Resolutions vs. Goals: Let's discuss!

The New Years Resolution with Shurley English.jpg

During the first few days of January, many people across the globe participate in the age-old tradition of writing a New Year’s Resolution.  The custom of making a promise to do something differently to improve one’s life (mind, body, & soul) in the coming year has been going on since ancient times. 

Writing a New Year’s Resolution is not the same thing as coming up with a goal for the New Year. Goals require hope and futuristic thinking, while resolutions require reflection, awareness, and a call for change to achieve a more positive future.

The reflection process involves serious thought or consideration to what has gone well during the previous year versus what hasn’t gone so well.  The opportunity generates awareness of both positive and negative behaviors.  Since behavior modification for self-improvement is the goal, a New Year’s Resolution usually centers on the negative behavior in order to launch a call for change

Negative behaviors stand in the way of personal excellence.  Making a New Year’s Resolution can be a positive way to ditch bad behaviors and replace them with good ones. The idea is that by looking at the past, we can better understand the present and make a future plan for a better life.

Research indicates that people who make a New Year’s Resolution are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who never commit.  That’s a good reason to participate in writing a New Year’s Resolution this year.  So, I’ll leave you with this question:  What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

Comment /Source

Jamie Geneva

Jamie Geneva is the Senior National Consultant at Shurley Instructional Materials and is a seasoned subject matter expert in the realm of English Language Arts.  Her career with the company began during the days of the Shurley Method binder, which was pre-1st Edition, and has spanned across three decades.  Over the years, her various roles have included teacher, presenter, state representative, consultant, manager, and most recently, a Shurley English Digital Assistant.  You might not recognize her face, but her voice could certainly sound familar.  That’s because she’s recorded Jingles, Q&A Flow Sentences, and other Shurley English content for many, many years. 

Jamie and her husband, Garret, live in the foothills of eastern Oklahoma. She loves spending quality time with her family, traveling, reading, cooking, and staying connected on social media.

Ms. Geneva received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education and her M.Ed in Public School Administration from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. 

New Year Check-In: Let's evaluate our progress!


As a classroom teacher, returning from holiday break was always bittersweet.  On one hand, I knew the pressure for “test prep” would be more intense, but on the other hand, the satisfaction of witnessing my students grow into wiser beings put a validating smile on my face.

It was a common practice of mine to re-assign the Shurley English Pretest the day my students returned to class from their holiday break.  The Teacher’s Manual did not tell me to do this; I simply felt it was an important way to remind my students how much they’d already learned in four short months and hopefully use it as a tool for motivating them at the start of the New Year.   Re-assigning the Pretest was also a way for me to check-in with each student’s retention and progress.  In addition, I would ask them to write a basic three-point paragraph (or three-paragraph essay depending on the grade level) about their holiday break to monitor how they were transferring their new knowledge into writing.  It was also important for me to have my students share their holiday in review with their classmates as well.   This practice proved to be a positive and productive way to ease my students and myself back into the teaching/learning mode of Shurley English.  As a side note, if you were the lucky teacher to have gained a new student in your classroom, this could be a non-threatening way to introduce Shurley English to your new learner.  Here are some possible writing topics:

*The best/worst vacation ever

*My most memorable holiday moment

*The coolest gift I gave/received

*My wildly weird family

BEST of LUCK to you and your students throughout the NEW YEAR!

Comment /Source

Kimberly Crady

Kimberly Crady is an adventurous woman with an immense love for life, learning, and teaching. After teaching in upper elementary classrooms for nearly 10 years, she joined the Shurley Team in 2005.  Kimberly has had the unique experience of teaching Shurley English lessons in all levels, Kindergarten-8th grade and training teachers across the United States.  Kimberly is a National Consultant and SEDA Teacher for Shurley Instructional Materials.


Kimberly’s passion for helping people and living a healthy lifestyle has led her to continue her education in the area of Health and Wellness.  She enjoys numerous outdoor activities from hiking and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains to paddle boarding in the ocean; although, these days you can find her practicing hot yoga in a Bikram Yoga studio. She also enjoys traveling abroad, live music, reading, and spending time with her favorite mutt, Lu.  Kimberly’s experience as a Certified Health & Wellness Coach and Teen Life Coach helps support her firm belief in teaching the whole person, especially in the classroom.