Newsflash: resolutions also often involve stopping doing things that are easy, and replacing with things that are hard.
Yep, yep, yep. Decluttering has been hard but I’ve managed to keep it up so far. The 15-minute limit helps. And I have missed a couple of days–yesterday, for one–but I’ve just kept it up, imagining the end goal of a house filled with less stuff that I don’t like or don’t need and more stuff that I enjoy and use. The thought of one day walking into my house and having it feel peaceful rather than crowded is keeping me going.
But walking . . . not so much. One, it’s cold, and two, well, I don’t know what two is. I just don’t want to do it. Exercise is hard for me. I can find forty million reasons I don’t like it and only one reason I do. The one reason is that I know I’d look and feel better if I did it. But unlike the thought of a clean house, that’s not enough to motivate me. With the house, I feel somewhat sure that I will achieve that goal, if not completely, at least enough to feel like I accomplished something. With my body, I just don’t trust that adding a small bit of exercise is going to help. And did I mention I find it hard?
This whole idea got me to thinking about my students, specifically my middle school students. Some of them give up when things get hard. When it takes effort for them to wrap their head around something, they will often give up. I wrote a little about this before. Honestly, I know how they feel. I mean, there are things I can’t motivate myself to do. And I’ve been frustrated by many things in the past. As an adult, when I’m learning new things, I know that perseverance usually pays off eventually. But even as an adult, I know that it’s more fun to watch tv than walk, even if it’s only for a little while.
So I’m struggling to figure out ways to motivate my students. Maybe a time-limit thing. Maybe saying, “Okay, working on the robotic arm is hard, but work on it for x minutes and then take a break.” I don’t know. All I know is that some students just can’t find the fire in their bellies to forge ahead and I’m not entirely sure how to ignite it. If I figure it out, maybe it will help me as well.