students) as my greatest strengths in the classroom.

2017 was a great year for me, and I intend for 2018 to continue in that way!


2017 Goals Recap

Hi everyone! Hope your holidays were (or still are) awesome! It’s been our first Christmas season with just the 4 of us, and it’s been lovely. Lots of movie-watching, board-game playing, and relaxing in general. Ahhh!

This is the time of year where I like to reflect on the goals I set back in January, see what I accomplished, and set new goals for the upcoming year.  So, let’s jump right in:

Here are my goals for 2017:
  • Continue to learn and practice mindfulness, including
    • daily meditation (I’ve been doing this most days!)
    • yoga 1-3 times per week (yes! I’ve been doing this!), and
    • regular self-reflection, at least once per week (I dropped the ball on this. I need to be more specific).
  • Continue to minimize clutter in our home (yes – we’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff, downsized some furniture, and created better organization. Always a work in progress, but much better than before.).
  • Choosing happiness
    • Read at least 1 chapter of a book a day (I did well on this until about October. I need to read more).
    • Complete at least 3 knitting projects (YES! Knitting has been my saviour again this year and I’ve completed 10 projects. My most recent is seen below. Now I’ve added cross-stitching too). 

    • Begin participating regularly in at least 1  additional physical activity (guys, I suck at this! It definitely goes in waves, but yoga has been a constant this year).
    • Have a date with DH once a month (we did better at the beginning of the year. Need to keep doing this!)
    • Write a minimum of 1 blog post per week (here or on my education blog) (Sigh..not so much. Again, it goes in waves, but mostly on my education blog).
    • Spend more time in nature (This probably wasn’t specific enough. I probably spent more time outside in the spring/summer, but not so much recently).
  • More direct interaction with real people (Yes! Teaching helps but I’ve also become more social and go out more with friends! It’s been a good year for that!).
  • Get more involved with local community (hmmm…not really).
  • Learn how to deal with difficult people (I think I’m getting better at not letting thing bother me as much, which is probably the hardest part of this!)
  • Give less fucks [mostly about my (perceived view of?) what others think about me] (See above…I don’t know what happened, but I’m giving less and less F&CKS to things that don’t matter). 
  • Get in the local school board (3rd time’s a charm?) (YESSS!!!!!!!!)

It has been a really great year, actually! Nothing too horrible happened, and I feel I really made progress in a lot of aspects of my life! I think the biggest two things that have helped are getting into the local school board (less driving, where I want to teach, etc.) and having a more rounded social life. I have the awesome local knitting community to thank for the latter, especially after I started my podcast. I feel like I’ve found my tribe 😀

Stay tuned for my 2018 goals!

I’m in! (3rd Time’s a Charm)

I’ve been trying to get into the local school board since graduating with my BEd. in 2015 with no luck.

The first time I applied, I didn’t hear anything.

The second time, I was granted an interview, but did not get hired.

This year, I was granted an interview, I ROCKED it, and was offered a position! YAY!

This will make things much easier for me because 1) the schools are closer to me, so less driving and 2) I know many teachers in this school board, so getting work should be a bit easier.

I’m going to stay on with both school boards, because I plan to continue to do the occasional teacher thing for at least the first semester of this school year. That will give me some time to get acquainted more with the local school board. I hope it will also allow me to get more consistent work.

I most likely won’t be posting much about work at all on this blog, except for general things like this post. If you’re interested in reading more about my teaching experiences, please join me on my other blog called Joyous Understanding  or follow my teaching Twitter account (@MsAGilbert).

It’s such a relief to be work in our home town again!

Knitting Bucket List

Though I’ve been knitting for 10 years now, I’ve gotten seriously obsessed with it these past few months. It’s what I love to do with my spare time. And not just the act of knitting, but looking at yarn, researching patterns, watching knitting podcasts, planning gifts, and thinking about how I can take my hobby to another level.

Besides simple hats for the kids and scarf for DH, I don’t really give away hand-made knits as gifts because I never thought I was good enough. But that’s changed this year. I plan on making something for my mother-in-law, a much nicer scarf for DH, and socks for the boys.

Some other things on my knitting bucket list are:

  • Learning new techniques like
    • Cables (I’ve heard these aren’t so hard, but I still haven’t done them)
    • Fair Isle colour-work
    • Knitting styles (continental, flicking, etc)
  • Projects
    • Adult sweater
    • fingered/less gloves/mittens
  • Dying yarn
  • Spinning yarn
  • Creating a pattern
  • Sewing project bags (not knitting, but FOR knitting)
  • Attending a knitting retreat

I’m sure this list will grow the more I learn about knitting!

