Simplify: #oneword2019

One. little. word.

Since the fall of 2013, I have narrowed my focus down to one specific word that ties to very specific goals for growth, happiness, and inspiration. I cannot imagine starting a new year without this process. It has become part of how I learn, love, live, and lead.

Previous #oneword choices:

  • 2014: Inspire
  • 2015: Fearless
  • 2016: Empower
  • 2017: Champion
  • 2018: Incessant

It seems as if each year the process of choosing a word becomes more challenging for me. I had an ephiany between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve…I was fighting against my own self (an ultimately, God) when attempting to focus on a word with goals. Each year, I have chosen a word for the sole purpose of improving myself as a professional–to become a better educator, leader, principal, teacher, advocate for kids…

The process has become more difficult because I have gradually decreased my ability to balance who I am as a whole person. I have failed to place value in everything else that makes me, ME. New Year’s afternoon, as I was cleaning out cabinets and organizing some areas of my home to be more efficient, I realized some things…

  • Simplifying areas of life that initiate stress (no matter how small or big) is OKAY.
  • Setting aside time during the day to reflect is OKAY.
  • Not answering every text message or email immediately is OKAY.
  • Leaving my laptop at school for an evening…yep that’s OKAY!
  • Saying “no” sometimes…I am working on that being okay, but it will be OKAY.
  • Taking time to organize my own thoughts, my own self, and my own workspace…OKAY.

Weeding out parts of my day that do not add value to me as a christian, wife, mom, daughter, educator, leader, and friend will be a challenge, because my nature is to over-serve others and under-serve myself. I know there is a balance, and my #oneword2019 will help me achieve it.

SIMPLIFY…getting back to the basics…

  • Morning time with God every day
  • Being mindful of when my body needs rest
  • Healthy eating
  • ME time for a brisk walk to enjoy surroundings
  • Rediscovering the joy in my days
  • Appreciating nature
  • Daily gratitude reflection time
  • Daily time to organize a space and/or area of life that causes increase in stress

Back to the basics I go…for I have been away from them for too long! It took me many years, but I finally realize that simplifying some areas of my world doesn’t make me selfish, lazy, unfocused, or unproductive. In fact, they will contribute to my growth as a whole person! Ironically, I encourage those I love to strive for balance and enjoy the little things in life. It breaks my heart to see friends and coworkers burning out because they work tirelessly at what they love but find little time to stand back and enjoy the process.

Sometimes we just need to BE. Simple concept for many, but very complex for me. If I can encourage others to live this way, why do I feel so awful when I attempt to take my own advice? I found my answer in scripture…

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.Β  ~Romans 12:8

This will be my reminder that being my best requires some simplicity. Life is just plain hard sometimes, but it is also quite beautiful. Simplify…basics…bare bones…

Friends, family, coworkers, and PLN… I will need accountability. Complexity is my middle name! When you see me slip, remind me of my need for growth, balance, pause, and, well…SIMPLE.

Happy New Year!

Bethany