One Small Word, 2020

Image credit: (2017), CC0/PD

Set your goals for 2020 with a slightly different focus.

By Rachel Wilser

Welcome to 2020! A new year and a new decade. If you aren’t back in school yet, you’re likely heading back soon. The new year can bring lots of resolution making and goal setting, which is all well and good. I’d like to encourage you to set your goals with a slightly different focus. Rather than setting goals with no accountability that you might abandon before spring break, I’d suggest you select a word to frame your year. I started this the year after my twins were born; I was staring down a new year feeling pulled in a jillion different directions. I didn’t really feel like setting resolutions that year; it felt like resolutions were just another thing that I had to do and I had 2 9 month old babies. I didn’t need any extra stuff on my plate. I was reading a few blogs and came across the idea of choosing one little word for your year and it really resonated with me. It seemed so much more manageable and encompassing than setting a handful of resolutions. That year my word was grace.

This year, for 2020, my word will be focus. With a new year and a new decade, there are several goals I’ve been putting off because it’s easier for me to not start than to (possibly) fail. I also find myself easily distracted by things — a social invitation (FOMO is no joke), the book I’m reading, etc. However, this year I want to focus on my personal goals and my family.

I also like to think about how my word would look across other aspects of my life. So, how would it look or feel to have focus as a mom? As a teacher? As a wife? I generally use my planner to jot how I think my word applies across different roles, but you could obviously jot it in a journal as well, or perhaps as a note on your phone if you’re a super digital person. I also like to come back to this a few times a year and reflect on how it’s going. Do I feel more focused? More graceful? More intentional? If not, what can I do to get there?

By selecting one word for the new year, rather than writing resolutions, you can set yourself up for a successful year where you cultivate the life//mindset you want. Your word can encompass all aspects of your life instead of just one at a time. Before you head back to school this year take some time to enjoy a hot beverage and sketch out your 2020 life. What do you want to change this year, and what word will describe your year?

Rachel Wilser has spent the better part of a decade in classrooms around the country — in private, public, charter, elementary, and middle schools. Now, she chases twins and drinks coffee while planning her return to the classroom.

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