The One Word Resolution (2021 Edition)

“Start a blog” was my New Year’s Resolution for 2012. Almost 7 years and 835 posts later, I’m still here. (Full disclosure: my colleague, Heather Snyder, has written a good portion of those 835 posts since she joined Endurance Learning in mid-2017.)

And for the past eight years, I’ve shared a one-word resolution that I’ve chosen to guide me personally and professionally in the new year.

In 2013 it was momentum as I pondered the most critical element to successful learning programs.

In 2014 it was possibility as I pondered the idea of launching my own company.

In 2015 it was execution.

In 2016 it was risk.

In 2017 it was ruthless as I knew there were some tough decisions I needed to make.

In 2018, I chose joy, because what good is success if I couldn’t have more joy in my life?

For 2019, my head was wrapped around the word new. And we indeed began working with new customers this year, tried some new activities, wrote some new articles for major publications, spoke at some new conferences and launched a new product!

In 2020, the word that I focused on was partnership. While it was tricky to stick to this word as social distancing and virtual work became the norm, I’ve been able to strengthen my bond with my business partner, established working relationships with a half dozen new clients (any of whom have become repeat customers), developed new relationships as I led our local ATD chapter, worked closely with ATD as I put the finishing touches on a book that will be released next summer and established a new partnership in my personal life. Not bad considering the natural restrictions that befell us with the global Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, it was an extremely important word and resolution to hold on to throughout the past year.

Brian Washburn

As I look toward 2021, the one word I’ll be focused on will be: Beyond.

What’s worked in the past isn’t going to get it done for me or my company in 2021.

I’ll be speaking at several ATD conferences next year. As a company, we’ll be looking to grab a larger market share with our Soapbox product. I’ll be shilling a new book late next summer. We have clients who are returning to us to do additional work. We are looking to bring on and delight additional clients with our work.

I can’t use the same materials. I can’t use the same messaging. I can’t use the same activities. I can’t use the same strategies. Over the next year, I need to look way, way beyond what’s gotten me here, and I need to find new ways to get to where I want to go as an individual and where we need to go as a company.

The Endurance Learning team has grown to five members, and here are their one-word resolutions for 2021 in their own words:

Rachel Niles

When I turned 30 my boss at the time told me that he had celebrated his 30th birthday by drinking champagne every day for the next year… and that I should do the same. To be honest, I don’t like champagne very much, and the whole idea seemed absurdly indulgent so I laughed and forgot about it. Now twenty years later and after my recent, even more significant milestone-birthday-celebrated-during-a-pandemic, I’m thinking maybe that guy was onto something.  I’m focusing on the new year 2021 with one word in mind: Celebration

During the challenges of this past year I think most of us have come to recognize the value of all the little things in life that we maybe never gave a second thought before. But I’m hoping to take that appreciation one step further in the new year, into more than just acknowledging the things we cherish and promising never to them for granted again. Let’s not spend any more time trying our best just to get through these difficult weeks…which have turned into months and are now coming up onto a full year.  

Life has changed and no matter what happens, things are different.  Let’s take that next step and make sure we are living a life and doing work that is even deeper and more meaningful than ever. Why not just go for it? 

I still don’t like champagne very much, but I’m going to try in my own small ways this next year to make every day the kind of day that might finish with a toast…not to what I have, or what I managed to do, but instead to an attitude shift. If we learned anything this year it is that things can happen that you never imagined. Anything is possible…but that means great things are possible too. Will you join me in a toast? Let this year be a celebration.

Lauren Wescott

“I’m surviving”. It’s the phrase I’ve been saying on repeat this year when people have asked me how I’m doing. This year has felt like survival. Here at the end of 2020, I’m feeling like it’s time to ditch survival mode and move into thrive mode!

My word for 2021 is thrive. For me, things in life are actually quite great. I’ve got a great family, life, and job. I feel very blessed to be where I am so there is no reason to not focus on a mindset of thriving each day. What is that going to look like for me? Having a positive attitude, taking on each day as a new opportunity (not something to just get through), looking for learning and growth opportunities, and embracing more joy in each day. It also means setting myself up to be more successful each day by managing my time better, eating and sleeping better, squeezing in my workouts, and scheduling appropriate work-life balance opportunities each week. This week we finally took the plunge and invested in some new home office furniture (including a fancy sit-stand desk, yahoo)! I’m setting myself up to thrive in 2021.

Heather Snyder

I have had the opportunity to grow with Endurance Learning for three and a half years so far. As the client list, team, and company focus continues to grow, we have definitely moved around the stages of team development. This exciting growth at Endurance Learning has me thinking a lot about how we can really focus on all of the talent we have on our team (and we have a LOT) and be more resourceful with everyone’s skills, including my own.

My resolution is resourceful and the intention with this word is to take time this year to find new and clever ways to solve problems while helping others grow their own talents to make us even stronger in 2021. If 2020 has taught me anything, it is that everything I really need is likely within arm’s reach, I just need to slow down and find it, build it, or grow it.

Tim Waxenfelter

Since I’m adding this to the blog post after it has gone live, my one-word resolution should be timely. That said, I already chose “expand” (2020 was more an expansion of my waistline so I’m hoping for some contraction in that area). In 2021 my goal is to expand in other areas. I’ve always been a generalist who loves to dig into new topics. In 2021 I want to expand the list of topics and areas that I’m comfortable in. I also want to expand the number of organizations that Endurance Learning gets to interact with. We love nothing more than helping organizations solve problems and with every new organization we reach there is an exponential expansion in the benefit that we can provide.

I also want to expand the capabilities of Soapbox. Our team has some incredible ideas about how to add value for every presenter and trainer and I plan to spend more time in 2021 making sure that the list of features and benefits expands.

3 thoughts on “The One Word Resolution (2021 Edition)

  1. Happy to see 2020 come to a close, my word for 2021 will be connections; I plan to be more intentional about making new connections. This year I moved from ECE consulting to working in the field of L&D. Your blog has been a valuable resource for technology tips and guidance on adult engagement! Thanks to you and your great team!

    • Oooo. Good word! We used that word with our local ATD chapter this year and it really helped keep our conversations flowing and focused around what was important… good luck with the connections!!

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