A new year is upon us, and with it, another obligatory post about goals and resolutions for 2013.  As I suspect is the case for many of you, my resolutions frequently end up by the wayside – not forgotten, but mired among other issues, losing priority in the daily task triage.

I have a lot that I would like to accomplish in 2013, but I am choosing to take my resolution in a different direction.  A few years ago, I came across the One Word Challenge  – choosing one word that will serve as a daily focus for a year’s worth of action.  This year, I will be participating, using the word TODAY…meaningful on both a personal and professional level.

As a school administrator I frequently find myself looking ahead….way ahead.  I recently glanced at my January calendar and was reminded of a plethora of appointments, meetings, and events designed to prepare for the 2013-14 school year.  Elementary school visits, scheduling meetings, and sixth grade orientation shift focus from the present to the future.  The same is true in my personal life, as I struggle to appreciate the moment — whether that is the time I spend with my wife and daughter, taking care of my health, or pursuing personal interests.  Certainly, adequate planning and preparation are a necessity, but I often wonder how many opportunities are lost when the focus is not today.

So, for 2013, I am going to focus on today.  What can I do today that will make a difference?  I’m not advocating for the elimination of planning, but instead, a deliberate focus on what can be done in the moment to ensure that each day matters.  For me, here is what that is going to look like:

  • Daily “will-do” list to focus my actions on the things that really matter
  • Conscious and consistent effort to encourage, and make a daily difference, for others – family, students, colleagues and strangers
  • Daily time to reflect on progress, count blessings, and adjust accordingly

I am looking forward to making 2013 a year in which I focus on today –  getting the most out of each moment, and hopefully making a daily difference for others.

If you were to choose a one word focus for 2013, what would it be?

Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “Today I will…

  • January 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Jeff, I do something similar every holiday break. I focus on achieving one thing that changes or contributes to change in my life. I always start each break with a list of things (so still goal setting) and each day I choose something from the list and either complete it or contribute to it. I have been doing this for the past three years and I find that when my break is over I am not looking back thinking “wow that went quick, what did I actually do?” My list can consist of things as simple as
    *teach the kids how to play an old board game – (ticked that one off last week when I taught them Blokus)
    *connect with and old friend who I have been meaning to call
    through to
    *building a go-Kart with my son (just acquired some old trolley wheels)

    It is very easy for days to accumulate where you have really done nothing. Relaxing as that may be, that always seem to leave me regretful at the end of an extended break. I find that achieving even something little leads to a sense of accomplishment. I have never thought to transfer this across to my teaching time and you have inspired me to take on this challenge.

    I work with adolescents with special needs and each day I am reminded of the important things which keep me on track. The greetings every morning, showing kindness and generosity. I should be to incorporating these aspects into my role working with staff and to ensure that our professional relationships are fostered in the same positive way each day.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  • January 5, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Is it bad, Jeff, that my first thought on a focus word for the day was, “beer” and the second word was “sleep?”

    ; )

    Loved the post — and you’re right: Future planning matters, but living in the moment matters even more. Your teachers deserve that, your family deserves that, but more importantly, you deserve that too.

    Hope you’re well — and hope we eventually cross paths in person!

    Rock on,

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