New Year Lies – Resolutions

Are you participating in the annual ritual of lying to yourself, better known as New Year resolutions? I know, a bit abrasive, but statistically speaking, people stink big time with achieving or reaching New Year goals, year after year. Some of the top 2012 lies include: falling in love, coming in at #9, enjoying life to the fullest at #4, spending more time with family at the bottom of the list, and of course, losing weight at #1. All these goals are respectable ambitions to pursue, but why do we crash with more than 50% abandoning resolutions within 6 months and 25% within the first 2 weeks jumping ship.
Perhaps our aspirations really aren’t resolutions in the first place, more like loose points of interest or something to share when asked, “What are your resolutions for 2014?” We don’t want to be the one not aspiring. Or, could there be false motives behind the decision that dooms us to fail? Do we really want to lose weight, fall in love, and enjoy life to the fullest? Maybe, we are reaching for goals that are someone else’s expectations for us? Are the external forces, be it media (Jenny Craig & Weight Watchers probably bust half of their media budget at the New Year), family, peers dictating those resolutions? Serious examination of our personal motives to the goals we claim for ourselves requires a little time and a lot of truth in order to be valid. With truthful motives behind our objectives, we are more likely to succeed. Good luck with any and all of your choices for 2014 and Happy New Year!

Statistical Source: University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit


School is out! Well, not yet. But, the buzz of a winter break is sublime to anticipate. Put down the lesson plans and the virtual chalk (does anyone use chalk anymore?). Your school district is giving you a priceless gift – time off. So, what are you going to do with that precious gift? Please do not pass over this reward. Imagine for a moment, you didn’t get it this year. What would that mean to you? Would rest and relaxation be more wonderful? Would spending that time with family and friends be sweeter? However you spend your winter break, we hope it is filled with great joy. Happy Holidays!

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit

photo credit – istock

Mandela – Passing on the Lessons


It is arduous to articulate the legend, Nelson Mandela, in a little blog, but my weakness with words should not discourage the attempt. At the very least, I will respectfully contemplate and share his wisdom to gain some of my own. The prisoner turned president educates past and present pupils with uplifting lessons on humanity. When enemies attempted to silence his words by lawfully forbidding his image or speeches from the people who he served, they in turn gave greater influence and meaning to the truth he refused to tolerate. The power of words were never lost on South Africa or Mandela who savored every thought and gave even greater reflection upon spoken words while imprisoned. Today, his words are applied to teach people all over the world not only the incredible history changing events in South Africa, but on courage, struggle, independence, education and character. Parents and educators, we can celebrate his life with our children, teaching them the example of a man who made sacrificial choices that freed a nation and influenced millions of people. He had reasons to be bitter and seek revenge for the atrocities that were handed to him and his family. Yet, his 27 year incarceration brought about a wisdom that knew forgiveness was just and reconciliation was healing. Contemplate the quote below with your students and children. Ask them about their thoughts on these wise words. It is with respect and honor we give tribute to Nelson Mandela by passing on his lessons.

“I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred; he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as sure as I am not free when my humanity is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.” The Long Walk to Freedom, 1994

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit
Written works by Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom
Conversations with Myself
Notes to the Future

The Intangible Wish List

I wish

The content Thanksgiving spirit in November has officially been thrown out with the leftover turkey and gravy, and the height of consumerism has taken over. Wish lists have been distributed. Anxiety- filled shoppers are buying everything in their paths before the clock strikes. I wish. . . has taken over the beginning of many conversations. My oldest son’s list is completely above his current socio-economic status, but then again, it is a wish list. Amusing longings pop up on Google when typing in – I wish, like I wish to lease a Subaru, I wish I could get rid of this cough and my fav, I wish I had curly hair. Through a search, I came across the Urban Art Project,” I Wish This Was. . .” by Candy Chang. Noticing an abundant number of abandoned buildings in her hometown of New Orleans, she created bright-red, fill-in-the-blank stickers with the words, “I WISH THIS WAS. . . ,” and the community would share their hopes for a particular building, like I wish this was a grocery store or a laundromat. Reading about the community response made me think of our children and how they are like empty buildings with potential. As parents and teachers, we place our red stickers of I wish on them and I wonder if they have the time to think about what they wish for. Not the laundry list of things, but the intangible wishes of their hearts. The intangible wishes could include I wish I had a friend, I wish I had more confidence, or I wish I was happy. The tricky thing about an intangible wish list is we can’t run out and buy it and stick a red bow on top of it. How priceless would it be to hear their intangible wishes and let them know they have the ability to make self-empowering choices to grant their own wishes?
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit