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40 Hour Workweek

Uncategorized   |   Jan 2, 2011

Refocused: getting back to your purpose and vision

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Refocused: getting back to your purpose and vision

By Angela Watson


Between the low-key holidays we enjoyed and the day-after-Christmas blizzard that dumped a beautiful 24 inches of snow on the city, this week has been the quietest in recent memory. I am loving the quietness of winter in New York, the brief periods of daylight and freezing temperatures that naturally create a time for slowing down.  The vibe around here has been so peaceful and laid back that I decided not to do any work or any writing at all. Instead, I just enjoyed my husband’s company and relaxed. We ate, we took long walks, we watched countless cheesy movies, and probably more than anything, we slept. I’m talking 10-12 hours a night for the entire week. I had no idea my body wanted that much rest.

Now as the work week looms around the corner, I am surprised to find myself refreshed and refocused. 9 days of totally taking my mind off the things I want to accomplish has not put me further behind in my goals, but made me more excited than ever to get back to work. I feel like I’ve tapped back into my purpose and my vision and I’m excited about moving forward.

I hope that each one of you is also in that space mentally, but if you’re not, maybe these thoughts from Angela Maier’s post Pondering Makes for a Perfect New Year! will provide some inspiration. She writes,

Here are some of the questions that have filled my mind and heart and will guide my planning in the year to come:

  • What’s my contribution?
  • What story am I meant to tell?
  • How will I become the best at making that contribution?
  • Who will I touch? How will I know it mattered?
  • What is most worthy of doing when everything seems important?
  • What will my impact be? How will the world be changed because of my presence in it?
  • What do I need to practice tomorrow to ensure that my time here is well spent?

Pondering these questions ensures my new year’s habits and daily routines will be productive and precise.

I thought about those questions all day today, and revisited her blog tonight to post this comment:

“Your questions for pondering have really resonated with me. These are things I want to think about each morning as I prepare for work, and at the end of the day as I think back on what was accomplished. I think they’ll be a great tool for staying focused on my vision and tapping into the higher purpose and calling that I know is present in my work but easily lost in the midst of routine tasks.

Who will I touch? How will I know it mattered? is the most critical component for me–if I can start each day with that intention in mind, then I’ll be more likely to achieve it…and I’ll have a greater sense of satisfaction when the day is over. I also think that setting my own purpose for the day’s work, my own gauge by which I know my contributions mattered, will help create a deeper sense of accomplishment. It will keep me focused on impacting the lives of people in a positive way–not test scores, not paperwork, but people. The five minutes spent encouraging a frustrated teacher in the hallway between classes might be the most important part of my day, and give me real meaning even if most of my day is spent doing tasks that don’t bring as much personal satisfaction. At the end of the day, I want to think back on that moment when I know my work touched someone, and what I did mattered.”

Happy New Year to each one of you! It’s my hope and prayer that 2011 brings you a greater sense of accomplishment and purpose in your teaching, and I want to share as many resources as possible to help with that. There are many wonderful things to come! Thank you for your support and being a part of my journey, and for sharing your journeys with me, as well.

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. This came through at a good moment for me. I was just sitting here thinking about heading back to work on Monday, the getting up super early in freezing cold, hoping there is heat in our building but knowing it could take all day for me to get warm. I’m excited yet wary of heading back yet your post rids me of the wariness and leaves me with the excited part. Thanks!

  2. Definitely a terrific reminder that sometimes all we need to do is just put everything aside and take time for ourselves in order to better face what is ahead for us. I don’t miss the snow, although I did get my first White Christmas in 20 some odd years and it was nice while it lasted – I’m thankful I live in the south and we don’t see much snow. I had my fill by living in New York (my father was stationed at West Point) and Germany (first year we were there, had a blizzard in April – was a weird thing to see snow up to the second floor windowsills in our building). I think every 20 years or so of snow in December if okay with me – lol.

    Glad you got the rest your body needed and that you had a chance to renew yourself to face work. E 🙂

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?


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