miniseries: taking care of yourself and others · reflective practice · self-assessment

Hitting the Reset Button

The words “Happy New Year” ring out as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. My new year seems to start off well every year, but for the past three years something has gone awry in the days that followed. For the past three years I’ve spent January sick. In 2011 and 2012, I was sick enough to need the help of a family member to take care of my daughter. This year I had a persistent cough and a sinus infection that required two courses of antibiotics! After three straight years of January sickness, I’m starting to think that February 1st should be the official start to my new year!

My one little word for 2013 is vitality. I’ve felt anything but vital for the past three weeks. Therefore, I think today is the day where I hit the reset button and restart my year of vitality. To some, it might seem strange that I’m restarting my word. The beauty of having a word to focus on, rather than a resolution, means that you can try again in case you lose sight of what you want to accomplish.

In 2009, singer Neshama Carlebach performed in our community. She’s very spiritual and therefore shares her thinking when she performs. I recall her referencing the upcoming Jewish New Year when she said (something to the effect of) you can choose to begin again on any day. To me this meant one doesn’t have to wait for an official day to start over. You can change your attitude, your priorities, or your thinking on any day. You just have to commit yourself to a new mindset or way of life.

If made a New Year’s Resolution you have not kept or you just need to breathe some new life into your classroom, consider resetting yourself. You can choose a new personal or professional path on any day of the year if it will help you accomplish your goals.

Have you ever hit the reset button? How do you think restarting on any given day can help you reach your goals? Please share your ideas by leaving a comment.

This is the fourth in a series of six posts about taking care of yourself and others.

Post 1: Be more than busy. Be productive. Be happy.

Post 2: Schedule some time for yourself in 2013.

Post 3: Be Present

Please come back on Friday, February 15th for the next post in this miniseries.

15 thoughts on “Hitting the Reset Button

  1. I hit my thinking reset button on February 1… newly deceased husband’s birthday…..When I awoke, I remembered it was his birthday, felt sad for a moment or two, and then decided to think positively about the nearly 43 wonderful years we spent together. He would have never wanted me to be sad on his birthday, I thought, so I called the ‘reset’ button into action:)…..


    1. Oh, Susan! I’m glad you were able to find some comfort in what I wrote. I cannot imagine what you’re going through. I’ve only been married for five years and cannot imagine life without my husband. It must be so hard to reset when you’re used to having a wonderful partner by your side. I’m glad you thought positively and also thought about how he would want you to feel so that you could reset.

      You’re one brave woman to be able to reset considering how much has changed.


  2. Your post hits on such a critical part of living a “happy” life: the ability to start any part of any day with a “fresh” lens. Like each of us, there are when I can get wrapped up in my own “disappointments” or “sadness” and need to remind myself to look over those moments towards the bigger picture of my full and wonderful life. Thanks for the inspiration to start today fresh and new….even though I too am still coughing…it’s a fresh new day!


  3. I have been practicing reset for quite some time. It is why at year 34 I am still getting excited about new units of study, the latest technology, new approaches to literacy, and delivering those things to my students. Reset extends your quality of life.


  4. With all that I continue to have going on, your post is just what I need tonight, Stacey. I’m still trying to take it a day at a time, while making some future plans that I can look forward to. Reset is a good OLW, isn’t it? I’m sorry about your illness every January. Some at school have been ill too. We think the combination of too much on the holiday break, plus back in the January swing is a challenging time every year, too. Thanks for the good thoughts today.


  5. I hit my reset button at least twice a year – and my students really appreciate it. I know I need to do this when I hear myself say something or see myself do something, and immediately feel an uh-oh: I don’t like the way I sound, or act. Sometimes all it takes is a day of solitude – we teachers have so much coming at us all day – and sometimes it’s a concert, a book I’d set aside to read, or a walk in Manhattan. Then, somehow, I feel ready to begin anew. We all need to feel as we can begin anew, right?!


    1. @Nancy: I think it’s great to have a moment-to-moment reset button. My students and I did yoga together when I was in Manhattan. Their instructors taught them a specific breath that could help them reset when they felt themselves getting tense, angry, or sad. What a wonderful it is to take the time to breathe and recenter oneself.


  6. I think it’s a sign of maturity to be able to hit reset- when I fail or struggle, I get caught up in all the details. I need to learn to just take a deep breath and start over!


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