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How To Choose A Focus Word For The New Year

How To Choose A Focus Word For The New Year

It's that time of year when most of us evaluate our lives and begin to make plans for the new year. Last year I chose a focus word which acted as my theme for the year and helped me be more intentional in my daily life and activities. I found that focusing on that one word brought clarity to my decision making and acted as a guide for which to center on.

In 2016 my word was "STRETCH." I focused on stretching outside my comfort zone to grow my business and forced myself to say yes in situations I'd normally shy away from. Just to recap last year:

  • I took on the role of Vice President within CT's Chapter of Professional Organizers
  • I appeared on TV for a live organizing segment 
  • I started a monthly business newsletter 
  • I did mommy and me swimming lessons with my son (I hate the water) 
  • I redecorated some rooms in my home (I have no design training)

For 2017 I have chosen the word "BLEND." My aim for this year is to better mesh my roles of Professional Organizer and Social Worker in my business. I also want to focus more on blending my home and work responsibilities. With my son being 4, I can't get this time back with him and I want to come up with better ways to blend my personal and professional responsibilities to make the most of my time with him before he heads off to Kindergarten. 

If you want to choose a focus word for the year, I suggest these steps:

1. Evaluate
Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017 and what will help you get there?

2. Explore
Do some soul searching and think of a word that will sum up your hopes and dreams for the next 12-months.

3. Write
Write it down! Record the word and display it in a prominent spot where you'll be reminded of your intentions daily.

4. Execute
As you make decisions throughout the days, weeks and months ahead act in a manner to implement the word into your life.

Feel free to share your word in the comments!



Categories: Motivation


  • Such a great idea to have a focus word! I have chosen "REFRESH" because I want to take a fresh look at my business & figure out new ways to serve my clients. I want to be open to new adventures! And I want to make sure I take time to celebrate small victories each day that refresh my heart and spirit.
    1/30/2017 5:22:52 PM Reply
    • @Olive Wagar: Ooh, that's a good one, Olive! I look forward to hearing about your "refreshing" ventures this year both professionally and personally. Good luck!
      2/10/2017 4:55:43 PM Reply
  • I love the word "blend". For me this year, the word is actually two words, "Take action". It is to remind me that fear and wanting things to be perfect before taking action should not stop me from taking action. This year is about moving forward in my personal and business life. It's about asking for help when I need it and allowing others to help. Thanks for sharing.
    1/10/2017 10:57:45 AM Reply
    • @Sabrina Quairoli: I like that a lot, Sabrina. I need that reminder too about things not having to be perfect before taking that first step. I think as Organizers we can't help ourselves! ;)
      1/11/2017 2:56:11 PM Reply
  • Be proud of your 2016 accomplishments! It's not easy to 'STRETCH' outside of your comfort zone. I'm a mom, too and I'll be thinking of different ways to 'BLEND' this year. You're right--you can't get this time back. I keep reminding myself that someday they'll be older, won't need me as much, and I'll be able to put more time into my business if I wish to. I'll keep thinking about my 'focus' word...
    1/9/2017 9:36:15 PM Reply
    • @Stacey Agin Murray: Thanks for the validation and encouragement, Stacey. As a mom, you clearly get it! I hope you find ways to blend better too. :)
      1/10/2017 9:48:40 AM Reply
  • Last year my word (or TWO words) were "white space," as in pay attention to having more of it in the schedule...and don't just fill what's empty. This year my word is "mindfulness." It keeps popping up everywhere I look. In fact, I begin a mindfulness training course this week. I'm not sure where it will take me, or how it will enhance the way I currently experience mindfulness, but I'm excited and open to exploring the path.
    1/9/2017 8:24:04 PM Reply
    • @Linda Samuels: I loved your word(s) from last year. I like how last year's and this year's words are connected - a theme we could all use more of in our lives! I hope we'll see a post soon about your mindfulness course, Linda!
      1/10/2017 9:46:53 AM Reply
  • This is a great idea! I'm choosing the word BUILD, because I want to take both old and new skills and build upon those, build upon what I've created with my business, and build upon new ideas.
    1/9/2017 5:46:22 PM Reply
    • @Sara Skillen: Build is a great focus word! We always need to be creating and moving forward in our busines. Onward and upward!!
      1/9/2017 7:36:16 PM Reply
  • I love both your word from last year and for this new year Sarah! I think having a word helps us to be more intentional and laser focused. I love the questions you asked to help bring clarity too. Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a great year and are able to have the "blended" life you're wanting!
    1/9/2017 4:57:15 PM Reply
    • @Liana George: Thanks for chiming in, Liana. I appreciate your positive feedback and I'll report back next year about my success with blending!
      1/9/2017 7:33:31 PM Reply
  • Interestingly I did a video interview to today and we discussed that organizing your thoughts is the first step to getting organized. Choosing a focus word would be a great way to organize your thoughts and meet your goals for the year. Thanks for sharing the idea.
    1/9/2017 4:56:23 PM Reply
    • @Julie Stobbe: I completely agree about getting your thoughts in order. Mental clutter can be worse than physical clutter!
      1/9/2017 7:32:13 PM Reply
  • First of all, let me say how much I like your word "blend." It's more typical for people to seek "balance" as if the different parts of our lives are completely separate entities, and they really aren't, and that's why it gets challenging. My word for this year is "clarity" - becoming clear in my mind what I'm all about, and communicating that message (and everything else, hopefully) clearly to others.
    1/9/2017 4:28:18 PM Reply
    • @Sarah Soboleski: If only there was an extra day or two every week to focus on such things!
      1/19/2017 9:52:27 AM Reply
    • @Janet Barclay: Thanks for the feedback on my word - that's what I was going for! ;) I like your "clarity." I think once your mind is clear your message to others will be crystal! Clarity comes from the inside out.
      1/9/2017 7:30:55 PM Reply
  • I love your word - with your background, you can have a unique niche in the organizing world! My word is LOOK... I want to look up from my to do list and be open to what is next!
    1/6/2017 12:44:12 PM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: Ooh, that's a good one! I think we all could do a better job of LOOKing up from all the screens (tv, ph, iPad) in our life too!
      1/6/2017 1:33:04 PM Reply

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