Have you ever thought about choosing one word to inspire you throughout the year? They say about 8% of people actually achieve their New Years resolutions. That really doesn’t surprise me. Of course, it all starts with good intentions, but as you know we can have good intentions and it still doesn’t get you anywhere.
One Word to Inspire Goals
You may have seen people post on social media their one word for the year. Or perhaps you have done this? I started choosing one word to focus on 2-3 years ago instead of individual resolutions that would be forgotten. It has made a huge difference in my life. Choosing a word has simplified how I go about accomplishing individual goals and living my life. This is different than setting resolutions because it becomes a continuous guide in everything you do that year.
If you are like me and wondered, where did this concept even come from? Well, I did some digging and found that it comes from the book, One Word that will change your life by Jon Gordon, Jimmy Page and Dan Britton. There is also a kids book, One Word for Kids (affiliate links) The premise is that the simple power of just one word will impact all dimensions of your life because it is meant for you. You prepare yourself to find your word by looking in. Then you discover it by looking up and lastly, you choose your word and live it by looking out.
Because this has made a positive impact on me, I decided to take this concept and have my students choose one word that will help them in their music studies for the year.
Setting Goals with a Semester Kickoff
Twice a year, I hold a semester kickoff with my students. (August and January) Semester kickoff is a group lesson that kicks off our first day back. In January, our semester kickoff is focused on improving ourselves.
We first took some time to reflect back on the past year. I like to pass around the New Years reflection cootie catcher (or fortune teller) which has specific questions to help students reflect. We turn it into a fun “hot potato” style game where students pass it around to music. When the music stops they answer a questions from the cootie catcher.
Move Forward with Reflection
Whether students are making new goals or choosing one word to inspire, refection is an important step in moving forward. This is not something that should be skipped. Reflecting can help students figure out what they could improve which could potentially lead them towards their one word. Once they have it, it’s time to reflect and answer some more questions on the word itself. This will help give them direction in what they want to accomplish.
One Word Project
I created a One Word Project to help students choose a word and take ownership of it for the rest of the year. It guides them through each step from discovering word ideas, reflecting and pondering those words and ultimately choosing a word just for them. I had my students decorate a poster that was to be placed in their binder to remind them of their word.
A couple months ago I had bought some scratch art pads from the Target dollar bins figuring I would find something fun to do with them for my students. I am so glad I grabbed them because it was the perfect thing for students to draw their word on and display in our music lab room.
I am really excited to see the progress over this next semester. Because they have their word placed in the front of their binder, I am able to quickly glance at it. I can then use it during their lessons to help encourage and inspire them in their musical goals. I have noticed that students have already taking great pride in the word they choose. Which is really exciting and should inspire some great things this year!
The One Word Project includes links to supporting resources and even a sample lesson plan. You will also find a word-search complete with an answer key of 25 different word ideas. Once students choose their word, they can creatively draw it on their poster (and anything else). Included are 4 different (reproducible) worksheets that will help guide students from beginning to end. PowerPoint and PDF Slides will help introduce the One Word project to students. Different banner flag options are available to decorate your bulletin board or wall.