What are you obsessed with lately? What do you spend your free-time doing?

First Socks

One of my goals for 2017 was to attend a knitting class to learn how to make socks, and I did it! It was a 3-part class, which I wrote about more here.

I finished them today, and here’s the final product:


I really love knitting socks, and I think I might do another pair right off the bat next. Maybe yoga socks like these (source):

I’m signed up to do a shawl knit along in April. We’ll be working on the beautiful Waiting for Rain pattern (get here on Ravelry):

The Activist In Me

I grew up in Calgary, Alberta  – a pretty conservative area of the country, by Canadian standards, anyway. So,  I therefore grew up with fairly conservative views that were common at the time in the 80s (pro-oil/gas, anti-union, the homeless should just get jobs, feminists are “feminazis”, left-leaning people are “bleeding hearts”, etc.).

Those views followed me to Manitoba, where I did my Masters degree. Even though I mostly held strong to those views, I was beginning to be exposed to more left-leaning views (mostly the inequalities of the education system when it comes to First Nations communities, and inner-city schools).

I moved to Ontario in 2005, and noticed my views moved slowly from right-leaning to centre, then to the left. I began mostly with finally being able to see  (I’m sure it was there in the past, I just had my eyes closed to it) the sexism in the academic world, which turned into me caring about women’s rights in general.

That started an avalanche in me and I’ve learned more about (and have started to care much more about) the inequalities in the education system, the environment crisis, the struggles and burdens of other marginalized groups, the poverty in our own cities, and what privileges I am automatically given because I’m white, middle-aged, middle-class, able-bodied, and cisgendered.

Though I’ve tried to be more vocal and open with my views in recent years, this past year I’ve felt like I’ve been pushed become involved in a more visible way: our family walked in the Pride Parade, and I marched in a Sister March on January 21st, with 2.5 million other women from around the globe. To keep that momentum, I sent letters to the leaders of all the federal political parties in Canada outlining a call to action for them to commit to ensure women’s rights are part of their agenda (want to do the same? Find a template here).

One of my goals for this year is to become more involved in my community, and I feel taking part in these events that mean so much to me is a step in the right direction.

I think my political evolution has to do with several factors:

  • Political geography (Alberta is right-leaning, Ontario is more left),
  • Who I interact with (Alberta: I was young, so family and other adults in their sphere + other teenagers/20-somethings – we knew nothing; Ontario: mostly academics/teachers/other professionals)
  • I’ve gotten older, and therefore empathize more with the struggles of others, and am finding what’s important to me (I assume this happens with age, but maybe not?)
  • Learning, reading, and trying to keep on top of current events

Regardless of the reasons, I have witnessed and evolution in myself but  I am trying my best to be unapologetic about it. I’m sure some see the change as negative and others as positive, but it shouldn’t be US vs. THEM, or LEFT vs. RIGHT. We should find ways to work together to solve the issues facing our world today.

Yes, I’m a feminist! Yes, I care deeply about our environment! Yes, I am troubled by how marginalized groups are treated as second-class citizens! Yes, I think everyone should have a minimum income level! Yes, I think many of us in Canada are privileged and refuse to acknowledge it and the problems it causes!

So….Yes, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal! And I’m not sorry.

Let’s Do This, 2017!

Each year I make a list of goals that range from relatively straight-forward to “dream-on” achievability level.  Here is my list for 2017. It’s longer than in years past, but I’ve tried to make my goals more specific this time around.

  • Continue to learn and practice mindfulness, including
    • daily meditation
    • yoga 1-3 times per week, and
    • regular self-reflection, at least once per week
  • Continue to minimize clutter in our home
  • Choosing happiness
    • Read at least 1 chapter of a book a day
    • Complete at least 3 knitting projects
    • Begin participating regularly in at least 1  additional physical activity
    • Have a date with DH once a month
    • Write a minimum of 1 blog post per week (here or on my education blog)
    • Spend more time in nature
  • More direct interaction with real people
  • Get more involved with local community
  • Learn how to deal with difficult people
  • Give less fucks [mostly about my (perceived view of?) what others think about me]
  • Get in the local school board (3rd time’s a charm?)

I won’t be taking an “all or nothing” approach when assessing my success. These are all things I want to incorporate into my life, and if it takes many years, that’s okay.

Any tips, suggestions, resources or starting points are welcomed! What are your goals for the upcoming months?

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