Tuesday, January 3, 2017

One Word for 2017

A few years ago, inspired by One Word 365, I began choosing one word to guide me for the year. Instead of resolutions or goals, I use this one word to help me focus for the year.

As 2016 was ending, I began to think about the word that I had chosen for last year (purpose) and what the word would be for this year. I've been thinking about purpose and choosing things that line up with my purpose. (And maybe dropping a few things that do not line up.) While that's been a good focus for a year, I'm thinking that I need to push the envelope - in my teaching and my writing and my life.

I sometimes like to try new things but they definitely make me a little uneasy. I get really anxious when I think about moving out of my comfort zone. I still do some things outside that zone (because how do you grow if you don't). But I still make calculated moves and overthink what to do and how to do it. And I feel like something is around the corner that I need to pursue - I just don't know exactly what.

So that led me to think about my 2017 word and when it popped into my mind, I knew it was the right one.

One Word: RISK (Brick by Brick)

This will be the year of the word RISK.

I want to take some risks. I want to do some things in the classroom that push me and maybe push the kids. I want to try things that are a little different or unusual (at least for me). I want to try some thing that seem uncomfortable.

And not just in the classroom. 

I would like to make some new and unusual memories this year. What does that mean? I don't know. But I would like to try some things I've never done before.

I want to find and use my writing in new ways and in new places. 

I want to do some "scary" things, things that push me to areas that are not my natural strengths or my natural comforts.

And I think that God may be leading me to take some "uncomfortable" steps, too.

Thinking these things is a little unsettling. Typing those things here is a LOT unsettling. Now someone outside my head knows that I'm thinking this. And, possibly, someone will ask me what new and risky things I've been doing. In other words, I might be held accountable for this word and that makes me really concerned.

Now I have to do it. 

I'm not going to jump out of a plane or pack up and move to the other side of the world. At least that's not what I think I'll do. 

But I will be out of the comfort zone this year. In the months ahead I'll write about some of these things. 

Here's to a year of RISK. (Gulp!)


  1. What a great word, Scott! It reminds me of my word "uncomfortable" from a few years ago. Do you have any risks already in mind? Curious to hear about the risks you take and why you choose to take them.


  2. Hi! This is Sandy from SandyReads. That is awesome! I am so excited for you! As you know I've been trying new things and I will continue to do so. It is just what I do now. Toward the end of last year beginning of this year I began doing some things. One thing I've been doing is trying to incorporate a new vegetable I don't normally eat every week. I buy something that looks interesting and worry about how I am going to cook it later. Otherwise I would be stumped and not buy a new vegetable. I've also been growing and in faith. This began two years ago in 2015. The belief that when you ask it will be done. That when we pray to do so with entire belief that God has already done it. It began when I happened to be watching something on TV and it made sense to me. It was about how often we half heartedly pray and we don't really think it will be done or God is really listening. Instead we need to realize that when we pray God has already begun orchestrating events to answer our prayers. I moved this year several states away. In the past that would have been scary but it all worked out so smoothly. The entire time I had faith and it's been an ongoing thing.