Monday, January 5, 2015

One Word~2015 Style

One-word. I know you've heard about it. I love this concept of figuring out one word for the New Year. So many of us have SO~MANY~GOALS we want to work on. Let's face it, our lives are not simple. We are busy. We are teachers, lesson-planners (those are two separate jobs!), home-based chefs, housekeepers, bill-payers, going organic, organizers, sleepers--yes, sometimes, coffee-drinkers, "sharpening-the-saw"ers, commuters, runners, business owners, mothers or fathers, significant others, daughters and sons, volunteers, (ah-hem~over-extenders), friends, the list goes on!

And dang, I want to make goals to be Ahhhh-mazing in all of those things! But, just reading that list was a little overwhelming wasn't it? "One word" for goal setting (@ New-Year's or anytime) is awesome because you can really choose something that generalizes to all areas of your life. My "one-word" for 2014 was:   
SIMPLIFY is my PERFECT word for 2015. How did I come up with my word this year? To be honest, I wasn't even sure I was going to have a resolution or word...I'm always still working on the goals I had last month (haha)!

I follow the blog 99u on facebook and one of the articles I caught related to New Year's really stuck with me. The article's called "5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits that Stick." #3 is Eliminate Excessive Options.  In the explanation, Gregory Ciotti says there is great willpower in being boring. He shares an anecdote about Barack Obama and his grey and navy suits--that these are the only color suits he has in his closet so that he can spend his time making the important decisions. Research has found that "making repeated choices deplete(s) the mental energy." Ummm, yes. Yes, it does! And, I think we just found out the reason why teachers are so dang exhausted at the end of the day!

Well, being that decisions weigh me down constantly, that caught my attention. And being that 2015 is 99% certainly going to be one of the biggest decision making years of my life--think sell house, buy new house, possibly transition to a new school {again}, live with the {LOVES} of my life,--yes, in the same house, and choose a great school for a 7 year old, I need some SIMPLICITY in 2015 so that I can make the big decisions that need to be made.

As a teacher, I have a tendency to over-think (or shall I say "over-complicate") things. Not making decisions quickly enough, not keeping things routine and simple enough, and not prioritizing effectively make up my teacher "Achilles heel." And then I end up wanting to pull my hair out, or cry, or pull my hair out and cry, because I'm not planned for the day, the week, or even the next minute! It's like I never learn from my past successes to---hey---just do that thing again! 

How do I plan to simplify in 2015? Well for starters:
-eat the same thing for breakfast, snack, and lunch Mon-Fri (yes, I over think food, especially since I want to cook for myself and eat healthier, and I like to eat, but I am also satisfied eating the same things over and over--this will also help with my "get back in shape" goal!) I found an awesome list of 50 salads on pinterest and I plan to just pick a different one each weekend and make my salad bowls for the week. (Routine, but varied just might work!)
-make teaching decisions faster based on what I've done in the past. Stop over thinking it and looking for "new" things. If it worked, do it again. If I have time to re-think something, fine, but don't make re-inventing the wheel the only way I do my job. K.-I.-S.-S.! Keep It Simple Smart teacher! At work today, I pulled out this old-goodie and got to planning my historical fiction unit (yes-based on what I had done in the past!!) It's a freebie if you need something for Civil Rights!
I introduced my 5th graders to "one word" last year and they came up with some amazing (and very fitting, full of reflection) ideas. I gave them 1 page and 1/2 page clip art frames to write their word on. The idea was for them to post the 1/2 page sign in their locker and the other at home as a reminder of their "one word." I will probably take the time to have my 4th graders create "one-word" next week because it's such a valuable opportunity to reflect and commit to some changes.
Are you following me on Facebook? I wish ya would, because reaching out to my followers more is another one of my goals for 2015 ;)


  1. I LOVE your word of the year! I found myself saying "Yes!" to every point you made. I tried a bunch of new and different things this year because everyone else was doing them and I was working with a new team. Almost ever one of them was a disaster. Change can be good, but there is great value in sticking to what you know works. Thank you for your inspiring post!


  2. Christine, thanks for taking the time to comment! I am so glad someone got something out of my "one word" post. I have transformed the "one word" concept into a "one thing" concept that I tell my self I must/want to accomplish each day. I've taught my kids about it this week and they are telling me "one thing" they will do in the evening before they pack up each day. I still have my "one word" but now I'm using "one thing." Hopefully, I will have time to write a lengthier post about it and I plan to share more "simplify" ideas throughout the year!

    Again, thanks for stopping by!

  3. As a future teacher... I love your word of the year. My personal favorite is SIMPLIFY! We all could use a little of that in our lives,
    Thank you for your blog.



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