I shared with them how Mark Zuckerberg, one of the co-founders of Facebook approached this topic. Zuckerberg has made a tradition of publicizing his New Year’s resolutions. For this year, he has resolved to read two books per month as a way of “learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.” He hopes to encourage others to read his book selections and generate a discussion about them by posting about his progress toward his goal on the Facebook page “A Year of Books.” Using a public forum in this way may also motivate Zuckerberg to achieve his goal.
I also pointed out to students that January resolutions don’t have to be made public or involve one big goal. Research has shown the main reason many resolutions fall by the wayside once February rolls around is that the desired change in behavior is too sharp to be maintained. An alternative approach might be to focus instead on making one small change per day. If the entire Greenwood community made one small change daily, the collective impact of that small change would be deeply felt in and outside the school.