Ditch the Resolutions and Do the Word! #onelittleword

by | 11:59 am | Posts

When I was a classroom teacher I was easily pulled in many directions and got caught up in way too many projects. In my eagerness to serve, I frequently volunteered to be on this committee and to chair that important group. It was easy to get lost to what really mattered: teaching my students. Sound familiar?

Part of that comes from the fact that I’m a high energy person, sometimes driven to distraction! Part of that comes from the fact that I’m constantly looking to re-invent myself, and my work, because, deep down inside, I’m never quite satisfied that what I’m doing ( in my work) is good enough. Enter the One Little Word Project.

One Little Word. Join The Journey.



January is a time of new beginnings and as for many, always will be.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how to harness this beginning of the year energy, to be focused in the work that I do, and not let my mind wander down the rabbit hole of discouragement.

This One Little Word project got me thinking that committing to pick a word for the year that defined my work would:

  • support me to tell stories that matter.
  • guide me to concentrate on my goals, stick to them and be restored.
  • force me to reflect and know that I am good enough.
  • encourage me to blog and write with consistency.
  • help me to support others to do the same.

I participated in the One Little Word project, just on my own, in 2012 and my word was CREATE. What I found, as I reflected that year, was that I did better work, because my word was guiding me. I went after it again in 2013 with Resonate, but kinda dropped the ball mid way. I skipped it in 2014 and found that I missed it.

So here I am…getting back at it and choosing what my word will be for 2015.

This word is one that when I see it, speak it, visualize it, it will inspire me, lift me up, push me forward and make me smile. I have chosen RENEW.


I want to wake-up every morning, see my word in my mind’s eye, knowing that I have a new opportunity to RENEW!

Maybe I RENEW through a blog post, a tweet or a photograph. Maybe it’s through a story I share, a workshop I present, a chat I host, an e-course to support new teachers that I’m still developing or through the book I am writing. Maybe it’s through the Yoga practice and Pilates classes that I’m going to start taking. Whatever it is, I want to hold that word close and have it be a source of renewing energy for the those I connect with.

In my life as in my work, I never want to be that person who grows stagnant and stops learning. I want to consistently push myself in my work now, as a consultant just as I did as a teacher, and administrator, to think big thoughts, have big dreams and RENEW!

One more thought…why not ditch the resolutions and do the word with your students in the classroom? It would be a great way to encourage them to do the same things that we want to do. To inspire and motivate them to use their word as a daily encourager. Have them create a card, an art piece or take a photo that symbolizes their One Little Word. Have them keep the word in their backpack, tape it on their desk, put it on their fridge, any where they can see it daily to stay inspired. Consider getting their parents involved too and watch as your students grow this year!

So…will you join me? Will you choose a word that speaks to you and motivates you in your work? Let’s do the One Little Word journey together!

My word for 2015 is RENEW. What’s yours?

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to TeachingWithSoul and connect with me on Twitter.

photo credit: One Little Word via Ali Edwards

photo credit: Renew via Randi Rentz



  1. Jennifer Gonzalez

    OK. I think I have one: SERVE. As I try to grow my blog, I worry sometimes that I’ll do things just for the exposure. With every project, every blog post, every product, I think if I keep the goal of SERVING in mind, I will always put out valuable stuff.

  2. faige

    Wonderful word and post. Good time of year to start RENEW

  3. Jamie F

    This is funny – in a good way! I have heard about the one word idea before but have never done it. A friend mentioned it on Facebook the other day, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. After some focused quiet time, I’ve decided that my word for 2015 is Seek. I want to seek God and His plans for me; I want to seek challenges and opportunities to grow in my career; I want to seek out people (especially students) who need someone to listen and advocate for them – to name a few things. I’m sure there will be more things to seek in 2015. Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts. Renew is an excellent word to focus on this year!



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Wife. Mom. Educator. Author. She started her career as an elementary school teacher in Southern California. In this role as teacher, she assisted with a grant project and became the Project Director of a Language and Literacy program. Read more