Here are my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions in a handy IEP-inspired format:
* For those of you not familiar with it, an IEP [Individualized Education Plan] is a service plan for a student with special needs that includes their present levels and selected accommodations or services that will help the student meet their annual objectives. These goals are meant to be specific and measurable, and are always a great deal of fun to create and follow…just like New Year’s Resolutions…
2013 IEP (For Me)
1. Skill Area: TIME MANAGEMENT
Annual Goal: When offered any amount of extra time off, I will demonstrate a reduced interest in time-sucking activities, and choose instead from a target list of useful, enriching pastimes, 4 out of 7 opportunities, and as measured by an increased ability to complete an intelligent thought, and a marked lack of embarrassment and avoidance when asked the question, “What do you do in your spare time?”
Present Level / Baseline: Precious minutes wasted in front of dumb TV shows, scrolling through Facebook newsfeed and blog sites, playing brainless games, and washing dishes.
Target list to include, but may not be limited to:
- Reading actual books.
- Personally interacting with someone [see Goal #4].
2. Skill Area: PHYSICAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Annual Goal: By the end of the first quarter – before the dreaded bathing suit shopping experience commences – I will improve my physical health with weekly exercise, as measured by a lack of involuntary grunting when moving from a sitting to standing position, 3 out of 5 trials.
Present Level / Baseline: Forty-something and feeling it.
NOTE: In anticipation of significant regression and lagging recoupment in this skill area following all vacations, holidays, and illnesses, there will be a need for extended year services. Based on past performance, this goal will be thrown out and rewritten periodically throughout the year.
3. Skill Area: COMMUNICATION
Annual Goal: When presented with negative teenage attitude and general pissiness from my offspring, I will apply a variety of strategies to respond with Zen-like calmness as measured by a 60% reduction in sarcastic comebacks, heavy sighs and throwing hands up in exasperation.
Present Level / Baseline: Matches attitude with Attitude.
- My behavior will more closely resemble the ending rather than the beginning of a Supernanny episode, 4 out of 7 days.
- Good behavior will be acknowledged with words other than “Good Job” in 4 out of 5 opportunities.
- Positive comments will outnumber negative ones by at least 5:1. Any amount of sarcasm hidden within a positive will be counted as a negative.
4. Skill Area: SOCIAL SKILLS
Annual Goal: To improve social awareness and participation in positive face-to-face interactions outside of work and home duties, I will respond with an affirmative to 2 out of 5 reasonable invitations in a 30-day period, as measured by demonstrating specific knowledge of a friend’s activities that do not appear on their Facebook page.
Present Level / Baseline: Too tired, too busy, too broke, too ____.
Accommodations to be provided to allow for equal access to social activities:
- Provide coffee for any interaction prior to 10 a.m.
- Offer alcohol if interaction follows a high-stress week and/or can be labeled a celebration of any kind, widely defined.
- Encourage a comfortable dress code, especially if Goal #2 is still in progress.
- Exclude judgment for Accommodation #3 above.
- Decrease all forms of excess drama, celebrity gossip, and mean-spirited people.
- Keep the laughter-to-seriousness ratio at 3:1 or greater whenever possible.
- Allow return to quiet space alone and/or with husband and/or child for an extended period between outside interactions.
5. Skill Area: ROLE MODELING
Annual Goal: When confronted by resistance from husband or child to my own “for-your-own-good” instructions, I will be able to demonstrate appropriate modeling and a reduction in hypocrisy by honestly stating one or more of the following by year’s end:
- Yes, Mom takes her fish oil/Vitamin D/probiotic every single day too.
- You have to go to the doctor/dentist/eye doctor. We all do.
- Candy/Cookies/Chips are not a good snack. Have an apple, like me. *
Present Level / Baseline: “Do as I say, not as I do.”
* Data will not be collected for Benchmark #3 on PMS-excluded days.
Wishing you and yours meaningful progress and measurable success on all of your 2013 objectives!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
UPDATE: MID-YEAR PROGRESS REPORT IS HERE