Saturday, January 2, 2016

#OneWord for 2016

For the last few weeks, I've been trying to come up with my #oneword for the New Year. I was noticing other people committing to their #oneword on Twitter but I couldn't decide! But that's my problem. 

Last year my #oneword was BALANCE. In the last few years, I've become very passionate about my work. I feel I'm transforming as an educator and want to soak up all I can from everyone (at school, at dinners with my PLN, on Twitter, reading blogs and books!) but that takes time from my family. Meanwhile, my kids are growing up quickly. I also quit focusing on my well-being. I didn't organize friend time and date nights as much. I started to hide because I couldn't crawl out where it was all so overwhelming. Then I realized everything for me was all out of balance. So I had to regain control and find a better balance in everything. I had to start saying 'no' at work, even though I wanted to do it all. I had to miss a few of my kids' games to get rest and heal my back. I had to stop drinking so much soda and drink more water. By not excluding everything or making it a yes/no word it gave me freedom to make it work for me. I had to take some things off my plate to become a better mom, wife, teacher, friend, Me. It is still a process but it is a smart word for me. How could I top that one?

I thought about motivating words such as spark, move, go, purpose (I always use this word in my classroom, why not for myself?), try, empower (one I took from Innovator's Mindset by George Couros) or yet (my favorite new word I took from Mindset by Carol Dweck) I wanted something catchy that would inspire others. Hm... so I searched my Pinterest board since that is where I go for ideas and inspiration. I saw a common theme...

Decisions. Choices. Direction. I struggle to make decisions... ALWAYS. What do I want to eat? What should I wear? Do I want fries with that? Should I go for a walk, grade papers or hang out with my kids? There is so much to do. See... I need to work on making decisions. Recently I've been seeking out answers from others on what to do with my life. They don't have answers for me, just for themselves. It is really wearing me out because no one wants to make a bad decision on purpose but how will I know it is a bad decision if I never make one?

Do I want to get my masters degree? Should I get Google Certified? Should I stop by the gym? Do I really need that cookie?? Should I put my work aside and play with my kids? I realized part of making decisions begins with making a choice. 

It is hard to move forward without first deciding where to go. At each intersection you must move forward - you decide to turn left, continue straight, or turn right - no one can make you (although they might honk! or in my case, try to push or drag you on) but you have to GO! Before you can go, you have to choose. Ah, that's it! 

This year I need to CHOOSE! This #oneword can work in all areas of my life: 
*Choose to have a good day
*Choose to stop at the gym
*Choose to listen to a friend
*Choose to play with my kids
*Choose to empower myself and others
*Choose joy
*Choose to continue to grow professionally
*Choose to go on a date with my husband
*Choose what is right for my students
*Choose to be present at home
*Choose to move forward

So while my #oneword is not all inspirational and pretty this year, it is meaningful to me. I can use it with all the other motivational words to work for me. I know you may be thinking, we all have to choose all the time but I want to be intentional and purposeful about my choices. George Couros said his father inspired him with these words: "Change is the opportunity to do something amazing." (p.2, Innovator's Mindset) however I cannot change anything without making a decision. This year I will CHOOSE.

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