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My word

I suck at goal setting.

I tend to just write aspirational statements that sound good, but that I also poorly prioritise. My psychology is to attend to my goals … later on. As a result, my goals have regularly failed to change my daily conduct.

And so, a few years back now, I became one of a decent-sized cohort of people who choose a single word to drive a new work ambition. In 2022, my word was useful and it was my best one-word ambition ever.

I’d decided that 2022 wasn’t the year to be fancy, impressive or exponential. My 2022 would be practical, earthy and all about being useful to others. I even bought a can opener and placed it in my office as a daily reminder. You see, useful things are often unremarkable but are hard to do life without.

I’ve thought hard about 2023 and my word is … drumroll please … footsteps.

My 2023 will be about helping as many leaders, teachers, students, parents and colleagues to feel the thrill of being mobilised in small, repeatable steps forward.

It aligns well with a newly formed belief that the single most powerful key to covid recovery in our schools is kids feeling the intoxicating thrill of achievement and of making progress in their learning and their development.

And I’ve popped an old hiking boot, one that I traversed the Kokoda Track with in 2018, in my office as my reminder icon.

Kokoda was so hard, but thoroughly worthwhile, as most worthy pursuits like teaching and school leadership are. But the way to do hard things is one footstep at a time.

Just start. Get moving. Pass milestones. Make progress. Get better. Rest when you need to. Then go again.

One footstep. Then a few more. We’ll get there.


Keep fighting that good fight,


PS. The Real Schools App and the Kokoda Schools Project App are available to your school and each has sections for teachers and school leaders that support your school’s big 2023 cultural ambitions. You can find out more at this link and even download a prospectus.

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