It is a new year and with a brand new calendar seems to come a desire for goal setting and change. We feel refreshed after a break, and ready for some forward movement. We want to start the year with a bang, positive and inspired.
Gaining or draining?
All too often big goals are often set, but how long do they truly last? How do we stay inspired? How do we keep moving forward in a role that can take all our energy to just maintain our status quo?
What if, instead of the lofty, wordy goals, we chose one word. Just one single word to set the tone of our year. This word wouldn't be solely for our teaching, or our leadership, but for our whole selves - the teacher us, the friend us, the parent, the partner, the colleague.
Often we segment our professional goals from the rest of our lives, and they feel disjointed from the other spheres of our being. If we have too many development plans whirling around we tend to lose focus on all of them. All of them get put in the ‘too hard basket’.
One word is not too hard.
Having just word that covers the spectrum of our roles is a wonderful way to simplify our development, and really let us achieve what we want. It lets us drop the wall between our personal and professional selves, which is a large part of being a heart centred teacher.
What word, you ask?
That's entirely up to you. We all have our own ‘what next’, and a goal set on our behalf doesn’t make the same impact as one you truly believe in.
Listen to your heart and you'll know what is lacking. You'll know what you want more of. It may be action, bravery, creativity, daring, enthusiasm, fun, gratitude, health...we can keep going through the alphabet but you know your word.
Sit with it!
If you don’t automatically have one that's ok. Sit with it, be curious as to what you need and it will come. You'll get your aha moment when you least expect it. The word will feel right and you'll see possibilities before you, even as you first utter it. Your word will choose you, rather than the other way around.
It seems too simple, one single word. It perhaps doesn’t feel weighty enough or specific enough. But it can carry a lot with it.
It can be an anchor point to measure choices against, a beacon to inspire you when your light is fizzling out, and a route marker to track your yearly path.
This one key focus will travel the year with you, and at the end you will have lived that word so consciously that eventually it has become a part of you. That word you know you needed more of will have impacted your year, and you will have grown – not just as a teacher, but as a fully integrated person.