Sometimes a goal can feel so daunting we never take the first step to reach it.
We might feel like change is an all-or-nothing situation in which we can’t try things out, we have to go all-in or refuse the change all together.
When it comes to change, people often fear the loss of how things have always been, the stability, and the comfort that may come from (somewhat) knowing what’s coming next.
So, how does change ever happen if these are often our responses to the idea of changing things up?
I believe it starts with seeing the possibilities, mere exposure to a different way of doing something. (For more on seeing possibilities as it relates to teacher planning, see my blog from earlier this week.)
Once you have seen what’s possible, I think it starts with small steps, mini experiments. Research has found that small steps are a powerful way to motivate people to start working towards a big goal (Stanford Business School).
So, when you are confronted with the possibility of saving hundreds of hours of planning time each year (you see what’s possible) and you recognize that requires you to change the way you currently do things (ah! feels daunting, scary)…try experimenting with one tiny action (small step).
Not sure what a high-leverage, yet manageable action step could be?
I am launching a 5-Day Challenge to help teachers streamline their planning time. Sign up, and I’ll send you one small step each day. You’ll also have a dedicated space in our Facebook group to share your questions and successes with fellow teachers and get inspired by others’ big wins.
It starts in just a couple of days, MONDAY, MARCH 2. Sign up today so you don’t miss it!
To bring it back to the research, there’s another piece to that article by the Stanford Business School I referenced earlier. The full story is, “Research shows that incremental achievements are good early motivators, but their effect wanes as the finish line nears.”
So, small steps will get you started, but it won't get you a complete transformation.
Knowing this, I’m not going to leave you hanging after you take your 5 small steps. I’ll be sending a lot more support your way! The 5-Day Challenge is just the initial spark. To keep that fire going, I’ll be sharing my most detailed FREE resource yet... So make sure you check the blog early next week for more details.
See you in the challenge, teacher superstars!
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Lindsay Lyons (she/her) is an educational justice coach who works with teachers and school leaders to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice, design curricula grounded in student voice, and build capacity for shared leadership. Lindsay taught in NYC public schools, holds a PhD in Leadership and Change, and is the founder of the educational blog and podcast, Time for Teachership.