Monday, January 1, 2018


Happy 2018! I will admit that I was asleep before the clock struck midnight, though I did wake up to fireworks just after 12:00am. I’ve never been much of a NYE person – I’ve never really seen the point of starting this clean slate by sleeping away half the day and feeling guilty about how much I ate or drank the night before.  Add to the fact that I don’t love being on the roads with those who have had a little too much fun, I was perfectly content ringing in 2018 with a Harry Potter marathon. 25 and living the dream, right? When we were offered the opportunity to celebrate New Year’s Eve at a big Airbnb in Austin, my friend made the joke that he would love to join, but that he’s already retired from New Year’s Eve, and I can totally relate to that sentiment.

Besides, gotta run!
Anyway, each December I always tend to spend time reflecting on the past year as well as dreaming about the year ahead of me. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m not so into New Year’s Resolutions, either. We all want to work out more and eat healthier, right? But over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing the hashtag #OneWord, and it’s the idea that instead of making resolutions that we may or may not stick to, we’ll pick out a word that will drive our upcoming year. I really loved that idea, and I started thinking about what my #OneWord might be.

I had a friend visiting from Oklahoma a few weeks ago, and while we were walking through Buffalo Bayou on a foggy morning, I asked him what his 2018 goals are. He said he wasn’t sure, and then he turned the question right back in my direction. I told him that I wasn’t so much into resolutions, but that two words that kept coming back to me were steadfast and persevere. Which have very similar definitions if you really dig into them. So I started thinking about how I could possibly combine those two words to make THE perfect word. And then I stressed myself out a little bit because I’ve decided to pick ONE word to frame my 2018. That’s a lot of pressure! And then I laughed at myself because that’s so typical of me – to get stressed out about something that truly should excite me.

And then the word “fully” came to mind. Maybe it’s cheating a little bit, as fully is an adverb that can be attached to many a word. But in 2018, I want to approach every task with a “fully” mindset –

Fully present. This is a big one. There are so many distractions around us. All the time. And I fall so guilty to these distractions. One of the biggest ways I can apply this goal is to be fully present in whatever I’m doing. When I’m at lunch with a friend, my cell phone will stay tucked away. When I’m talking to a student during lunch, I’ll put the cap on my red (or pink) pen. When I’m running, I’m running, and I’m not thinking about the other 48 tasks on my to-do list. When I’m in the classroom, I’m pushing aside anything else that I’ve got weighing me down and focusing on that day's objective. We live in a world where multitasking is worn like a badge of honor, and I think I’ll get far more satisfaction out of being fully present, fully focused, and fully engaged in the current task at hand.

Fully committed. I like to think that I am a 110% kind of person. As far back as I can remember, I have never been one to intentionally go at something with less than my best effort. To me, there is nothing worse than going into something knowing that you could have done more. If I’m going to commit to running a marathon, I’m going to do the training right. As much as I may dread Tuesday speed work. I want to walk up to the starting line feeling like I put in everything I had, ending on empty. And it doesn’t just have to be running. That’s what I’m committed to right now, but whatever else I may choose to commit to this year, I plan on doing it wholeheartedly.

Fully prepared. The classroom is what came to mind with this phrase. As tired as I may be at the end of a long work day, I should never walk into my classroom the following morning at all unsure of what that day’s objectives are. How they play out may be another story, but my students deserve a teacher who is fully prepared to fully prepare them – for the state test, for the next grade, for the courtyard at lunch, for college, for the workforce, for the real world. The same goes for my volleyball team. Volleyball season is a whirlwind, but I should walk into every practice and every workout fully prepared with a plan in place.

I want to forgive fully, love fully, and invest fully, so that I know others fully. I choose to be fully grateful and fully appreciative. I want to be fully satisfied with what I am doing, and how I am executing it. I am “fully” ready to take on 2018 – with optimism and hopefulness and purpose and humility.

A little part of me is thinking of having my students choose their #OneWord to drive the remainder of this semester. I have no doubt that some of them would know right away what their word would be, but I imagine this would be a challenging activity for many of them. It’s asking them to really look within themselves and think about what goals they have for themselves as we run full speed ahead into what is sure to be a crazy semester. I hope the start to your new year has been fully fantastic!