One Little Word for the New School Year

Over the last few years, I have been choosing “one little word” as a guide for my calendar year on January 1st.  But, I have always felt a connection to September as a “new year,” as well.  The beginning of the school year has always been a time for a fresh start.  I love the opportunity to “begin again” in September.  This year, I decided to choose one little word for the new school year.  This word will guide my professional life this year.

The word I chose for the 2019-2020 school year is: purpose.

I am going to use the following guiding questions to help me as the school year progresses:

  • What is my purpose for my work?
  • How can I use my purpose to effect change? 

To remind me of my one little word, I created this sign to post in my office.  It will remind me daily that I have a purpose and that I can use my purpose to effect change.

©2019 by Dawn Little for My Learning Life. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Oh, Happy Day and a Mid-Year Review

Yesterday, Harell and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.  19 years.  We have accomplished a lot in those 19 years.  We built a family, he built an IT company, and I built my career in education.  We both celebrated our birthdays last week as well.  We began dating when I was 22.  We have now officially been together for half of my life.  And yesterday/today is the official mid-year mark of 2019. Day 182/183 of 365.  So I thought it appropriate to take some time to reflect on the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year.

Too many times, we set goals, or make resolutions, only to not return to them.  I want to be a little more purposeful this year. These were my 19 for 2019 in January.  As of July 1, 2019, I have crossed out the goals I have attained.

  • Minimize sugar intake
  • Increase weight when strength training
  • At least 2 weekend trips with Meg (my college BFF)
  • Plan family trip to Philly
  • Journal daily (both personally and professionally)
  • Organize home library
  • Submit proposals for 5 or more conferences (I always submit to ILA and SoMLA annually, I’d like to add a few more)
  • Write EVERY day
  • Plan a weekend at Hershey Park with my nieces and nephew (it was part of their Christmas present)
  • Connect with family and friends
  • Complete several MasterClass classes
  • Begin a daily visual gratitude journal
  • Plan family weekend trips
  • Read 119 books (my 2017 AND 2018 reading seasons weren’t pretty!)
  • Plan a weekend at the Spa at Hershey with my mom and Chloe
  • Clean out my email inbox (EEEK!!)
  • Plan monthly adult evenings out (either date nights or with other couples)
  • Lose 23 pounds (I’m putting a specific number out there, because I need to hold myself accountable!)
  • Plan family trip to Niagara Falls

You can see I have about 3/4 of my goals to work on still.  Some of them, I won’t be able to assess until the end of the year.  A few of them (specifically the health related items) I will put a laser focus on beginning this month. And a few of them, I started out strong and fizzled early in the year (journal daily, write every day, daily visual gratitude journal).  This is the time to renew my commitment to my goals and to finish this year off on a strong note!

Coincidentally, I noted in my January 2, 2019 post, that I read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis over winter break.  I connected (my “One Little Word” for 2019) with many of the lies women tell themselves.  Interestingly enough, I am reading her follow up, Girl, Stop Apologizing while on vacation this week, mid-way through the year.  In her latest book, she challenges women to stop defining themselves in light of other people and to stop talking themselves out of their dreams.  I’ve spent a lot of time this week reflecting on the excuses I need to let go of and the behaviors I need to adopt on my path for growth.  I’m thinking about how I can finish the last half of 2019 strong and go into 2020 dreaming big!

©2019 by Dawn Little for My Learning Life. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Making Connections at the Gym

Yesterday, I unveiled my “one little word” for 2019 – CONNECT.  I want to be more intentional about the connections I already have or plan to create in my life this year.

Some of you know that I began attending a gym about four years ago.  I was looking for something that I would enjoy going to, someplace or someone to hold me accountable.  I was looking for something beyond the “box gyms” and all of their equipment.  I had the same equipment at home and I never used it.  I found a Groupon for Prime Fitness and decided to check it out.  Prime became exactly what I was looking for! With Prime, I found my tribe.

Eric, one of the co-owners, just began a podcast and I’m honored that he asked my friend Greselda and me to be his first guests on The Prime Fitness Project.  Take a listen to hear about my health and fitness journey so far.  My hope is that you will hear my story, and while your story might be different, you might find a connection in some way.

I also read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis over winter break.  What a motivating force to be reckoned with. I appreciate Rachel’s candor with the lies that women tend to tell themselves.  She is relatable and I could connect to many of the lies she told herself.  It’s high time that women lift each other up.  It’s time that we become support systems for our sisters and we stop dragging each other down.  If you are looking for a little pick-me-up to start 2019 off on the right foot, check out Girl, Wash Your Face .

©2019 by Dawn Little for My Learning Life. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

 

 

One Little Word for 2019

Happy New Year!

I truly can’t believe that it is 2019.  As the saying goes, “The days are long, but the years are short” and nothing screams that louder to me than the fact that it is 2019.  It feels like just yesterday that I graduated high school, yet, I attended my 25th reunion in 2018.  It feels like just yesterday that I began teaching, yet I am closing out my 20th year in education in 2019. It feels like just yesterday that we were blessed with our first-born, yet he turns 16 in February and will graduate high school in two short years.  So, yes, the saying is true, “The days are long, but the years are short!”

I reflected on all of this as I began to think about my “one little word” for 2019.  I want to be sure to continue to build long-lasting relationships with people in my life, both personally and professionally.  I want to make time for the things and the people that are important to me.  I want to cherish these long days and short years with my children as much as possible. So for these reasons, the word I chose going in to 2019 is CONNECT.

This year I chose a personal symbol as well.  Chloe gave me a beautiful necklace for Christmas this year of two links hooked together.  She told me it was symbolic of our love for each other, that even when we fight, we will always be connected!  I have taken the two links hooked together as my personal symbol for this year.  I want to make connections in every facet of my life.

Yesterday, I shared my 19 for 2019 visual.  I tried to tie some of my goals for 2019 into my “one little word”.  See, making connections already!

 

One Little Word 2018

As on reflect on the year 2017, I recognize that it seems to have gone by in a blur.  As I began 2017, I had plans to live with more intention.  While my year certainly started off that way, it most certainly did not end that way, as evidenced by my five blog posts for the year.  What the heck??

I feel like 2017 was the year of pinning my life against the target of time.  There just never seemed to be enough of it.  But, isn’t that always the way?  So, 2018 will be the year I take my time back.

I want to make time to make memories with my family, to write regularly, to paint often (a newly discovered enjoyment), and to have clarity.

So, with all of that being said, my focus for 2018 is to CREATE.

In order to live with intention around my focus, I’ve also created a map of 18 for 2018.  Hopefully, these two visuals will help the planner in me CREATE action!    IMG_3657