My One Word resolution for the coming 2020 is ‘Focus‘.
I am choosing this word as a verb (to pay particular attention to), and as a noun (an act of concentrating interest or activity on something). Without separating the personal and professional aspects of my life, focusing more on what I am doing at the moment would impact my productivity. I would like to focus more on ‘deep work’ and avoid distractions as much as I can.
I have tried picking a word for one year before. For example, my 2014 word was ‘attention‘ and 2016 was about ‘kindness‘. 2018 was ‘curiosity‘ and I still keep my notes with interesting findings about myself and the world.
You may ask why I am doing the ‘one word resolution’ instead of writing out concrete SMART aims and objectives for the year. The first reason is that… I don’t know how people are making those concrete and clear yearly plans (Is it a special calendar? Is it a list of things to achieve?) I heard that someone writes a letter to themselves (e.g. on Future Me) and receive an e-mail one year later with the text of goals/dreams/wishes from themselves 365 days before) I read on social media earlier this week about someone who writes a real letter by hand, seals the envelope and then opens it at the end of December one year after. I think these are great ideas, especially for the people organized enough to pull the complete cycle through. My fear (and the second reason for not writing my goals down) is that I may forget about the ideas I put there, whereas having only one word in focus means it would be always with me, every day of the year, and I will be able to ‘reflect in action’ using it as a lens, or criterium. Maybe.
The third and perhaps my main reason for choosing this word is that I feel the need to find a (more) specific vector or destination to the ELT work I have been doing. In the last decade (and it is a topic for another post, I think) I have tried a number of projects in teacher training, mentoring new trainers, writing and running courses for teachers online and face-to-face, designing curriculum (and even piloting it a couple of times), working for large organizations, co-creating a product (and not launching it), consulting, and so on. I like what I have been doing, but finding a more specific niche and focusing all my energy and effort on it would/should/could be productive. I feel I need and must try this approach.
One difficult aspect of being focused (for me) is the need to say ‘No’ to the cool projects and activities that will (possibly) be outside of the areas of my focus/choice. Difficult but inevitable, some may say, so I will start practicing it more.
One interesting thing about OneWord365 site is that you can see who chose the same word, and what reasons they had. Some people wrote a post on their blogs/pages, so we can get to know each other better. For example, here I see that I am not alone with this word in mind for the coming year
- How are you planning your year? Is there a system (you don’t mind sharing)?
- If you were choosing one word for the whole year, what would it be?
P.S. Almost unrelated but this idea from Eat Pray Love (book and movie) may be turned into a classroom activity. Or perhaps the whole One Word discussion could turn into an interesting post-holiday lesson starter. Let me know if you give it a try in your classroom.
Happy New Year to all the readers! May only the great things from 2019 stay with you, and the rest remains in the past. May your dreams turn into goals and reality, and your life brings joy and happiness to yourself and your loved ones.