Finding Your Power Word


During professional development before school started, we had a speaker come in and talk about a morning routine.  She was awesome and had many valuable words of wisdom to share. One of them being finding a “power pose” that makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.  I can see how useful a power pose might be to a room of kindergarten students waiting for the day to begin.  However, I am not sure my ninth graders would do a power pose.  They are much too cool for school and too worried about embarrassing themselves, especially at the beginning of the year.  Kind of like I would have been back in the day.

But I feel as if I have done this adult thing for a while now and I am becoming more mature.  I know it surprises me too sometimes.  Things I used to scoff at when I was younger, have now taken on new meaning and I have embraced some of these ideas around positivity and mental attitude.  When I was younger a mantra or power word, would not have worked for me, but now they help me stay focused and balanced in this rat race we call life.

Last week, we did this activity with our AVID kids, Monica and I.  Monica, my partner in crime and general voice of reason, came up with it or had done it with her family.  I will now be stealing the idea for my girls and for you!!  Yay!!  AVID is a class and school-wide improvement plan and we are lucky enough to work with some pretty awesome kids.  They might have been a little bit hesitant at the beginning of our activity, but by the end they were all-in to the process.  If only they would listen to us from the get-go!!  Young people…….This was the process we did with our students, but you could skip to the steps that make sense for you as you discover your power word.

First, we asked them to set some goals for academics, behavioral, and personal.  You may not have an academic goal anymore, but I think it is better to have more than one goal or area of focus.  Goal setting is another thing I did as a younger person because someone told me I had to, but never really internalized until recently.  Sometimes, it is hard to help young kids find value in some of these ideas.  I think teaching them the idea, even if they don’t use right now, is still valuable.  They might come back to it later in life, like I did.

The second step we did was to give them a list of possible power words, asking them to find at least five they liked.  If you are unsure what power words are, search Google.  The first thing popping up, says the Massive 401+ list of power words.  If you can’t find something that speaks to you on the list, this activity probably is not for you.  There are certainly other lists you can find on Pinterest or farther down on Google, especially in the images, but find a list and scan through it picking out 5-10 words.  We told the students to narrow their list to just one, but if they could not pick just one, try putting them together to make an acronym like I did with POP.  I struggle to make decisions about regular things; picking a restaurant is hard for me, so picking just one word to live my life by was not going to happen.  POP means Purpose, Organization, and Patience.  It is my slogan for ME Fall.  I made the necklace with POP on it and then colored it purple, since it is my favorite color.

We used a set of metal stamps Monica got on Amazon for like $15 and then found she pieces of metal at Michaels.  The students stamped their power words and either made a necklace, bracelet, or key chain.  Some of our students picked just one word, some examples being Breathe, Calm, Balance, Persevere, and Commit just to name a few.  Some could not narrow it down to just one word.  BITE was one example and I was pretty skeptical about until I asked what she meant.  BITE was Balance, Improve, Trust, Enough and I loved it.  Another student did GOAT.  Again, I was skeptical and thought he was not taking the activity seriously, but he explained it as Greatest Of All Time; when you are feeling stressed or struggling, just remember only hard work helps you be the Greatest Of All Time.  There were certainly others, all with special meaning to the student.  So many were good choices and I could see how they would relate to our students.

Challenge Time!!  Find a list and think about what power words stand out to you.  Can you narrow it down to just one power word or do you need to make it a slogan for your fall focus like POP!!!  Leave your comments here or on the Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese.  Your words might speak to someone else as an example so put them out there for us ponder with you.  As always, each time you like, comment or share, this post reaches more people and grows the community of people supporting each other trying to find balance.

Talk to you later,



9 thoughts on “Finding Your Power Word

  1. Now you have me thinking about different power words. Always good to be stimulated to expand and think.


    1. I love my power words!! They seem to help me stay focused in what I want to do each day.


  2. I love this! What a thoughtful thing to do for your students and a great tool that everyone could use!


  3. I do this every year. My word this year has been balance. Looking forward to what my word will be for 2019!


    1. I love Balance!!! That was my word during my summer of me!! I needed to find balance big time!! I was stressed and crabby all of the time!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great article full of intelligence.


      1. Sure ♥


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