Ten years ago I stumbled upon another blog and read about something she was trying out: a one-word resolution for the next year. Being intentional about choosing one specific word can say a lot about where you’d like your focus to be for the next year.
While I’ve been engaging in this tradition each year for the past decade, several years ago our entire Endurance Learning team began to join me in this tradition. As we head into the next year, here are the words each of us has chosen as a North Star as we try to be intentional about the direction we’d like to take our thoughts and actions.
If this collection of one word resolutions inspires you to make your own, we’d love to read about what your focus will be in the comment section!
Brian Washburn: Focus
I have a busy year coming up in 2023. I’ll be celebrating my 30th (!!!) high school reunion, I’ll have a book coming out, I’m continuing to grow a business and I’m getting married. If I want to truly be able to enjoy the anticipated highs of 2023, I need to make sure I’m taking care of my priorities because it’ll be too easy to be distracted by less important but more fun things like playing with ChatGPT, streaming the final season of Stranger Things or cheering on my Buffalo Bills every Sunday.
To me, the resolution of focus will be a commitment to both developing clear priorities and staying present in the moment as I try to address those priorities. With 24/7 connectivity, it can be a challenge to focus and stay present. Multi-tasking and checking things off a to-do list can help me feel productive, but as I reflect on the past few years, I also feel like I’m missing out on entire experiences. Here’s to being more focused and present in the new year!
Erin Clarke: Prioritize
Despite my gregariousness, I am a covert introvert. I crave silence and alone time, and that is how I recharge. And yet, like many of us, I often feel constantly berated with inputs. At work it may be emails, slack pings, and meetings. At home it’s kid needs, to-do’s, appointments, or extracurricular activities.
In 2023, my word is prioritize. I am slowly learning how to prioritize so that I can feel successful amidst all of life’s pulls and pings. In this coming year, I will practice the art of asking myself, “what is most important RIGHT NOW?” And then, work to focus and be present with that most important priority. This may mean that some things need to wait a day, a week, or some unknown amount of time before they make it to the top of the list. Or it may mean that I need to prioritize a person or a project for a select amount of time. Regardless, I know that by being intentional with my priorities, it will also help me to carve out the quiet time that I need to be the best me that I can be.
Hannah Radant: Mindful
This past year has been a time of transition for me. I’ve been on a journey of acquiring new skills, forging new relationships, and transferring things I know into a new field while looking at them through a different lens. This has felt both exciting and challenging, and at times I’ve needed to remind myself to slow down and be mindful of the present moment and what I am taking in. Of course this extends to time outside of work, and being present with the people that I value and in the places that I enjoy.
My word for 2023 is mindful. I am fortunate to work for a company that not only supports learning and growth, but with coworkers that provide insight and collaboration along the way. I want to be mindful in the conversations I have and the challenges we tackle together, to take advantage of each learning opportunity as it comes along. I want to spend my time away from work being in the present moment as well.
Heather Barry: Play
Someone recently told me that you do not stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing. I have no interest in getting old any time soon, and my resolution this year is to play more. I mostly play to keep my mind and body in good health, but another way I recently started to play is to gamify incentives into my day. My recent machination is to give myself points for every physical activity I accomplish with a reward system based on the points I earn. In this life game, I get 1 point for going to a fitness class, 1 point for yoga, 1 point for a hike, etc… The more points I earn, the bigger the reward I give myself at the end of the month. I resolve to keep playing this game for all of 2023, and possibly use this model to incentivise other parts of my life at work and other obligations. I love a measurable goal and hope to chart my progress over the year to see where it takes me.
Jess Jagielski: Presence
My one-word resolution for 2023 would be presence. My life is almost always nonstop (which I love). I am always being pulled into different directions, sometimes simultaneously. At times, I feel like I am fully present for the event I am attending—I feel off-balance and distracted when I am there. Was I thorough enough in that work project? Could I have added more or taken something out of that final school paper? Did I do enough to fill the cups of my children and family today? These questions plague me. As a result of wanting to change that inner dialogue that I constantly battle with, I want to try harder to show up with my whole self while living in each moment as they happen.
Lauren Wescott: Balance
I recently stumbled across the following quote:
“Life is all about balance. You don’t always need to be getting stuff done. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back, and do nothing.” – Lori Deschene
This quote is inspiring my 2023 one-word resolution, balance. I want to work this year on setting better boundaries to promote work-life balance, and prioritizing the things that I know fuel my body and mind to be more productive and healthier. I know that when I prioritize balance in my life, I feel more inspired, more creative, and ultimately have more energy to invest into all areas of my life.
Lindsay Garcia: Declutter
At times I feel crowded in the various environments I “live” in, including physical spaces such as my home and my home office (a friend kindly describes my home as “homey”), but also those intangible environments like my mental and emotional capacity as a mother, professional, and overall person. This year I plan to declutter my environments, physically, mentally, and emotionally, in hopes to free up some space and time that will create more focus. I plan to toss away the baggage of the things that are out of my control and nurture the space left behind; to devote my time and energy to the people and tasks that have a positive impact on my life. And, yes, I will physically declutter and organize my home…someday this year.
Rachel Niles: Cupcake
My one-word resolution sounds delicious (because it is), but it’s an analogy for how to take on 2023. As the Quality Assurance Manager here at Endurance Learning, all of the projects that we work on end up on my “desk” at some point. Sometimes, they all end up there at once. When that happens, it can feel overwhelming. Picture someone placing two dozen cupcakes in front of you and telling you to eat them all. At first, you feel pumped and ready to take on the sugar highs. That quickly changes about 3-4 cupcakes in and you’re now just hoping that you don’t toss your cookies (I promise this wasn’t meant to make you hungry). All this to say, if we do it one cupcake at a time, take a mental breather, and understand that it’s not going to be physically possible to finish them all in the next HOUR like we want to, it feels more manageable.
Tim Waxenfelter: Plant
When we do a collaborative blog post it usually starts in a Google Doc. Apparently, one of our team’s favorite things to do is write things for other people. For one person it was “Naughty” in reference to a funny holiday sweater. For others it was “Vacation”. For me, one nefarious colleague wrote “Plants” due to the large number of living things that form my Zoom background. Challenge accepted. I’ve often gotten caught up in the day to day of work, but as Endurance Learning grows and takes on new challenges, I can’t play that role anymore and see our organization grow and thrive (see where I’m going here?) I need to plant the seeds of future growth. This means seeding new processes and making sure our people have what they need to grow. I may not see the results immediately and not every seed will grow, but if I don’t plant the seeds, I won’t have these big, beautiful, plants gracing every Zoom call!