At a recent On Your Mark’s workshop run by Phase with Year 6 students we asked students to show, on a spectrum of extremely excited to extremely worried, how they were feeling about starting at Secondary school next year. I was talking to the students who were extremely excited.

Asking one girl why she was so excited, she replied “I always see the start of every new school year as a chance to start afresh, but if we are going to a new school as well it’s a whole new beginning.”
Wise words from someone so young!

This reminded me to re-visit my progress in achieving new challenges after reading Kieran’s blog at the beginning of the month. I had decided to choose challenges in different areas of wellbeing:

Mental wellbeing - start learning a new skill
I decided that the new skill I wanted to learn was sign language. Since our dog has become deaf, it’s been obvious to me how important it is to be able to communicate in ways other than verbally. Also, because my singing voice is rather dire, I love the idea of being able to “sing” hymns/songs by signing! I’ve found an on-line course, registered and paid for it: that was the easy bit. Now I just need to plan exactly when I’ll set aside time to do the course: that’s the harder bit, but I’m on my way!

Physical Wellbeing - exercise regularly again
This one isn’t going so well – a dodgy hip is frustrating attempts to run again, and so I’m doing exercise classes while I wait for results on a hip X-ray. Luckily, I love swimming as well as running, so I have other exercise options if needed J

Social Wellbeing - meet up with friends more often
Only a few days after planning this challenge a friend asked if we could meet up on a Saturday afternoon – and that’s happening tomorrow! This is a challenge that I hope I can continue to achieve, and I’m particularly fortunate that there are so many coffee shops to try out in Hitchin.

Emotional Wellbeing - be more thankful each day
I am trying to achieve this as I walk to work each day, thinking of 3 things that I‘m grateful for from the day before. It wasn’t so easy to think as I walked in the pouring rain on Tuesday morning, but I was able to be thankful for: 1) the workshop I’d been in on Monday (see above) 2) being able to help a friend look after her son 3) the new book that I’m reading (The Lido) that I’m really enjoying.

Spiritual Wellbeing - spend more quality time reading the Bible
I used to read my Bible for 10-15 mins every morning before work, getting up early if needed. Recently however I am struggling to wake up in time to just get to work (I feel like I’m regressing to be a teenager again!) so I’m trying fewer, but longer periods of Bible reading. It’s still a bit hit and miss, and maybe I need (again) to plan times in better, but I am moving forward on this one slowly.

So, how have you got on with your new school year, new start challenges? What are they and how are you getting on in achieving them?! Let me know by emailing me at office@phase-hitchin.org

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