Friday, July 9, 2021

Good Intentions vs. Being Intentional

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The most effective and the least effective people in any profession have many of the same intentions. Most everyone has good intentions. They want to be successful in their work. They want to make contributions. They want to perform to the best of their ability.

And the same is true for educators as well. Educators want to make a difference for kids. Most every educator wants to make a greater impact, unless they've lost their way somehow.

But what ultimately makes the difference is not our intentions. It's our actions. It's having an indomitable will. It's preparing for success and then putting into practice our plan of action. It's developing the skills and habits needed to be great.

This time of year I'm always thinking ahead to the new school year and what I want to accomplish and where I need to improve. How can I drive better results and outcomes? How can I be a better leader?

My intentions are similar each year. I want stronger relationships. I want increased engagement. I want learning to be at the highest level possible. I want to inspire others to expand their capacity and be their best. I want to be the most supportive and encouraging principal possible.

But in spite of my good intentions, very little will change unless I am very intentional. 

To be intentional means to have specific actions to carry out your intentions. 

To be intentional means you have goals, plans, and steps forward.

To be intentional means you develop your habits to get the most out of your time and energy.

To be intentional means that you don't just hope to create change, but you impose your will to create change.

To be intentional means you implement design thinking to solve problems and develop solutions. You think strategically.

I want to caution here that I'm not suggesting that anyone needs to work harder this coming school year. I'm assuming you work extremely hard already and take great pride in how hard you work. This last year educators were pressed in on all sides. You can't work any harder!

However, I've noticed that even though I work hard every day, my results are not the same every day. Some days I seem to get more done. I'm more productive. I touch more lives positively. And I believe those are the days I'm most intentional. I keep first things first. I own my time instead of letting my time own me.

On those best days, I bring my "A-game." I want to bring my "A-game" every day! I want to be more intentional every day.

As you think about the upcoming school year, don't plan to work harder, plan to work smarter.

Move beyond having good intentions to BEING more intentional.

What are some ways you want to be more intentional this upcoming school year? How will you make sure that happens? Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear from you.

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