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Three words for 2015

Jan 3, 2015 | Professional Life

As I turn the page in my brand new Day Designer (yes, I still use a physical daily planner), I’m excited for the possibilities that a new year holds. There are so many opportunities in front of me this year, and I’m eagerly anticipating how everything plays out.

For the first time this year, though, I’ve decided to enter a new year by choosing three words to focus on. This is a concept that was first introduced to me by my friend Chris Brogan as a way to help bring focus to the year.

So, without further ado, here are my three words for 2015.

1. Educate

DayPlannerAs a first-year college lecturer, this may seem like a no-brainer as a choice. Of course, I need to educate … it’s my job. But I chose this word because of its deeper significance. I truly believe that there is a difference between teaching and educating. I see educating as a long-term benefit, not just a short-term “get through this assignment or test” experience. What I hope to do in the classroom is to educate students, helping them to think for themselves and apply their knowledge to real situations.

But it’s not just my work at school. When I work with clients, my goal is not to only show them the appropriate strategy, but to educate them on how and why it works so they can apply it in future efforts.

And, I also want to educate myself. In order to educate students and clients, I have to keep learning myself. It’s a constant process. I have several certifications I hope to accomplish very early this year … and I’ve set a goal to read more each month.

2. Presence

A vague word, sure, but it’s a reminder to me to always be present in whatever circumstances I’m experiencing. I’m fairly certain it’s a side effect of my career – I’m constantly looking ahead, wondering what’s next. While that’s not a bad thing, I tend to overlook what is happening in the present and miss out on experiences. This word is a reminder to truly listen to others, slow down and experience life as it’s happening, not immediately worrying about what I have to do later in the day, week, or month. Be present.

3. Joy

Closely related to presence is my choice of the word “joy” – a reminder to find the joy in every day. I realize that’s not always going to be easy, but I have much to be thankful for. Keeping joy at the forefront of my year will hopefully help me not to dwell on the mundane or things that tend to drag me down. Even during the tough times, there is a reason for joy.


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