One Word 2021
In 2018, my one word chose me - it was Passion. It came about after reading Kids Deserve It, by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome, reignited my passion for teaching; after reading Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess, lit a fire under my passion for being a teacher; and after reading Be REAL: Educate from the Heart, by Tara Martin, stoked the embers and relit my passion for being a leader. This was the subject of my very first blog post, 2018: A Watershed Year.
In 2019, I intentionally chose my one word - Authentic. I reflected on my life journey so far - and where I wanted my journey to go in the future, and that word resonated strongly with me about who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live my life. I continued my journey of self-acceptance as I strove to be my authentic self; I was deliberate in the choices I made to ensure authentic learning experiences for those I serve; and I consciously cultivated authentic relationships with family, friends, colleagues and students. My original #OneWord2019 goals (read them here) evolved as I began a leadership position and I sought to be an Authentic Leader. Authenticity will always be my objective, as I continue to aspire to be authentic in all areas.
Last year, I chose the word Create to guide and drive me in 2020. It was time for me to move on from consuming, and focus on creating: creating community; connections; content; and calm (read my goals for each here). The year started with commitment and focus, but come March things shifted (as they did for everyone all over the world). I managed to stay on course for a while, but slowly I lost my drive and dedication, and by the end of the year I felt aimless and lacking motivation - adrift. I continued to connect with my #TLAPdownunder PLN through the weekly chat, but that was my main connection and interaction on social media. I wrote a few blog posts, and managed twelve in total for the year, but this was half the number I wrote the year before, and the last of those was written in September. I’ve been aware of a listlessness enveloping me, and while I am conscious that 2020 was a year like no other and the need to show myself kindness and grace in the face of the many challenges faced, I know myself well enough to know that if I continue in this way, I could easily slip into a depressive state. Therefore, it is imperative for my mental and physical well-being that I make some changes.
With that in mind, I have chosen INTENTIONAL as my One Word for 2021.
Intentional is an adjective which means done on purpose; and is deliberate.
There are many aspects of my life where this can apply, and where I will endeavour to ensure that all the choices I make are intentional. To start, I have identified the following:
Intentional Goals - short term and with a deadline.
I have a writing project to finish, so I commit to prioritising and completing each stage by an identified deadline. In relation to other content creation, I will plan and schedule these around my main goal.
Intentional Routine – sleep, exercise and food choices.
I will have a consistent bedtime, allowing for a minimum of seven hours sleep a night (I would aim for eight, but even when I go to bed earlier enough, I still wake up after seven hours anyway). I will attend HIIT sessions at least three times a week, more if I am able, and walk most of the other days. I will plan to ensure I eat enough to hit my calorie target for the day (overcoming that paradox of actually eating more to lose weight) and monitor my portion sizes and food choices.
Intentional Balance – making conscious decisions about how I spend my time.
For me, the more I do, the more I feel like doing. When I spend too much time doing nothing, I find it really hard to get started on anything, so I will maintain momentum by establishing a consistent routine (see above two points). I also commit to using the #BalanceLAP quadrants: Personal, Positional, Professional and Passions, to ensure clarity and mindfulness.
Now, I know myself well enough to know that having good intentions (see what I did there) will only get me so far…I also need accountability. Whilst I am diligent, dependable, and dedicated, when there are stormy seas, I can at times lack the determination and drive to 'stay the course' and accomplish desired outcomes. So, I’m reaching out for accountability partners for each of the above areas – I know this will help me, and I believe we can all achieve more by supporting each other. It could be said that, for me, accountability is the underpinning value to ensuring intentionality.
Will you join me in being intentional this year?
It's not about 'what can I accomplish?' but 'what do I want to accomplish?'. Paradigm Shift. Brene Brown
PS. I'm taking offers for accountability partners, but before volunteering, be aware that I can get a little cranky and teensy bit defensive at times (😬), but I will always reflect on my actions when needed, and appreciate those that care enough to challenge me to do so.