Malu Sciamarelli

Professional Goals for 2013 – Malu

Malu Sciamarelli

Before I Have Goals, I Dream

–Malu Sciamarelli

As another year begins, our thoughts turn to making resolutions, establishing new or returning to our old goals — either personal  (this year I will get more sleep, exercise more, have a healthier diet) or professional (I will work fewer hours, participate more in workshops and conferences, take up another course.)

All worthy goals, but why do we permanently return to resolutions and goals that seem based on the idea of fixing all the things we were doing wrong? We have the feeling we want to right all the annoying wrongs of our lives, but are not fully aware of why. Is the objective of our resolutions and goals to be merely a corrective action or do we really know where we are going and where we want to be? If we do not know our true desires for our professional lives for the year ahead, then we cannot know the goals we must set and more importantly why we really need them.

In running, for example, you have a weekly training plan dependent on your target races – your desires. You have to know these desires so you can establish your training and goals.  If you want to participate in a 10-kilometer race, you will need to train three times a week for four months. However, if you then want to master the half marathon, you will need to extend your training time and the distance covered during the week and — instead of four months  — train for six months and follow a specific diet.


If you desire an advanced certificate in teaching so that you can be eligible to join a faculty, then build your training plan of classes, practice tests and study hard. If your desire is to present at an international conference this year, then submit your ideas to all the local conferences and workshops, gain exposure and experience as a presenter because this could be your training plan and diet to follow. Dream your desires then plan the training and diet that you need to follow to attain your goals.

So, instead of trying to correct all the wrongs or wanting to do everything you did not do last year, why not take some time to figure out what your professional goals really are? This is exactly the period when I take my time to dream! While goals are about should, dreams are about hope. It is only when we dream that we can hope to do something truly new, that will overtake old habits, old customs, old ways of thinking and just surviving. The plan that is made turned on its head then revised again can lead to greater success. Also by dreaming, we can have a vision of who we are and who we want to become.  The more we know who we are, the less likely we are to procrastinate, and the closer we will come to accomplishing our goals.

If you have already started the year establishing some goals, they may give you some clues as to what your deeper dreams are. And when we take a moment to look at the why of a goal, we may find the true desire that fuels it.

Ask me what I am doing at this moment and the answer will be simple: dreaming! Dreaming of:

· Reading books, journal articles, and blog posts

· Writing articles, blog posts and materials

· My lessons, planning, peer observation

· Attending conferences, seminars, workshops, webinars, and teacher

development sessions.

· Giving a conference talk or delivering a teacher development session;

· My PLN (personal learning network) and their role in my professional life

· Communities of teachers, – how I am contributing and what I am learning

· Collaborative professional development

· Professional development courses — in-person and online.

After some days or a few weeks, I will be reflecting on my dreams, selecting the true ones and then the goals required to make them come true will become evident. And rather than procrastinating, or worse, forgetting my goals this year I may actually see them through: by dreaming, reflecting, identifying my goals, establishing the plans and training to accomplish them and finally making them come true.

What better time is there to determine our deepest desires for dreams and plant the seeds in the upheaval and renewal of our lives than at the beginning of this year?

Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dreams. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. — Lao Tzu




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Published by

Malu Sciamarelli

Malu has been working in Brazil for 20 years as an English teacher, materials designer, translator and consultant for publishers. She has taught in schools, language institutes and in companies, where she has developed a new concept of ELT in the workplace. She’s passionate about teaching. She believes teachers can affect how students perceive the world around them; they can ignite a spark of curiosity and help them develop their own creativity; they can help them overcome fears, express themselves, initiate ideas, plans, actions and a desire for lifelong learning. She’s also an enthusiastic runner and she loves dogs. Malu's Website

12 thoughts on “Professional Goals for 2013 – Malu”

  1. Dear Malu,

    Thank you for your lovely post: it showed me the light to follow my dreams. Just what I needed. Now I know what my professional goals for this year are!


    1. Dear Katia,

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂
      Sometimes when we cannot see clearly from ourselves, friends – and words – can help enormously. Somebody did that to me too and I’m so grateful.

      “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

      I’m so happy my words helped you reflect on your dreams and set you goals for this year! Let’s keep dreaming – and sharing the flame!

    1. Didi, my dearest! Thank you for reading! ☺

      Yes, let’s keep dreaming but also making dreams come true. We all can!

      Let’s “be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

    1. I confess that as I was writing this post, I was thinking of all my dreams that were left behind. But one day I read “ your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” Since then, my purpose is to make my dreams come true: by dreaming, reflecting, identifying my goals and establishing the plans and training to accomplish them!

      Thank you for reading, dear Esther! 🙂

  2. I love the power in your words Malu:

    “If you desire an advanced certificate in teaching so that you can be eligible to join a faculty, then build your training plan of classes, practice tests and study hard. If your desire is to present at an international conference this year, then submit your ideas to all the local conferences and workshops, gain exposure and experience as a presenter because this could be your training plan and diet to follow. Dream your desires then plan the training and diet that you need to follow to attain your goals.”

    I’m so happy to have met a fellow dream-catcher. The world is wide open and it’s clear that you don’t take it for granted one bit.

    Happy 2013 my dear!

    1. My dear dream-catcher fellow!
      Thank you for your lovely words! 🙂

      I do believe words have power. That’s why I do exactly the same as you: write them down in a little notebook I always keep with me, wherever I go. There’s a page for each dream, each goal of mine for the year; and then my to-do list, my “training and diet” to follow. I confess that at times I look at them with fear. But then then passion to make them come true makes me fearless!

      May we all we see our goals through this year, dear Josette! Happy 2013!

  3. Indeed, Malu, take time to dream is essential. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on”, Shakespeare once said. He was right: our dreams make us what we are and they are our essence. They bring life to our days. They give us breath in a deep ocean. And not be moved by dreams does not mean that we do not live – worse! It means we simply exist. However, dreams should not be kept apart of real life. They should not be kept on surface of the unattainable and magical. Who said there is no magic in life? We should leave the “I wish” and “if only” behind and put our dreams and our goals together. You are absolutely right when you said we have to have dreams as goals. This is it. We have to be and do what we dream and not just wonder, not choose what is easier or more convenient. We have to ask ourselves: how do we really enjoy playing our life? And go chase these dreams, otherwise we will spend our life completely wasting time. We will be doing things we do not like doing for living a life that we do what we do not like doing – which is stupid! It is undeniably stupid spend our time in things we do not like. It does not matter if we have 1 million dreams and just one of them became true. Better have a life full of dreams and what we like doing than a life spent in a miserable way wondering what would have happened if we had dreamed at least once. That’s why it is so important to do what you present to us. You are a dreamer, dear Malu. And dreamers are the ones who certify that other people will not give up on dreaming. Dreamers make people believe. And as you gave me this dream disease, whether as a teacher, as a writer, as a human being, my main goal is to make students, readers, other people believe that dreams are possible and turning them into goals and working for it, they will probably become true.
    Thank you for your amazing words. Thank you for being inspiration, Malu!

  4. Thank you for your words, dear Bianca. You are an inspiration with your amazing positive attitude – a real dreamer who makes dreams come true. I know you do!

    “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

  5. Dear Malu, thank you so much for being such an inspiration for me!Since started following you here I have felt the vibes of such a positive person you are!!!How powerful your words are!!And how gently and profoundly you prompt us to step out of our comfort zone and be on the seekout of the meaningful things of life. Your deep loving, anthropocentric and spiritual outlook towards life is so compelling and uplifting, indeed!!I Words fail me..!!I wish you every happiness!!

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