Monday, December 30, 2013

One Little Word - 2014

I have a love/ hate relationship with resolutions. I love making them, hate the fact that I don’t seem to keep them. I’m looking at you, #nerdlution.

A few years ago, I think around 2011; I stumbled across the idea of picking a word for a resolution. One little word. I remember reading the blogger’s post about the word she picked. How it had just “came to her” and she knew it was supposed to be her word for that year. I clearly remember thinking she was crazy, how would a word just come to you? But I still liked the idea. I scanned the list, picked a word that worked for me for that year, and thought about it as the year passed. Resolution kept.

In 2012 and 2013 I had the same word – be. (My post from last year is HERE.) I picked it to remind myself just to be me. My thirties have been an awesome decade – I only have two months left in them – but they’ve also been marked by anxiety. It is crippling at times, but I’ve learned to cope. As silly as it sounds, the word be helps. It has been a good word.

A week or so ago I was kicking myself for falling off the #nerdlution bandwagon. Exercising daily, writing daily, it was just a mess. My husband chided me, pointing out that in much of my life I’m either all in, or all out. One word flashed in my brain – balance. I knew I needed more of it in my life.

I sat at my journal, absentmindedly doodling. I realized that I was looking at what balance was for me – taking care of my mind, body, spirit daily. That doesn’t mean I have to run for thirty minutes a day. Taking care of my body might be focusing on water instead of pop one day. Getting in some type of workout in. Eating more fruits and vegetables. Looking at my mind, I need to carve out time for what sustains me – reading and writing. I need to declutter so my mind isn’t stressed by piles and messes around our house. But also, I need to focus on my spirit. This can be prayer, meditation, or even time with my family.

My life is a bit out of balance. I’m online a lot. Some of that can’t be helped, some can. I need to regain the balance, and I’m hoping my word will serve as a reminder for me this year. My plan is just to put balance in the forefront of my mind and give myself a score each day – one point for each area that I did something positive in that day with a three being a perfect score. Simple, but that is what I need.

As for the classroom, I will be sharing this with my students and encouraging them to think of their own words if they feel moved to do so. I don’t think this would be beneficial activity to require of them, but something they need to own, if they would so choose. Reflection is good. It is through it that we grow. I’m already looking forward to 2014; I think it will be an excellent year. 


  1. I'm right with you on this one. The balance in my life is frequently way off kilter. I'll join you in rebalancing!

  2. Nancy Riemer KellnerDecember 31, 2013 at 8:12 AM


    Often when I read your posts, I feel like you are inside my head.

    Many years ago in a yoga class, the teacher asked us to pick a word to guide us. I picked "harmony". It has been a touchstone ever since. I LOVE your idea of a word as a resolution, and, just like you, I would choose "balance" this year as well.

    The rest of your post resonates as well. My #nerdlution was to meditate daily, exercise for 30 minutes and write for 30 minutes. As I discussed in two recent posts on my blog, I, too, have fallen off the bandwagon. And yet, with my rose-colored glasses and half-full outlook, I am still regarding #nerdlution as a success, because I have been approaching a balance of spiritual, mental and physical health.

    My advice, don't even worry about "points". Just be the wonderful person you obviously are. (Do you realize how many people you influence and inspire daily?) Think about approaching perfection, because, except for Mary Poppins, none of us are perfect.

    Your fangirl,

  3. I just read Leigh Anne's Slice, and she talked about words of the year, too. I love that - I picked JOURNEY at the beginning of the school year and love it. I think BALANCE is an excellent word and look forward to find out how it impacts your life this year. Happy New Year! Oh, and BTW, I haven't been successful at #nerdlution either.:-(

  4. Debbie - Styling LibrarianDecember 31, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Here's to balance, always an aspiration for me... know I'm better when I have it, as an educator, mom, wife, human...

  5. Balance - a great word, and a great challenge! Don't be too tough on yourself... the little positives always add up! Have a fantastic 2014!!!

  6. Teachers for TeachersDecember 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Balance is the perfect word! We wrote a post a while back about rotated neglect --that could help you --wise words from a wise professor. This concept really helps us both! Thank you for sharing so much with everyone -- and remember you can't neglect yourself! Happy New Year!

  7. I love the one word idea. I've been searching for mine.

    Your blog post seemed like it could have been written about me too. I struggle with being and balance as well. I love your idea to focus more on a word than some long list you won't get to (I usually make the daunting list).

    I also love the idea of having my kids reflect on their own words. I enjoy when I can share pieces of myself through practices I hope the students might adopt and continue when I'm no longer their teacher.

    Thanks for always inspiring me. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

  8. What a great idea - one word. Mine will be 'move'. physically. mentally. spiritually. I will make 2014 a year of movement. Love it.

  9. Yes, yes, and yes. I'm an all in or all out kind of girl myself, so this post resonated with me. Because I'm looking at the other side of 30 myself (which I've loved my thirties so far ps...), I'm learning the art of balance. Great post.
    Happy New Year!

  10. Yup. That dang #nerdlution has been goading me, too. I think I'm back. We'll see if it sticks once school starts again. Balance is a word that is always in my mind. I think my OLW will help me with balance. Yes, I'm picking a word for the first time this year. I've been living with it for a day or two and I think I like it.

  11. Katherine,
    Balance, the eternal quest. I like that you've thought about the parts of your life you want to be more balanced and work together. I hope you'll share your secrets.