Back to School: Focus and Reset

The start of the school year is a lot like the start of a new year. For many, January 1 represents new beginnings. It is the universally accepted time to set goals and hit the reset button. If this is the case for you (and even if it is not), I invite you to think of the first few weeks of school as the perfect opportunity to focus and reset your personal and family goals for a successful school year.

Reflect on the Past School Year

First, begin with a careful reflection on the past school year. As John Maxwell says, “evaluated experience is the best teacher.” Always begin with the positive. As humans, we tend to reflect first on the negative and on everything that did not work. Instead, think about the routines, schedules, ideas, and activities that worked well last year. What did you feel great about? What were the highlights for you and your family? What did you accomplish, and what set you up for success? Once you have a positive foundation, identify the gaps in what did not work and what you may want to change.

Decide on Your Priorities for This School Year

Next, decide on your priorities for this school year. It is easy to list several things, but do your best to narrow it down to two or three. After you have identified your priorities, consider the answers and insights from your reflection work to determine your goals. You will need to determine the necessary steps and action items to make your goals a reality. This includes identifying barriers and support systems. Keep your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based), simple, and important to you. Don’t “should yourself” (more on this in another blog). Saying, “I should go to bed earlier” conjures up different emotions and outcomes than “I want to go to bed earlier.” Or even better, “I am a person who goes to bed at a reasonable hour because I feel much better when I do.” Remember, your words have power (Proverbs 18:21)

Discuss Your Goals and Actions 

Finally, discuss your goals and actions over with your family or an “accountabil-a-buddy.” It is all about win-learn. Sometimes a great idea does not work out in real life. Be flexible. Most importantly, keep moving forward.

So, what will you decide to focus on and reset this year? Here are a few ideas: Engage in intentional family fun, practice math facts for five minutes every day, increase margin by cutting back on activities, and eat at least four serving of vegetables a day.


About the Author

Melissa Troncoso is passionate about helping people cut through the clutter of misinformation and overcome barriers to achieve success in weight management, health, fitness, energy, and life balance.  She is a native of Houston, Texas, and world traveler thanks to a 17+ year career as a Navy Nurse.  A lifelong learner, she is a third-year PhD student studying obesity and weight cycling.  She enjoys reading, eating good food, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two children.     

About Trinity Christian School

Pursuing Excellence for Mind and Heart

K-12 Independent Christian School in Northern Virginia

Located just over 20 miles southwest from Washington, D.C., 10 miles south of Route 66 in Fairfax, and 10 miles west of the Capital Beltway

Educating students to the glory of God by pursuing excellence for mind and heart since 1987



A 2019 National Blue Ribbon School