Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My 3 Words for 2014


Those of you who have been following my blog or my twitter account know how much I love quotes and themes. When I coached, we had a motto/theme every year. I'm not sure why I haven't incorporated that concept into my leadership in education, but it is an area where I want to make a change. 


I have been following Chris Brogan for a while, and I love his concept of selecting 3 words for each year. I believe in setting goals then doing whatever I need to in order to reach that goal. Along the way, I practice positive self-talk and I use visual reminders (posted quotes, words, etc.) to keep me on track. His practice of selecting 3 words for the year is something I have observed and admired, but until now I have not actively participated. This is the year I will change that. I've selected three words for this year, and as part of my accountability I'm sharing them with you here. 


The first word is Discipline. I want to be more disciplined in my personal life and with my time. One of my favorite quotes is this:

"Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. I don't know what you're going to do with yours, but I'm going to use mine."

I read that quote sometime back in my college days, and it's been with me since then. Two ways I've committed to this is by using the app MyFitnessPal to help me with accountability in what I eat and how I exercise. That is one area that I'm pretty disciplined, but I've been slacking in that area and I know it. Another way I've committed to this word for the year is that I deleted Candy Crush from my iPhone. Sound silly? I was finding that I would prefer to play the game than read my new books... so I deleted it. Discipline.




The second word I've chosen for 2014 is Intentional. When you look up intentional, it says "done on purpose." There are so many personal and professional areas where I want to be On Purpose in 2014. 


Have you ever felt like this? 


Professionally, my focus areas are growing teachers and leaders, increasing collaboration, finding a mentor, creating a tribe, and taking chances. Those may seem vague, but I am working on the specifics so that I can sharpen my focus. Intentional.



My third word for 2014 is Balance. I'm an educator, mom, wife, athlete, blogger, sister, daughter (I'm sure there's more!) I don't believe that balance means that everything is equal.... or equal time spent on professional activities as personal activities. To me, it means that I say no sometimes and I prioritize so that the time I spend on either personal or professional activities is quality time, not just time. It means that I will take care of me first, so that I can be the best ME when I help others. Balance. 


Jon Gordon does a One Word challenge... so when I tweeted my 3 Words this morning, he sent me this tweet:
It got me thinking about the three words and which one I would choose if I could only use one as my theme word for 2014.


The word I would choose would be Intentional. I think it kind of "covers" the other two. If I'm Intentional, I will be Intentional about what I eat, when I exercise, what I am doing with my time, and more.


If you are looking for one word for 2014, Leadership Freak has an excellent post about it HERE


I would love for you to share your 3 words (or your one word) in the comments and connect on Twitter

All the best,



10 comments:

  1. Great post Jennifer. I so admire and look to your leadership. I use a theme every year when I was principal, and now as a superintendent, but the first was by pure accident, when I read an excerpt from the book " riding for the Brand" by Louie L'Amore. And that evolved into my theme that year. This year is "Teach Like a PIRATE" & had Dave Burgess open our year.
    I was going to use "Reach Higher" as my personal phrase this year...in my spiritual, physical, & professional life.
    Thanks for this, really made me think

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Hal. Good for you for having a theme to create focus for you and your team every year. I would love to read some blog posts on how you incorporate and emphasize your theme each year as the superintendent. Love the theme "Reach Higher."
    I appreciate you!
    Jennifer

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    1. I forgot to mention, I give every staff member a lapel pin, that has the theme on it, that we all wear everyday :-)

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  3. Great post, Jennifer! My three words would be: Present, Proactive and Persistent. I did not intend for the alliteration, but I think it adds more of a punch that way. Thanks for sharing. I learn a lot from your reflections! Great job!

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  4. I like your three words, Jim, especially Persistent. To me, it means that the goal will be reached, no matter the goal. I think one of the greatest gifts we can give another person is to BE PRESENT with them.... this includes loved ones, students, colleagues, friends, etc. Thanks for your comments!
    Jennifer

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  5. This was a very inspirational post. It gave me a wake up call for getting some more focus, balance and discipline in my own life. Thank you

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    1. Thanks, Steve. I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to comment. All the best in 2014!
      Jennifer

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  6. Well done! I see that we may have something in common when it comes to reasons why we chose the words we did! Great post and thank you for your push, drive, positive attitude, and willingness to share! You are inspiring!

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    1. Thanks, Ben. I appreciate your affirmations! I look forward to more connections in the future.
      Jennifer

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  7. Jennifer,
    I can't imagine choosing 3 words! It will be all I can do to keep up with my one chosen word. I think you have chosen three important words: discipline, intentional, balance. That 3rd one has eluded me for years! Good luck with your word choices.
    Cathy

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