Saturday, December 31, 2016

7 Focus Words for 2017

For the first time in many years, I am not going to share a list of New Year Resolutions with you. Don't get me wrong, I love resolutions, very much. I even have a big resolution to lose 6% of my body weight in 12 weeks {read more, here: Goal of Losing's HealthyWage Challenge}! I just wanted to focus on something a little different in 2017.

I have been seeing some people choose a "focus word" for the year, instead of making a list of resolutions, and I am really drawn to the idea. I started out with just one word {balance} but then, my one word grew into more defining words; some of which started to stand out even more than my initial word. In the end, I have come up with 7 Focus Words for 2017.




Authenticity
  • In January, 2015, when I decided to leave my successful career as a Paralegal to stay home and be a full time mom, that was me choosing an authentic life. Six months later, when I decided to start a business from nothing but a desk, a computer and some craft supplies; I was choosing an authentic life.
  • "Living an authentic life opens up our daring and creative sides and finally releases us to pursue and live our dreams." -*TRJ. 
  •  In 2016, I had some moments when I questioned my choices and my current path. After all, I'm not doing "the norm"; I'm trying to start a business of my own design, a business that some don't even consider to be a real business. That's tough. I'm writing my own story and taking big risks; betting on a dream that a business of my own design will flourish. In doing something that very few have done successfully before, it leaves room for doubt. I questioned if what I am doing is worthy of my time; if I should just quit and get a "normal job" like everyone else.
  • In 2017, I am going to remove the question of whether or not I'm doing what is right by everyone else's standards; I am doing what is right for me and my family. 
  • In 2017, I will focus on being true to my own self; true to my own vision; true to my own path and goals. 
  • In the words of Steve Jobs, "There is no reason not to follow your heart. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary."

Balance
  • I'm a mama, wife, business owner, blog author, healthy-living achiever, daughter, sister, mother, friend. The juggle is real.
  • In 2017, not only am I going to focus on balancing it all; I am going to put action to the word balance. I am going to work on more of a schedule for where there is a need; there will be a time for work, a time for writing, and time for it all. I am going to live by the words, "You can do it all; just not all at once".

Equanimity
  • In 2016, I came to a point when I asked myself, "is my goal {of living this authentic life I've created for myself} worth the effort it will take to achieve it?" It's in times like these that equanimity is most important. I need to remember that my response to these kinds of situations is entirely up to me. As a great military commander once said, "life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."
  • Equanimity is a newer term to me, and it's translation is everything that I strive for: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. 
  • In 2017, I am going to maintain a balanced view with equanimity; to not get weighed down with unhealthy thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Grace
  • I recently took a personality test and found that my personality type is "INFJ". Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types. {I knew I was one-of-a-kind but, wow!}
  • As an "IFNJ", I place great importance on having things orderly and systematic. I put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in my life. In knowing this about myself, I know that I need desperately grace in my life.
  • In 2017, I am going to seek grace when it doesn't all go as planned; for when my systems fail; for when I am feel less than enough; for the days when I just can't juggle it all, and finally; to remind me to seek God's grace, every day.

Intention
  • In late 2015 and throughout much of 2016, as I was in the early stages of building and designing my own business, I often let myself be pulled in many directions at once. It left me feeling over-busy; over-stressed, and; without much to show for it all. 
  • There was one moment this past summer that I recall so specifically that made me beg and crave for more intention in all that I do. I was out for a walk with my husband and daughter. I got a message on my phone from a potential client, and so I withdrew myself from our walk to respond immediately. This response resulted in a 30 minute conversation with the client, during which time I continued to walk with my family; but I wasn't really there. Nick would ask me questions, trying to re-engage me into the moment with our family but, I would only answer him halfheartedly and quickly as I tried to do everything at once. I ended up getting the sale from the client in the end but, I lost that my time with my family. With this, I saw the very need for more time spent with intention.
  • In 2017, I plan to be intentional in all I do; to be intentional with all the time I spend, and; with whom I spend my time with most this year.

Purpose 
  • After leaving my career as a Paralegal to stay at home with my daughter in 2015, I gained what I consider to be my biggest purpose in life; to be a mother. By doing so, I also lost a little bit of my purpose, too. I need something to work on beyond the scope of being a wife and mother; something to work toward, for myself.
  • "People who have a purpose and a reason to get out of bed every day view crises and difficulties as challenges to overcome and are not easily defeated. This is because they have a reason to keep going. And even though stress is unavoidable, people with purpose find a way over, around, or through because they're motivated to keep heading toward their goals." -*TRJ
  • In 2017, I am going to work on making a 5 year goal for my life. "When you know where you're headed: It's like having a built-in compass. You won't lose your way and that helps you stay focused. You will be more satisfied and content because you will be doing what you were born to do. You will view setbacks as detours rather than roadblocks because you know where you're headed, even if your route changes." -*TRJ
  • After much thought, I have defined my purpose as being a mother, a wife, a business owner, and a writer. In 2017, I am going to keep a list of my purpose in front of me at all times.

Resilience
  • "Resilient people have learned to 'navigate by their true north' and can say with certainty, 'This is who I am and this is where I'm heading.' They're comfortable in their own skin and recognize, accept, and celebrate their individuality. This self-knowledge removes uncertainty, which is a good thing because it allows us to get on with our lives; less second-guessing, fewer detours and wrong directions." -*TRJ
  • In 2017, I am going to work on my resilience and my ability to bounce back when things don't go according to plan.

Finally, I will end with a quote by the playwright Neil Simon:

"Don't listen to those who say, 'It's not done that way.' Maybe it's not, but maybe you will. Don't listen to those who say, 'You're taking too big a chance.' Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most importantly, don't listen when the little voice of fear inside of you rears its ugly head and says, 'They're all smarter than you out there. They're more talented, they're taller, blonder, prettier, luckier and have connections.' I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criterion by which you live, the chances are you'll be a person worthy of your own respect."

By choosing focus words for 2017, I am starting the New Year with the healthiest perspective I've ever had; the kind of perspective it takes to reach my all of my goals.

Readers, what will be your focus word(s) for 2017?

*TRJ: The Resilience Journey (Source)

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