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EXPERIENCES, NEW opportunities

I love new beginnings. While being at school is one of the most exciting times of our children’s lives, it’s also unique because in no other place or context do you get the chance to make a fresh start each year.

New teachers, new experiences, new opportunities. As our children return to another year of school, maybe we can provide them with a challenge: to think small! You might think that seems a bit odd; however, when it comes to taking a fresh look, and making a fresh start in a fresh year, we should encourage our children to think small. Why? Because success comes in a number of small and deliberate steps. Similarly, failure comes the same way — not from a single event, but perhaps from a few errors in judgement, or a few poor choices repeated every day. The challenge exists within how we encourage our children to take a fresh look at the things they do and then make a change for the better, moving towards a goal. The fresh start could be about how they treat others, how they treat the environment, how they respond to a challenge, how they cope with failure, or about how they approach their classwork. It is based on a few simple practices that you can plan and implement…then watch to see how they go. However, while they are small, they need to be repeated to ensure they become positive habits. We all have the capacity to change, to grow and to improve, and the New Year is the time to do it. Encourage your children to take just a few minutes every day to look ahead and think: What small steps can I change NOW that will have a positive impact on my life and those around me? One of the exciting things about the small steps formula is that the results are almost immediate. It could be as simple as this: when they get home from school, they don’t jump in front of a screen; rather, they read a book or offer to help out around the house.

As we take a fresh look at things and change our habits, we experience positive benefits in a very short period of time. If we start some more regular exercise, we will see the difference; if we try to rebuild a relationship with someone, again, we will see results.

If we start today to make a conscious and consistent effort to change our choices, to take the small steps, we are already on the road to success. I love this quote from Harvey Mackay, a businessman, author and syndicated columnist, who says: “People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be.” Let the beginning of 2017 be a fresh start that delivers success for you and your children. m

Reverend Chris Ivey, St Andrew’s Anglican College Chris Ivey has been Principal of St Andrew’s Anglican College since 2007. He is married to an amazing lady, Elizabeth and they have four children. The oldest is in her first year at UQ and his youngest three are at St Andrew’s, where he hopes they love being with their Dad! He trained as an English and Drama teacher, before becoming a College Chaplain and then moving into his current leadership role.



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