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2023 Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions at Deer Park

Message from Mr Clutterbuck, Headteacher.

One in five of us will have made New Year’s resolutions this year. This number compares favourably to one in seven people in 2022. And for the young people amongst us, the figure is two in five making resolutions. Health and fitness dominate the top three most common resolutions. However, of those of us who resolve to make resolutions, only a third will keep them for the year.

Assemblies during week commencing 9 January 2023 will pick up on the theme of resolutions and how to build good habits.

Resolutions are firm decisions to do or not do something and being resolute is the quality of being determined. Being resolute chimes with one of our school values: determination. At Deer Park our aims are for pupils to be Safe, Happy and Successful with our values of Trust, Kindness and Determination providing the bedrock through which we can achieve these aims. For the pupils next week, I am going to suggest that the link between our value of determination and the aim of being successful is a pupil making a firm decision to do (or not to do) something and having the determination to stick to this decision.

But with only a third of us able to see through our New Year’s resolutions with the necessary determination, how successful are the pupils of Deer Park likely to be? And what can we do, or I do, to increase the chances of pupils sticking to their decisions?

Having returned to a book I read a couple of years ago, 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear, the solution could lie in building strong new habits. In his book, Clear comes up with four laws in order to start new habits, because once we are in the habit of doing something, it becomes automatic:

1. Make it obvious
2. Make it attractive
3. Make it easy
4. Make it satisfying

Read 'How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick'

Atomic Habits by James Clear

The challenge of my assemblies will be for pupils to build new habits rather than stating resolutions. The following could be built into habits by our pupils using Clear’s four laws (cue, craving, response, and reward) to make them habitual:

  • Be kind to yourself
  • Be kind to others
  • Spend less time on social media
  • Read more books
  • Revise regularly
  • Help out at home
  • Tidy your room
  • Join an extra-curricular club
  • Improve in a particular subject.

Please take a moment to remind yourself about How We Talk at Deer Park School - the article clarifies the ways in which we all should and should not talk to each other, both inside and outside of school. 

Having shared all of this with you, it is only right and proper that, as the architect of the assembly and habit plan, I ought to establish one or two new positive habits myself. So, over the weekend I will think about what I want to resolve and share my resolve with the pupils.

Happy New Year!