I’ve been a fan of choosing a word for my year since 2012 or so. I love the idea of thinking about an area in which I want to grow, or maybe a way in which I want to experience my life more than I currently am, and being really intentional about calling it out with a single word.
Some years, the word is with me all year and it drives where I go. Other years, by January 31st I’m not really feeling it and by June I have to think to remember what it is. I never force it, but the years when it clicks, they feel magical in the personal development / living how I want to live my life area.
I know it’s only February, but that’s how I’m feeling about this year. My word is FOCUS. I spent most of November and December last year thinking my word would be ENOUGH, but it never felt quite right, always just a little off. Then in the span of a week, the word FOCUS popped up like three times. And that is exactly what I was feeling.
Actually, what I was really feeling was very unfocused, in many ways. With my family, not feeling present. With my business, feeling like I had moved far from the basics to a point where I was making things more difficult than they need to be. With life in general, feeling stretched too thin and not giving attention to what is important to me.
FOCUS so nicely wrapped up what I wanted for 2019. A year of being incredibly intentional about everything I do. This feels like a growth year for me - not the topic of this post, but my kids are getting a little bit older and we officially do not have a baby, we’re (sort of) settled into our forever house - and it feels like I have the chance to give a little more attention to life outside my family. But I want to be selective about what I’m choosing and being purposeful with my time.
When I chose the word in late 2018, I thought it would be all about:
1) Being present. Focusing on where I am at any given moment. I’m not striving to be perfect, but more time getting on the floor and playing with my kids during mom time, more time spent doing important work, the stuff that grows my business, during work time, etc. Less multi tasking and more jumping all in to whatever I’m doing.
2) Choosing wisely. Focusing on the intentions and goals I set for the year when presented with opportunities or dreaming up new ideas. Not every single thing in my life needs to be aligned with a goal, but when it comes to things that are going to take up more than an hour or two of my time or use brain power, I want to make sure that they are worth the other opportunities that I’ll have to give up in order to commit.
These have both been really helpful as the year has kicked off. I am still not great at turning on mom mode, but when I do find myself trying to rush something or being distracted during imaginary play, I am more able to remind myself to just be still and (try to) enjoy these days. They are going quickly. Likewise, I’m getting much better at filtering what I put on my plate and commit to. I am not good at saying no, but I’ve been practicing it a lot more the last two months and guess what… I’m getting better!
And through the crazy February we had (moving, sickness, so much snow), I can up with a third area for FOCUS:
3) Looking long term. Focusing on the big picture, not the minutiae of the day. Moving in February was not planned until the last week of December and it threw off a lot of plans. But the big picture is that we are going in to March almost wrapped up with moving, versus a 9-12 month remodel we had planned. So yeah, I’ve lost a ton of work time and the kids are out of sorts, but long term this is an amazing move for us. This mindset has triggered into my business as well - minor set backs are to be expected. Nothing great is built quickly and easily. So while some days I might feel defeated, I’ve been trying to journal a little bit to focus on the big picture and how I am making progress towards goals. Minor set backs don’t seem quite so big when I can look back to how far I’ve come in 2.5 years and see where I want to be in another two and a half.
During a very stressful week in February, when my focus was no where to be found, I gifted myself this bracelet from MyIntent. No joke, I considered tattooing FOCUS on my arm when things felt really out of a control, but starting with a bracelet seemed like a wise first move. I’ve been wearing it for about a week and I love it. It really remind me to be mindful of where my focus is and course correct as needed.
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