Jon Gordon, a highly respected author and speaker, says that New Years resolutions often fail because we leave out the most important area to change: the heart. This reminds me of the old saying, "If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten!" My mother's voice rings in my ears as I type, and she was right in saying those words. The new year brings about new possibilities, a fresh start, and a sense of renewal. For the last two years, I followed the advice of a book entitled One Word that will Change Your Life, by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. The authors suggest choosing one specific word that will drive you and allow you to focus on a life change in your heart. After much time spent looking in, looking up, and looking out, I selected my word for 2015...FEARLESS.
Being fearless doesn't necessarily mean never being afraid...at least not to me. This word means being stronger than any obstacle I may face, whether it be professional or personal. This word helps me keep perspective, keeps me in check with my emotions, and provides focus. A personal fear of mine has been letting go of my oldest son who is a senior. He will be leaving our home in the fall to enter the college world. It is a frightening thought to imagine him out on his own. I admit I am afraid of what our home will be like without him in it on a daily basis. My one word is going to help me change my heart from fear to gratitude, meaning I plan to focus on what a blessing it is to have a healthy, intelligent, and driven son who is capable of being on his own. I have professional fears as well...fear of missing something regarding a child or a teacher, fear of not having all the answers at times, and sometimes a fear of disappointing others. I will seize every opportunity and bravely seek as many moments as possible, but I am determined in my heart to not allow my fears to keep me from doing what is best for kids. My one word doesn't mean I won't be afraid, it simply means that I won't be afraid for long! I plan to post this word in my office as a reminder of my focus for the year. So much is included in these eight letters. A heart change that will lead to a life change. I am committing to becoming better, stronger, to live and lead in a FEARLESS manner.
Last year my one word was INSPIRE.
This word changed my heart. I was determined to be more intentional on affecting the people around me in a positive way. Even more importantly, I decided to focus on what inspires ME! I began blogging with a goal of inspiring others, and quickly realized that I was more inspired just by the networking and collaboration that came with putting myself out there. It has been an incredible experience, and my main regret is not taking the time to blog more (a goal on my FEARLESS agenda for 2015). I also searched my soul for what would help me grow and provide opportunities to INSPIRE and be INSPIRED even more. This summer I transitioned to a new building as a lead learner, allowing me to build new relationships with people who INSPIRE me daily. This all began with just one little word that has a very big meaning.
I encourage you to consider how you can have a heart change that will lead to a life change. Consider reflecting on where you want to be in life personally and professionally by the end of 2015. What will drive you to become better and stronger than you were last year? We all want to be better educators or we wouldn't be in the profession! Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses, your mistakes, and your failures. Let them provide a foundation to push you forward into new challenges. If you are too comfortable, you are not growing.
So...what could your word be? The possibilities are limitless. I wish you the best beginning of 2015!
Bethany (aka FEARLESS Lead Learner)