Lately I have been blogging because it captures my thoughts and holds me accountable. Most of what I discuss revolves around the expectation that I have for students who enter my classroom. However, I always tell them that it is as much for myself as it is for them. It is so good for people to revisit core principles throughout the year. So far we have touched on peace, participation, and punctuality. It is also vital to prepare in our professional, personal, and physical lives.

Professional Preparedness

Professional preparedness is always being on time with deadlines. By striving for these standards, one stays in good professional standing and also sets a good example for others.

A seasoned teacher once told me two things to remember…

1.) Turn your materials in before the deadline date, even if it is only one day or a few hours before.

2.) If you find yourself on what she called a “short list email” then make a mental note and work your tail off to not make that list again.

When we prepare for the day, we are in a better place when approached by people. Our listening skills improve when we have a clear mind with no late work to bog us down. Sincerity resonates in us when we know we have given our best efforts, and as a result, people get the best of us.

The Unexpected

Professional preparedness is also anticipation that anything could happen and rolling with it. Adapt and overcome.

A lesson might not go as planned.

Violence might break out.

Our schedule might be interrupted.

Individuals might have had a bad night at home.

I encounter various personalities and a full gamut of emotions from 150 different students.

We must be prepared for anything. Not only educators but any career path. With this type of preparedness and flexibility, we become more helpful for everyone. We become that person people turn to when they can’t handle changes in plans or unforeseen circumstances.

Vision

Professional preparedness also means planning and goal setting. Set goals every quarter of the year. Let your months of reflection be in March, June, September, and December. What are your aspirations for each quarter? Did you reach your goals? How can you surpass or get better the next quarter? This helps us strive for professional prowess, and as a result, we stay hungry. Plans/Goals=More Efficiency with the time we have.

Personal Preparedness

Recently a man in my community slandered my name anytime he had the opportunity. He created this narrative of me that simply wasn’t true. For the longest time, I let the anger and resentment toward him fester to a point that it affected my overall mood. I lost sleep. Anytime I saw the individual out, I would literally become sick to my stomach from anger.

After close to a year of feeling this way, I finally realized that anyone who knew my true character knew better than to believe false statements from a man who made a habit of slandering others. He became so set on doing this that he wasn’t tending to his family affairs. His own personal life started to unravel.

I learned two things:

1.) He wasn’t prepared in his life if he were to take his final breath. He had way too much conflict in his life with other people and was never satisfied if he didn’t get his way.

2.) I was not prepared if it were my final moments either. I had made myself sick, angry, and even resorted to making fun of the individual on a regular basis.

For all of the ways that my foe and I were opposites, there was one commonality that we both had–unfinished business in life.

We did not have our lives in order.

As the old saying goes…

“Never let someone live rent free in your head.”

Once I freed my mind from the bondage of things that were out of my control, I was in a better place. I felt one step close to being prepared in my personal life.

Are you prepared in your personal life? Is there something that has made you bitter for too long? Is it starting to affect other parts of your life? Become prepared. Bury the grudge.

Physical Preparedness

The life of a car is getting its oil changed regularly. The life of our body is diet and exercise. If we eat junk and become inactive, we are taking years off our lives. This may sound morbid but it is the harsh reality. Are we physically prepared?

Exercise

Physical preparedness means figuring out an exercise routine and sticking with it. Find something that is sustainable for the long haul. Even if it is 30 minutes of walking per day. Movement to a point of sweating, that is repeated daily, adds to longevity. MOVE!

Diet

What we put into our mouths also takes a toll or helps us roll. Recently I posted my results by following the No S lifestyle that can be read here. I discussed how subtle changes and moderation in our diets will lead to extended health. If a full blown lifestyle change seems too restrictive, then pick one thing to focus on and add something new each week. Empowerment begins with identifying that there needs to be change and taking action, even if it’s small increments, to fix the problem.

Drink water instead of cokes.

Eat whole grains instead of white bread.

Focus on three balanced meals with healthy snacks.

Rome was not built in a day, but a few tweaks will put you on the right pathway.

Habits

The last aspect in regard to physical preparation is quitting bad habits like excessive drinking or smoking. Research shows that this takes years off a person’s life and leads to many life threatening diseases. A few nights of letting loose might not be felt, but if it turns into a habit, we are slowly depleting our bodies.

Resilience

Physical preparedness gets us ready in case bad things happen to us or we have an accident. If we are physically prepared with our fitness, nutrition, and habits, our bodies are resilient and ready when adversity strikes. I would imagine that that would be a huge regret, to have had the opportunity to prepare but never actually reached that point. As a result, the adversity of disease or injury would be much harder to overcome or deal with.

In conclusion, preparedness is all about focusing in all three areas of our lives. Preparedness is much different in regard to the three areas that I mention often, but they are equally important to ensuring a positive life. Are you professionally, personally, and physically prepared?