One Little Word 2017

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life Tuesday.  Please visit their site to read others' Slice of Life stories.

I have wrestled with my word this year.  It came to me early and I wasn't sure I wanted to accept it.  I searched for something more other centered.  Last year's word, cultivate, was intended to reach out and support others.  I really liked that word and the opportunities it brought me.

This year's word is commanding me to pause, slow down and pay attention to what is most important.  I tend to be scattered...there is so much I want to do and before I know it, I'm in over my head.  It's so easy for me to get caught up in the busyness of life that what is most important to me gets pushed to the wayside.

So my word is sticking with me.

At work, I am going to focus on leaving space in my calendar to better prepare for teachers and students.  Too often, I am squeezing things in at the last minute and don't feel good about the work I am doing.

To go along with that, I need to focus on accepting the fact that I can't (and don't need to) do it all.

I am going to focus on discerning what others really need, so that I can be supportive and bring comfort when needed.

I am going to focus on saying "Yes" to those opportunities that help me reach my goals, which means I need to focus on what those most important goals are.

I am going to focus on giving myself permission to say, "No."  In fact, I had joked with a fifth grader that my OLW was going to be, "No."  :)

I am going to focus on doing what's best for "our girls" and not worry so much about what others might think.

I'm going to focus on my writing.  I've struggled to write lately.  Stories about the girls seem too personal to share.   I can't seem to find my voice as a writer in my role as a literacy coach.  I've been floundering.  I want to find my focus again.  In order to do that, I am going to commit to writing every day.  Not all of my writing will be public.  I'm going to join A. J. Juliani's 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  

Finally, I am going to focus on the beauty and good things that are happening amongst all the uncertainty in our lives right now.  My default is to begin to weave stories that bring anxiety and turmoil, and that doesn't help anyone.  I will work to change those stories by focusing on the present and slowing down to savor the positive.

After writing this, I feel at peace with my word.

Even though I resisted it, it's the word I need right now in my life.

What word will guide you in 2017?


  1. Love your post, Julie. Isn't it funny the way these words weave across our life contexts.

    (Yes, I saw the new challenges hidden in your post. Uh oh....)

    1. It seems that you have started your new year with this motivational post which focusing a word “focus”. Sounds good and my entire team of academic writers who provides university assignment help UK wishes you a Happy new year as well as also focusing on improved tips and guidance for educators and students who surrounds them.

  2. I too love your word. Focus was going to be my word but then at the last minute I changed to joy! Your plan sounds very reasonable and realistic.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. So interesting that your struggle was not about finding it but about deciding whether or not to accept it. I thought a lot about this word also. You have such a clear plan. I think this word will work out well for you. Happy New Year.

  4. I liked reading about your word and your challenges ahead. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  5. One of the writing lessons from Barry Lane that I totally loved and stole is about focus. How focus of a picture comes from the detail. He told a story, a ridiculous fantasy about a tree on the school yard that got tired of being rooted in one place...
    My own version choose one near the playground and kids would be laughing out loud by the time the tree got down to the Starbucks about a mile from campus.
    So, I learned that in writing, and in life, getting focus is about going into the details, noticing and loving the little details, and that makes the picture clear, clean and focused.
    Here's to you making your focus goals this year.

  6. Great choice, Julie - I think the words we choose are the words we need.

  7. I loved reading about your process of choosing a word and what it means to you. I'm still pondering and focus is one word I've considered. For some reason, I've left the thinking til late this year so my OLW might have a late January birthdate! Good luck with your writing challenge!

  8. I loved reading about your process of choosing a word and what it means to you. I'm still pondering and focus is one word I've considered. For some reason, I've left the thinking til late this year so my OLW might have a late January birthdate! Good luck with your writing challenge!

  9. Ooh, a tough-but-great words! (The toughest ones are the greatest, right?) I love that you tried to reject it but it stuck to you anyway! :-)

  10. Your explanation for focus was delightful to read - it's going to guide your work professionally and personally.

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