I had never heard of the One Word concept until this year, hence why I’m a little late to the party. But over the new year period, my Twitter feed has been full of One Word pledges from my PLN. Their words have inspired me to revisit my own goals and resolutions. I started by reading the book that sparked it all.
The book is simple and short, yet inspirational. It can be read in under an hour. I encourage you to read it yourself in order to understand the root of the concept and the process of living it.
What is One Word?
According to the book, 87% of us make new year’s resolutions. These famously fail in the vast majority of cases due to mishaps, failures and false starts. Most people don’t even make it to the end of January! With One Word, our goals are summarised and focused into one powerful, carefully chosen word. The word is less of a goal and more of a way of being. By selecting only one word, we remain focused and determined. The word becomes a journey with inevitable ups and downs.
“Instead of being weighed down by unrealistic resolutions and unmet goals, One Word provides an entirely new perspective on how we approach our year. It frees us up. One Word gives us renewed purpose and meaning.”
Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page
The graphic above was created by Mark French to represent the One Words that have been chosen in his PLN. These are just some ideas. The book guides you through a process to carefully select your word. The process starts by “looking in” and answering these three questions:
What do I need?
What’s in my way?
What needs to go?
My #OneWord2018: Balance
My word became clear as I worked my way through the process. It just happens to be one of the attributes of the IB Learner Profile:
Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical and emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others.
The word perfectly captures my goals. Right now, I feel like I’m spinning lots of plates. It’s a common excuse that there aren’t enough hours in the day, but I don’t believe this. We just need to be intentional about prioritising and striking a balance. It started with a simple resolution (one that would have inevitably failed… like every year): I want to get fit. I want to look after myself by eating more sensibly and exercising regularly. A lack of time has always been the excuse not to. With deeper consideration, I realised that there are other aspects of my life that have also taken a backseat. Time and effort in one area are usually at the expense of another. For example, I feel like I have excelled with blogging this year. I have consistently published new content every week. I am also proud of my leadership journey to date, but many hours go into that as well. These successes have come at the cost of a social life and valuable downtime with my girlfriend. Also, with more professional learning and reading last year, I read less fiction (something that I’m really sad about). On top of everything, I will start a part-time Master’s degree in March. While balancing all of these aspects, I also need to adopt healthier sleep patterns! This is just a small snapshot of my unbalanced, unsustainable life. By balancing the different aspects, I will no longer need to sacrifice any.
As the book points out, this is not a task to be achieved. It’s about a new, improved way of being. There’s no finish line. My aim is to become a more rounded, balanced person and teacher. I ask all of my friends, online and offline, to keep me accountable.
“We encourage you to share your word with your inner circle – family and close friends. This group, your Stretch Team, will encourage, motivate, and celebrate your success.”
Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page
One Word with children
Many parents and teachers have introduced the One Word concept to children with great success. Children could come up with their own word or it could be a collective word for the class/family. This HyperDoc by Sean Fahey is a great place to start. I’d like to introduce it to my students next week. As ongoing reminders, students can stick their One Words to their lockers and add it to Seesaw. The class can become the Stretch Team for the individuals. They can keep me accountable for my word, too.
Examples from my PLN
For more information and examples, click the following links to find more blog posts. Also, check out the #OneWord2018 hashtag on Twitter.
What is your One Word for 2018? Let me know below so that I can be in your Stretch Team! Your ideas in the comments section, as always, will add value to the post and inspire others.
Happy new year! Good luck with your goals and let me know if I can help.
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