Sunday, December 29, 2013

One Word for the New Year

As 2013 winds down to a close and we begin to look ahead to 2014, so many of us are thinking about our resolutions for the new year.  For me personally, making a resolution has never really worked well.  Sure, I've made lots of resolutions for new years -- lose weight, eat healthy, be more peaceful, watch less TV -- but like the 63% of people who ditch their resolution after January 15th (my research, not official data), I usually don't see them come to fruition.

So I have decided that this year, I am not going to make any resolutions for the new year. (Gasp!)

I have been reading the awesome book, One Word that Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon.  Instead of making resolutions, I am going to choose One Word to guide me and all I do this year.
My Word?

I consider myself a fairly reflective person.  I spend a lot of time thinking about my life and my choices and how I can make them better.  But I don't always take the next step and do something about it.  That's why I'm choosing the word, forward, to guide me this year.  It can be my mantra in times of doubt, inaction, confusion and goal setting.  When I don't know what to do, I can remember my word as it urges me to take action.

I have decided that I am also going to do a One Word Project with my 4th graders in writing class when we get back next week.  I will ask them to each choose a word, write it creatively on a 9 x 14" paper, then write a brief paragraph about why they chose their word.  We will hang them in the hallway as a reminder of the words we have chosen and to inspire others. (Pictures to come soon!)

I put together this video to show the students some words they could consider using.
What do you think about choosing only one word to guide your new year? What word would you chose?  How could you use the One Word Project in your classroom?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

To learn how others are choosing and using their one word, visit 4th Grade Frolics.


  1. I love this concept! I think my word would have to be balance.

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. I love this idea, Jennifer! I bet my fourth graders would love this too!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  3. Hi Jennifer. I love this idea, too! I actually considered Mary's word, too, but ended up choosing health. I wrote a whole blog post about it with a link back to your blog. Please check it out:

  4. Great idea. I think the video will really help them with various ideas.

  5. This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing it. My word this year is FAITH.
    Happy New Year!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  6. I am going to ponder my "word" tonight. What a great idea!

  7. MS. OCD...I was thinking the same thing. I was going to think about my word, too. It keeps changing. Fun idea!

  8. Thank you for sharing! That video and idea just may make it into my coming plans for next week.

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! What a great concept for everyone - teachers and students alike - to come up with ONE WORD to focus on for 2014.
    Crafting Connections

  10. I've heard of the one word thing before, but you have taken it to a brand new level by using it as a project with your students. I LOVE this idea! I had already planned on having them write about some things they want to tackle this year, and now I want to throw this in for good measure. Maybe we will take Wednesday to do this before I start our "blogging" lessons on Thursday!

    Thanks for the wonderful idea!


  11. What a great idea to share with your class!!! I think they will love this writing activity. Thanks for sharing.


  12. Love the idea of using this in the classroom:) I have a couple of little stinkers that this might work well with....give them a refocus....maybe:) Love the word forward! Good luck to you and many blessing this New Year:) Thanks for linking up:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  13. What a fabulous idea! I think my students would really enjoy something like this- and your video makes a great kickstart to get them thinking. I am going to have to check this book out. Thank you so much for sharing. Wishing you a great 2014.

    On the Trail of Learning

  14. I absolutely LOVE this idea and spent three days really thinking about my word by writing down goals for the year and seeing what finally jumped out at me. I chose the word REACH and it truly is amazing how this is helping me focus and it's jumping out at me all the time now...reach out to friends/family, reach each of my students on an individual level, reach my personal running goal. LOVE IT! :) My students are really into this already today too and the video was great for sparking ideas for many of them. I can't wait to get this up on a display in the hall. :) Thank you!!!

  15. I love that your doing OLW with your students! I might have to do the same! Your video is great! My word is also Forward...well I cheated and made mine two words...moving forward! Best of luck in 14!
    A Tall Drink of Water


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