One Word for the New Year

Happy New Year! Thank you for joining me on this JRNEY and the first post of the new year! If this is your first time visiting JRNEY, welcome! I hope you enjoy the stories and content here, and I hope you come back. For those of you who have been with me from the start, thank you, and welcome back!  

This time of year inevitably nudges my reflective side, and it's really the perfect time to not only reflect on hopes for the new year, but also take time to think about how far I've come. I'm not one for resolutions. I used to make them and break them right away. Then I moved to goal setting, and while it has a place in my life, I always seemed to set goals that were way to big for the scope of a year. Then I found One Word

I'll be honest, I didn't choose a word for 2017. I couldn't narrow it down to one. I had too many words, too many things I wanted to work toward, places to go, and things to do. And that seemed to characterize my year. 

I started and I stopped. I spent time feeling sorry for myself and way too much time on mindless distractions, checking boxes and responding to emails. I told myself it was too hard and that I couldn't do it. I wasn't ready. The truth is, the longer I let myself feel that way, the more entrenched those feelings became. I felt like I was spinning my wheels doing a lot of work but not actually getting anything done. Despite all of that, 2017 allowed me to bring my vision for JRNEY to light and provide a space for teachers around the world to share their stories. I love talking to teachers and hearing their triumphs and challenges, and I love it even more when others read the stories and the content resonates with them.

So it's time to take a step back, to take myself down a reflective path, and then make a concrete decision about how to approach the coming year. That's where my one word comes in. If you're like me, your brain goes a million miles a minute. You have so many ideas and things you want to do that it can sometimes be paralyzing. The ideas stay ideas. In my case they are written in many colors on pieces of poster paper, peppered with sticky notes, hung on my office walls. This year I've decided to tackle my squirrel brain head on.

What will 2018 bring? This year, my word came easily.     


I won't be focusing on tasks, to do lists, or quantifying what I do each day. This year, I will focus on the work and not "the job", taking small steps each day taking the time to celebrate successes no matter how small, and setting realistic expectations for myself. For me the work is making and strengthening connections, creating and sharing stories and resources that help teachers make learning meaningful, and do my part to impact the world in positive ways. 


What's your #oneword for 2018? Post it in the comment box below, and let's keep the conversation going! 

And if you have a story to share, send me a message!

By Erin Dowd, the curator of JRNEY