Beginning the Process: #oneword2021-12/23/2020

So far during Winter Break, I have been focusing on my health. Since Saturday, I have tracked my food for four days and been more active. It's a start and I know I need to take it one day at a time. I have also been taking time to refresh and reboot as I described in my last post. It has been a much needed respite. I have had time to get some small projects done at home and taken daily walks to get fresh air. My husband and I enjoyed a Teacher Tuesday at a vineyard (nothing like mulled wine overlooking a mountain to rejuvenate you.) I have enjoyed some mushy "Hallmark-like" movies on Netflix and even done some reading just for fun. It has been wonderful, kind of a reboot and I love that I get two weeks to enjoy this before the hurried pace of the school year begins again.

Yes, I know that the hurried pace of the school year is coming. As 2021 starts, we are beginning hybrid learning using concurrent instruction in my district. From January 12 to February 2, students will be rolled into this learning in week long increments. As a technology coach, I know this will be a challenge and require a lot from all of us. So with that in mind, I have begun thinking about a focus on for my #oneword2021.

Being unsure where to start, I noticed a Twitter post for the The Busy Principal's Podcast. Although this is not usually a podcast I have listened to (it's a new podcast- this is episode #3) , taking less than six minutes to listen to this was well worth the time. Although I am not a principal, these tips and strategies really resonated with me and I loved how her podcasts are short bursts of inspiration. In fact, after listening to episode 3, I binged on the first two podcasts as well.

Starting with Questions...

This podcast has sparked my exploration of my #oneword2021. In this podcast, Bobbie French shared some questions to help people reflect to select their word. So in that spirit, here I go...

  1. What do you want to focus on?

This coming year, the primary personal thing I want to focus on is my self care. As I shared in my previous post, last Saturday, I was at my highest weight ever. In addition, this morning when I checked my blood pressure, it was definitely too high. I need to get my health under control. I need to focus on tracking my food intake consistently. I need to be more active. Before COVID, I was always on my feet- being a technology coach is an active job, but all that changed once we started teaching remotely. When I could easily get 15,000 steps before, now getting 10,000 steps is a challenge. But I know that self care isn't just about food and exercise. Last year, I discovered that journaling and blogging were essential parts of self care. I want to do all these things so that I can be more present in my children's lives and so that my husband and I can get back to healthier habits together.

Last year, I focused on challenging myself. I made a lot of strides in that area. I began presenting at conferences, applied to be a Google Innovator and even began writing a book. I want to focus on becoming a better presenter and put aside time to work on my book. I also want to make more time for connecting- get back to connecting more with my #PLN by participating in Twitter chats and participate more in the #TeachBetter ambassador community. I am also joining the #UnisonEDU team and want to be an active member there..

2. What do you need more or less?

MORE- Starting My Day Off Right: I need to dedicate more time each morning to start my day off right. Take time each morning to take a walk around the block. Spend some time reading to learn and take some time to journal and reflect.

MORE- Movement During the Day: I need to move more throughout the day. Schedule movement breaks and sit less. I have standing desks at home and at school, I need to take advantage of these items more.

MORE- Tracking My Food: I need to track my food and be mindful of what I am eating. I know that WW works when I track and I just need to follow through,

MORE- Time with the Family: I need be more present and spend more time with my family. With four teenage children, I want to enjoy my time with them and my husband more and not just engage in parallel activities but have more interactive activities.

LESS- Lose Weight: I need to lose some weight, no question about that. Many of my MOREs will help me reach that goal.

LESS- Find Alternatives to Screen Time: I spend a lot of time looking at a screen. I need to incorporate activities in my daily schedule that take me away from a screen.

3. What needs to change?

As I write this, I am definitely seeing common themes in all of these questions. What needs to change? To begin with, I need to take better care of myself. That includes eating better, moving more, journaling regularly and be more present. In addition, I need to find more time to work on my passion projects- engaging in Twitter chats, writing my blog and working on my book. I need to better balance my life. Easier said than done, I know.

4. Where do you want to see growth?

There are two main areas I want to see growth. First, I want to get back to a healthy weight. To do this, I will need to eat better and move more. Focus on self care.

The second area I want to focus on is writing. One of my goals for 2020 was to write a book and I really want to complete my draft this year and attempt to get it published. To do this, I need to keep blogging regularly. Back when I started blogging in 2019, John Meehan (@MeehanEDU)shared this idea in a #PD4uandme group. That blogging is like writing chapters, they build and eventually become a book. I also want to keep presenting. On episode #1 of Tara Martin's( @TaraMartinEDU) podcast, The Real Journey Show, she interviewed Dave Burgess (@burgessdave). In this episode, he shared how presenting at conferences helped him refine his message and how future writers should present to refine their book's message.

Next Steps-

After listening to Bobbie's podcast, I looked at the show notes where she mentioned two opportunities to explore #oneword2021 more. One of them is a free workshop offered by my fellow Teach Better Ambassador, Lindsay Titus (@ltitus828) on December 27th at 2 PM. I immediately signed up for "Define You Word Party." She also mentioned checking our Jon Gordon's book, "One Word That Will Change Your Life." It is now downloaded on my Kindle.

I also read some other blog posts that were inspired by Bobbie's podcast. One blog post by Michael Earnshaw (@mearnshaw158) popped into my feed. I started reading his 2020 post and then quickly clicked into an earlier post. This post was about choosing his word in 2019, BELIEVE, spoke to me. He described how he turned his doubts into believe statements. This really resonated with me? Do I believe that I can reach the goals and changes I have written about? What do I believe I can really do? Am I standing in my own way?

Then, I returned to his 2020 post, WATER. In this post, he described how he would water the seeds of 2019 and allow them to grow and expand more than he ever imagined. I loved how he used the idea of water to continue his work from 2019. This made me think about how can I can take my #oneword2020, CHALLENGE and build onto the growth I made.

This is only the beginning-

What started out as an exercise to brainstorm ideas for my #oneword2021 definitely took me to places I didn't imagine when I started this post. I do believe that this word will come to me and plan to take my time coming up with just the right word. CHALLENGE was the right word for me in 2020, in ways that I never imagined. My #oneword2021 will be just as right. Thank you to all of the amazing people who inspired this post! You are all an inspiration to me!