one little word

My OLW for 2022

I started creating “one little word” to live by in 2008, which helps me focus on one intention annually. Some of my past words have included:

Last year, the one little word I lived by was JOY.  For 2022, I’m going to focus on being more PRESENT.

Sometime between Thanksgiving and December 10th, I was bouncing back and forth between my kids, trying my best to do right by them in our little homeschool. However, I was distracted. My mind was thinking about work-related emails I needed to check, the Bat Mitzvah I was starting to plan, and the Omicron Variant. Whenever I had a moment of downtime, I’d swipe up on my phone to unlock it. I’d check email. I’d check social media. I’d check the news. For the first time in a long time, I felt scattered.

Soon after, I upgraded to iOS 15 sometime and discovered the focus setting. It went beyond the do not disturb and driving features I’ve had set up for years. Now, I was able to create personal and work settings so I wouldn’t be bothered when I was homeschooling the kids or working in the afternoons, respectively.

After setting up both personal and work settings, the word present presented itself to me. I am more grounded, happier, and mindful when I focus on one thing, task, or person at a time. Rather than continuing to multi-task, which I’ve gotten quite good at, I want to work on staying more focused and being more present in all areas of my life in the year ahead. It’s my goal to be present this year. Some of the ways I can be present will plait together some of my past words, such as balance, joy, laughter, and wellness.

The digital world is wonderful. Most of us are more connected than we’ve ever been because of technology. However, I realized it’s coming at a cost to me. I plan to activate the focus settings on my devices more often so I can stay more present in 2022.

Do you have some tips for helping yourself to stay present? Please share them with me as a comment on this post. I’d love to read your tips!


19 thoughts on “My OLW for 2022

  1. I love “present” as a OLW. It’s definitely something I need to work on. I haven’t considered the new ios options, and now I will. I too have let the phone get in the way. Sometimes I leave it in the car when eating in a restaurant or in the kitchen at night. I saw a Twitter inquiry a few days ago in which someone asked what folks have lost via tech. It made me think. Cal Newport has many good ideas about living life w/ fewer tech intrusions.

  2. Happy New Year, Stacey! “Present” is a grounding word, keeping you in the moment. I also like that it has the meaning of making a gift.

  3. I love your OLW choice. So much of what you said is true of the hyperlinked world in which we live. It seems that in our hectic classroom lives, from the minute the door opens and kids stream in the conflicting demands on me begin and all my careful time management disintegrates as I instinctively respond, leading to stress. I will take a leaf out of your book, as I try to remain present and focused each work day in the new year. Thank you.

    1. Oh, the distractions of a school! There are many. I remember that I once asked my principal if I could take my phone off of the hook because I couldn’t stand how many calls I was getting while trying to teach. (He said yes.) Then, I put a sign on our door saying, “Shhhh! We’re working. Please come back later.” That *mostly* worked.

  4. Stacey, your word chose you and it is one that has so many merits, like fully being part of important moments. I struggle with multiple tasks also because they get me scattered also. I think the best being mindful in the present action is yoga but I need to engage in yoga with others to keep me grounded.

    1. Yoga is a great way to stay grounded. I transitioned from yoga to Pilates about 12 years ago and it’s helped me a lot since I truly block out the world when I’m doing it. I also meditate every day, which helps.

  5. Great word & it really resonates. Somehow having us all at home off and on for 18 months has made it harder to be present. I look forward to hearing how this goes this year.

  6. Such an important word! It can be such a struggle to stay present with so many distractions. I’ll have to check out those IOS settings–I haven’t explored those yet, but it sounds like they are working for you!

  7. Present is a wonderful choice, Stacey! Being present is something I need to work on. I appreciated your thinking behind the choice and knowing about the iOS 15 option! 🙂

  8. I love the word ‘present,’ Stacey – and I think it is fantastic that you are using technology to provide you the opportunity to be present. Happy New Year!

  9. This is an amazing OLW, Stacey. I think it connects to mine as well, with the need to get focused and grounded where I am and how I am. And it’s so very hard being pulled in each direction NOT to be distracted, NOT to be continually preoccupied.

    As for tips? Hmm. It’s certainly something I’m always working on, but I think one thing I’ve gotten better at is simply noticing when I’m not giving something (or someone!) my full attention. Often times, with a quick mental reminder or one deep inhale/exhale, I can bring myself into the moment and away from my mental “spin cycle.”

    Thanks for this thoughtful post!

  10. I love the background on how you chose your word! As you were describing your situation with multitasking, I could relate. How often I flip my phone on to do something and end up on Facebook not even remembering the original reason I opened my phone. You have inspired me to look into those settings and be more present and less distracted.

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