Word of the year: Focus

Hello. Happy new year. I hope that you are well and had a nice holiday.

Over the last three years, I’ve enjoyed figuring out a word of the year.

The word gives me some guidance for the year ahead. It reflects my mood and some of the things that are on my mind.

When I was pregnant with Ellie, my word was balance as I wanted to hang on to who I was and be open to who I was going to become. When we were in the depths of Matt’s illness, my word was slow. I was trying to savour moments with Matt and Ellie and not rush through our time together. Last year my word was resolve, as I was trying to figure out how to keep it together and keep moving forward.

This year the word that keeps coming into my head is focus.

I want to focus on what is most important to me. Ellie, this farm, myself, family, friends, my work. Knowing what I value means I know where to put my energy and time. By being focused, I give myself permission to spend extra time playing with Ellie, prioritize a home project or connect with a friend. I can also say no to things that don’t fit with what’s most important.

I also want to be focused in the moment. There are a lot of thoughts in my head and the to-do list is long. I am often rushing, distracted and multi-tasking. In simple tasks like tidying up from meals, I flit between loading the dishwasher, putting food away and clearing the table. Several times I’ve walked past the dining room an hour after we ate and discovered I left the orange juice or milk on the table rather than returning it to the fridge. I’ve learned I do better if I can focus on one thing–clearing the table–and then move onto the next. This goes for more complex tasks too, whether it’s work or Ellie.

My word of the year isn’t at the forefront of my mind every day. But it’s enough of a reminder most of the time to help me focus on what matters most and how I want to be.

What are you feeling as we begin 2021? Anyone else seeking focus or balance or to slow down or resolve?

5 thoughts on “Word of the year: Focus

  1. Happy New Year Julia ! I like your thoughts on choosing one word to focus on, at this time yours being the word ‘focus’. I use a word phrase that I change up as I see fit. During the months of the pandemic it has been, you are well, your safe, you are loved. This manta of you will gives me a sense of peace and belonging with positivity for well being for myself, husband and family. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year.

  2. I love the one word resolution. As you know I have done that a few years myself. Last year I wrote out 9 specific resolutions. I put them on the fridge and I really did a great job much longer into the year than I thought I would. But of course eventually they mostly got pushed aside.
    2020 was such a strange and stressful year for everyone and I didn’t feel like coming up with a list of resolutions to put extra stress on myself. So I saw one image that hit me and I decided my word(s) or focus of the year would be simple: Laugh More.

    So that is my goal, find laughter and enjoy things that make me laugh all year long.

    Your word of the year sounds perfect. I think I have had that as my word in the past. Honestly it’s one I could use this year as well. There is so much distraction in the world (both good and bad) and I think focusing is important for everyone!

    Happy New Year Julia and Ellie!

    • Putting your resolutions or mantra or word front and centre is such a great way to stay focused (can’t resist my word of the year). I love your decision to laugh more. In case you need a laugh, envision an almost-three-year-old very dramatically quoting Frozen: “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake.” Even if the sky’s not really awake and I am definitely not awake it gives me a smile.

      Happy New Year to all of you as well.

      • Oh how cute is that!!!?? I am picturing your little Ellie acting that out!!

        I’m embarrassed to say I have never seen Frozen. But I’ve heard the songs and seen the clips and it looks so cute, I need to watch it! Thankfully the little ones in our family give me many chances to “laugh more!

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