Early Intervention Strategies for Success

Sharing What Works in Supporting Infants & Toddlers and the Families in Early Intervention

Early Intervention Strategies for Success, Tips, Insight and Support for EI Practitioners


*What’s Your Outcome for 2015?? Share it below and maybe you’ll win a free book!*

Some of you might be thinking…oh no, not another post about new year’s resolutions. If that’s you, then breathe easy because this isn’t about resolutions most of us won’t keep. Voicing aTarget with 2015 resolution really means very little if it doesn’t have a specific plan behind it. Kind of like IFSP outcomes – if we write them using really general language then they are harder to achieve. Think of the outcome 60% of kids in EI could have: Caleb will use words to communicate his wants and needs. It’s not very meaningful without more information that is specific to Caleb and his family. Without the individualized details in our own resolutions, we won’t know how to reach them or how to measure progress and we’re must less likely to be successful. Instead of thinking generally – like “I will exercise more” or “I will spend more time with my family” (sound familiar?) – let’s think specifically, pulling from those strategies we use to write good IFSP outcomes.

My Outcome for 2015

I have one big goal for the coming year: I want to graduate! I’m in a doctoral program and have just finished my classes (happy dance!). The coming year brings my comprehensive exams (written and oral) and my dissertation research and writing. If I let myself, it feels a little (okay, alot) overwhelming. In order to reach my outcome, I need to first define it. Here’s goes: I will complete my comps by March and dissertation by October so that I can graduate in December 2015. This includes completing the required paperwork by my deadlines, submitting my comps question, writing my exam paper and presenting it, identifying my dissertation committee, developing my prospectus (plan) for my dissertation, presenting and defending that, conducting my research, writing it up, then presenting and defending that. No big deal, right? Sheesh.

In order to reach my outcome, I’ll need to plan out my year, dedicate time each week to working on my outcome, and commit to myself that I will honor my plan. I need to get organized and do the work. I also need to think about how I will balance achieving this outcome with managing the rest of my life. It sounds like a huge undertaking, but when I break it into smaller steps, it’s much less scary and much more manageable. My plan is to chart it all out by actually making myself a checklist to keep track of my requirements (plus I get the joy of checking things off of the list!). This can be a great strategy for achieving any goal – breaking it down into specific achievable steps.

YOUR Outcomes for 2015

So what do you want to accomplish this year? What are the smaller steps you need to take to get there? Take 5 minutes today and write down an outcome for yourself for the coming year. Don’t just write an empty resolution like “I want to exercise more.” Instead, use the other 4 min and 45 sec to map out steps you need to take in your life to make this change. Write down what you need to do, who can help you, when you’ll do the activity/work, and where you will need to be. Imagine that you are writing an IFSP outcome for yourself.

Remember: how you spend your time this year, from the big picture outcome to the minutes of each day, are all up to you!

Share your outcome in the comments below so that your colleagues can draw inspiration from you! Let’s see if we can get 15 outcomes listed for 2015! I’ll randomly draw a name from the list on February 13th and send the winner a free copy of Family Centered Early Intervention: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments.

Happy New Year!

20 comments on “Let’s Get 15 Outcomes for 2015!

  • Brenda Jenkins says:

    I want to develop and keep healthy habits! This will be achieved by intentionally drinking 8 oz of water between meals, eating 4 fruits or vegetables each day (I have to be realistic), and setting aside 10 minutes each day dedicated to some type of exercise (again- need to be realistic). When I have been consistent with this for 3 weeks, then I know my outcome has been achieved.

  • Monica says:

    I am going to sit up straight. This includes not resting my elbows on the table or desk, and not leaning back in my chair. During my home visits, I try to pay attention to my posture when I’m on the floor. I see the more senior members of my family showing the signs of years of poor posture and that is my motivation for armchair strength training!

  • michelle says:

    Monica, I have been using a ball chair for years, it is great for the posture, core muscles and back. I got the chair from Gaiam, I love the chair, thinking of getting one for office at home.

  • michelle says:

    I will dedicate to write for 1 hour weekly on the book I am writing with the first goal to have a rough draft by June 1 2015. The second goal is find someone to read the draft and provide feedback by the end of August. The last goal is to find a publishing company to take my draft and with the hopes to get the book published by the end of the year.

  • Kristen says:

    I want to take better care of my skin! I’ve invested in quality skincare products, I’m making a daily (do-able) routine for skincare, and working on not touching my face. This is especially important when I’m at my desk doing contact notes, as I tend to touch my face a lot out of habit. I know that my outcome will be achieved when I have gone an entire month keeping up my skincare routine (6/7 days at least). It sure is hard to break bad habits! I guess that’s why it’s important to establish good habits from the beginning 🙂

    • Great goal, Kristen! It IS hard to break bad habits but hopefully it’ll be much easier with a goal. Don’t they say it takes 10 days to establish a new habit? I wonder if it takes as long to break one? Good luck this year!

  • Barbara says:

    Great goals here! My goal is to be more productive when I get home from work or on weekends. I will either workout, write in my journal, and or/make a healthy dinner 3 times a week by June 2015. That way I won’t feel guilty for watching a little too much television when I get home… 🙂

  • Ellen Webb says:

    I will grow my family by adopting a child in 2015. In order to do this, I will complete adoption paperwork including financial and health screening and participate in homestudy process. I will find a lawyer to petition the court for guardianship. I will attend court proceedings and complete all court paperwork.

    • Wow, Ellen, what an exciting goal! I really do with you all the best. Even with all of those hoops you have to jump through, you have a great adventure ahead! Please keep me posted on how 2015 ends for you!

  • Lori says:

    My goal is to (host) a monthly family breakfast & outing. As a single individual I am fortunate to live close to parents, brothers, sisters & nieces; but it seems we only get the entire family together for holidays. To accomplish a monthly gathering I will offering 3 options at the start of each month through an email thread where we all communicate. Once a date is selected (by majority rule), I will provide a breakfast at my home and select an accessible (DC tourist) site for us to visit together : )

    • Sounds like a goal that will benefit your whole family, Lori! I think it might also be an example of a goal that sounds easier than it actually is to implement! I love your idea of making it a family day, with touring a DC site too. Sounds like lots of fun. Good luck!

  • Thanks so much to each of you who submitted your outcomes for 2015! I wish you all the best for a wonderful year!

    And the book goes to (channeling the Oscars)…Monica! Congratulations!

    Monica – please email me privately (dcchildress@vcu.edu) with your address and I’ll get the book in the mail asap!


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