I don’t know about you, but I have had a great year. Honestly, 2017 was one of the best years I have had in awhile. I know that not everyone can say the same, but sometimes, when you get those years...you’ve gotta take ‘em, run with ‘em, and be thankful for ‘em.
This was my year of “build”. That was the word I picked last year as I started on a new journey of leaving a stable job to go into business for myself. It has been a year of building a business, building my knowledge, building my resources, building my contacts, building my confidence, building boundaries, and building faith. It has also been a year of discovery. I have had the freedom to follow my curiosities, try new things, have and explore ideas, create stuff, and wander down roads that led to nowhere. That was wonderful. I also noticed, though, that I had developed some habits over the past few years that I wanted to break. For example, I had grown so used to being pulled in 75 different directions on any given day that I realized I had lost the ability to truly focus on something-to get deeply entrenched in a project. I mean, I could ...eventually, but it required a mass amount of discipline. I noticed this most profoundly with reading. I seldom read a real book. I listened to audiobooks all the time because I could listen while I did something else. But it had been a while since I could name a book that I actually read cover to cover with my eyes.
I started noticing this same thing in other areas, too. I wanted to lose weight, so I would do something different for a few days, then move on to something else. I would decide to do one kind of workout, then move to another kind 3 days later. I would watch a show on tv while participating in a Twitter chat and texting my friend to schedule dinner. My Fitbit would send a buzz to my arm when I got a text, so I would check it while walking and listening to an audiobook. I found my brain just had a hard time doing one thing at a time or for very long.
So, this year, I decided my word would be FOCUS! Follow One Course Until Successful. One thing at a time. One book at a time. One activity at a time. One job at a time. One day at a time. I will focus on that show, that person, that activity, that project, that goal with full attention. That may be as simple as putting the Ipad away while I binge watch Mad Men or taking my Fitbit off while I work. It may mean closing my email tab while I work on a presentation or leaving my phone at home while I walk with my husband. It may mean setting a goal for a project and not leaving my computer until it’s done...no matter what. 800 words….not 700. Blog post written….not just thought through. Section 1 of presentation completed...not just outlined. New product designed...not just sketched. Book read...not just skimmed.
Over the past several years that I have chosen a word instead of a resolution, my word has just sort of come to me. Around November, I would start getting a sense of what my word should be. Not so, this year. In fact, several words came to me. I couldn’t focus on one! THAT was my clue that it was time to back away from the temptation of “more” -and instead -do less with more FOCUS.
I hope your 2018 is full of great things, and I would love to hear your word for the year!