Last year was my first year of embracing the One Word movement started by Jon Gordon. Gordon speaks and writes about picking one word for the year that shapes your vision. It’s not a lengthy goal to remember, but rather a word that keeps you motivated; something you take with you everywhere you go. You can see Jon Gordon’s inspirational talk about The One Word That Will Change Your Life here. Regardless of where you work in education, goals are a huge part of your professional life. Everyone in our field has different experiences with goal writing and goal following and goal leading, but it is always there in some capacity. Selecting a word as your focus for the year is much different than writing a SMART goal. I don’t mean that goals aren’t important because I believe strongly in the power of goals to improve and focus my professional and personal life. The One Word movement isn’t a goal as much as it is a mindset.
Last year my One Word was POSITIVE. Having picked a word for the first time, I wasn’t sure how successful it would be for me and now I know I’ll never go back. There were times (several times) that I failed to approach situations with a positive attitude, positive outlook, positive body language, etc, but overall I know keeping my One Word in the back of my mind at all times made a huge difference in how I went about my days. I can honestly say the One Word focus was the best way for me to change my mindset and to improve in an area that needed attention both personally and professionally.
This year I’m excited for the same results as I select my One Word for 2019: GROWTH. I’m hopeful that for the second year in a row my One Word will impact my daily life both professionally and personally. I want to be methodical and purposeful about improving as a father, husband, and leader. I have always wanted to be the very best at what I do. I don’t know if my motivation to get better comes from a background in sports or the leaders who mentored me or maybe it’s just a trait that some people have. The drive to grow and improve is something that lives in me. So why pick GROWTH as my One Word if I’m already seeking out ways to improve? Well, first, because my efforts don’t always lead to results, and I’m looking to be structured in my quest for GROWTH in all areas (this is where SMART goals come in handy). More specifically, it is the ability as a leader to help others grow that needs my focus for the 2019 year and beyond. How do I help staff stay motivated? How can I show them the benefits of staying current with instructional practices and taking risks to deliver meaningful lessons? How can I reveal to students that every day is a chance for GROWTH and positive change? How can we all better serve the kids and families we work with? These questions and so many more are going to motivate me, and hopefully those I work with, into 2019 with a GROWTH mindset.