I’ve heard of the practice of choosing a word as a New Year’s resolution or intention for a few years now, but I’ve never tried it. Up until this year, I’ve been a resolution person…however, with all the negative consequences of resolutions and the amount that people talk about how no one is able to keep them, I decided to give this up. I’ve set goals instead and have been trying hard to stick to them over the past two weeks.

I’ve also chosen two words for my 2018, words that will hopefully help me make intentional choices and continue pursuing my goals. My words this year are:

Wellness and Well-being

I’ve been thinking for a long time that my health (mental, physical, emotional) needs to be my focus. It’s always in the back of my head, but other things tend to get in the way: lesson plans need to be written or given feedback on, housework needs to be done, or sometimes I just need to feel like I have a life and can enjoy myself. In all of this, my health has never really been a priority. You know what I mean…it has never been the one thing that’s always in the forefront when I make decisions and I never consider it when I am stuck in a rut.

This year, I have decided that not only my physical wellness, but also my mental and emotional well-being need to be the lenses through which I view anything that comes my way. When I wake up in the morning tired and groggy, I need to remember that going for a walk and doing my stretches will help my back injury. When I crave salty Thai food, I need to remember that there are many diseases that run in my family and I need to prevent those by not eating unhealthy. When I’m stressed out and people around me are feeling it, I need to make sure to take some time by myself to recharge so I don’t drain myself completely. When I’m approached by work to take on new projects or programs, I need to assess where they fit into my career path and how they will impact my plan for my health before I make a decision.

These are not easy situations to be in, nor are these simple decisions to make. Every day is a struggle and every day, between work, home, class, etc., I’m fighting to make sure I’m making the best decisions for me. Despite that, I truly believe that just going through the process of choosing these two words has helped me already shift how I think about my health and how it is integrated into my life.

On a related note, during the first class back after winter break, I asked my students to choose words for themselves. Although there’s always at least one student who makes a joke out of things like this, many students took the task seriously and came up with some awesome words and goals for 2018. I can’t wait to make my first bulletin board of this semester out of their words!

Has anyone else chosen a word for 2018? How are you living up to it so far? Please share!


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