Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Another school year has begun—and already we are seeing it transform right before our eyes. Look carefully—remember that transformers change subtly and slowly, one twist and turn at a time. I’m confident that each one of us can identify small but significant changes that have occurred in the opening weeks of this new year. Did you travel to Denver for SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in July? I sure hope you were there, because it was simply wonderful, from the opening events to the closing concert with the Beach Boys. If you couldn’t make it, check out the wrap-up article that begins on page 33, and be sure to visit School Nutrition.org to review the many presentations and handouts available from speakers; it will give you some insights into the powerful sharing and problem solving that is a hallmark of each ANC. It really is unparalleled opportunity to identify solutions together. After all, none of us are in this alone. Tackling all the challenges of serving school meals to kids simply can’t be done by one person working in isolation. Small ideas, simple suggestions and lots of teamwork are essential to transformational success. This year, we’ll be working together, one step at a time to meet the objectives of our new Strategic Framework. The work of the Association is divided into five pillars that represent the five fundamental areas of SNA’s work as our national organization (CEO Frank DiPasquale describes the “Advocacy” pillar on page 4). But for those pillars to remain on solid ground, they require an unshakeable foundation. Each and every one of you— our members—create that sturdy base. To help SNA stay healthy in its transformative efforts, you need to invest time and commitment to your personal health, too! Many of us struggle in this area, don’t we? But what better motivation do we have than to serve as successful role models for our students? Let’s take steps in the right direction by participating in SNA’s brand-new STEPS Challenge! In this personal wellness program, you will Set your goals; Track your progress; Embrace new habits; Promote healthy eating; and Share your success. Let’s support each other as we make a transformation to healthier lifestyles! I promise to share my journey with you, including my goals, progress and success, in this column. My first goal was to get through ANC without gaining weight; I succeeded by focusing on healthier eating practices and making time for exercise. The late author Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People advised readers to “begin with the end in mind.” Let’s do that together—as we start the year, let’s envision what we want to see at the end: healthier habits for us and for our students.
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