Happy New Year! It seems hard to believe that today is the last day of 2023. The past two weeks on break have truly been amazing. Sometimes, you don't realize how much you are always on the run, while living your life. As Winter Break started, I was not just worn out- I was on empty. While on break, I set aside time first to rest and then to accomplish tasks that I would not have time regularly to do. 

Reflecting on my #oneword 2023: #develop

Back on January 1, 2023, I shared my blog post all about my #oneword 2023 #develop. To determine my #oneword 2023, I used two thinking routines: Compass Points and Generate, Sort, Connect and Elaborate.  I used the Generate, Sort, Connect, and Elaborate to determine what my #oneword2023 would be and Compass Points to reflect on my 2022 year. 

So as I get ready to close out my 2023, I decided to do a similar process for past year's reflection and next year's planning. My Compass Points for 2023 is shown to the right and provides a great overview of my year as a whole, but let's dig a little deeper into each quadrant this week.

What excited me about 2023

2023 was a year where I developed far beyond my expectations and showed a ton of growth professionally. Two of my proudest accomplishments include becoming an ISTE Certified Educator and being selected as an ASCD Emerging Leader.  I was also honored to be selected as an ISTE Community Leader and to present at many conferences including ISTE, TCEA, the ASCD Leadership Summit, and Learning Forward.

In addition, this year, I got my health and wellness under control personally. Using a program called Optavia, I lost 65 lbs since May 1st and am only 5 lbs away from my goal weight. I also got back into running and have run over 176 miles since my foot healed in late July. Lastly, I also started taking fitness classes like Barre, Barbell Strength and Yoga.

What worried me about 2023
When I consider what worried me about 2023, a few things stood out. First, this year was not as good as a year for my business, TannenbaumTech, and it was significantly harder to fund my business. In addition, in May 2023, I fell during Kiss and Ride and broke my foot. I spent from May to July worrying about how to recover best from this injury. Personally in 2023, I worried about funding my daughter's upcoming college expenses; while making sure I supported my son as he approaches the end of his college experience. 

Remembering 2023/ My Stance of 2023 

My biggest takeaways from 2023 include remember that some times, struggles can lead to triumphs. When I broke my foot, I was so upset- I missed almost a whole month of school and the recovery was long. But, looking back, it was truly a blessing. I am convinced that I broke my foot due to the extra weight I was carrying. While recovering, I followed my Optavia health plan to a T and when I was finally able to walk independently, I found that I had lost over 20 lbs during my convalescence.  This is an important reminder that small actions add up- now eight months later, I have lost 65 lbs. Another great example is when I started running in July, I was able to run less than 2 miles. But with deliberate small steps, I can now run 5 miles easily and am building up to a half marathon run. Slow and steady wins the race.

Determining my #oneword2024

As I got ready to determine my #oneword2024, a lot of words came to mind- write, create, amplify, etc. But as I thought about each of them- none of them felt right to me.  So I went back to what I did in 2023 and created a Generate, Sort, Connect, Elaborate and brainstormed all the ideas that came to mind when I considered 2024. As I did this, it was obvious to me that as I sorted them, they came under three different buckets:

What did all three of these buckets have in common, I wondered as the answer flashed before my eyes- they all had to do with stories. But story didn't feel right either. Then I thought about who writes stories and there it was.

Revealing my #oneword2024: AUTHOR

As the word, author, popped into my head, I considered what this word means. I went to dictionary.com to continue my research. When I looked at it as a noun, "An author is someone who writes a novel, poem , essay, etc." Then, I found the definition of it as a verb, " to originate; create a design for." As I thought about both definitions, I loved the fact that it was both a verb and a noun and that every thing on my Generate, Sort, Connect, Elaborate, fit under this word. 

Back in 2021, I took Lindsay Titus' Mastering Me course. During that course, she shared the quote to the right and below. 

"You get to write your own story every day! You are the author of your life. No one else gets to write your story." 

This statement is as true today as it was in 2021. In 2024, I plan to actively write the stories of my life. I will be dedicated to my writing and take full advantage of my Writing pathway as part of being an ASCD Emerging Leader. I will create opportunities for me to share my writing and challenge myself to level up my writing. I will write and celebrate the milestones captured from my personal life. There is a lot to celebrate in 2024. I will write and share how I will take advantage of professional growth opportunities. 

Next Steps

Have you chosen an #oneword2024? If so, I would love to hear what your word is. Consider sharing it in the comments below and explain how you determined it. It is not an easy process but so worthwhile. I think back to the words I have chosen in the last four years and how they guided my path during that year.