Tuesday, January 2, 2018

8 Focus Words for 2018

As I did last year, instead of making a New Year Resolution for 2018, I am sharing some focus words for myself, instead. If you're interested in seeing my focus words from 2017, you can find them here: 7 Focus Words for 2017.

After much reflection, I have chose the following 8 Focus Words for 2018 to help guide me in growth this year.

Vitality: the state of being strong and active; energy 
In 2018, I want to focus on more than just losing weight. I want to be strong and active, too. I want to have more energy. I want to increase my vitality this year.
Vitality Plan: Utilize our YMCA membership often and, when the weather gets warmer, be more active outside.
Equanimity: mental calmness
In 2018, I want to focus on self care in general and, one way that I can do that is by seeking and maintaining mental calmness; equanimity. If you recall, this was one of my focus words in 2017. Since I often battle anxiety, practicing equanimity is very important to me so, I'm bringing it back in to focus for 2018. 
Equanimity Plan: Wake up before Piper during most work-week days; practice more meditation; dive in to my bible study and prayer journal.
Patience: capacity to accept or tolerate delay or suffering without irritation 
This one kind of cracks me up because, I'm the parent of an almost-three-year old. Of course I've got problems with patience but, nonetheless, it's something I want to work on this year. 
Patience Plan: Keep perspective this year. Use daily affirmations. You're the mother of a three year old. This is just a season. Patience is a virtue. Patience grows with practice.
Flexibility: the quality of bending easily without breaking
This is something that I've been wanting to work on for a while. The fun thing is that this focus word has a double meaning for me. Not only do I want to become more flexible physically, I also want to be more flexible with my time {see: focus word, generosity}. 
Flexibility Plan: Stretch daily when possible and most definitely after every work out this year. Keep myself accountable with progress updates.
Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something
My husband actually gave me this focus word and I wanted to cry with relief because, he couldn't be more right. Trust is a real struggle for me and, the more that I reflect on this fact, the more I realize that lack of trust is probably the root of most anxiety. Thankfully, I do not have any issue trusting my husband, God gave me a good one, but, I struggle more in the sense of trusting that everything will be okay.  
Most of my anxiety comes from worrying about things that actually don't ever even end up happening. Maybe if I would just trust that everything will be okay then I will experience much less anxiety in 2018.
Trust Plan: Whenever I catch myself becoming anxious about the possibility of something going wrong, I will pray and trust that everything will be okay.
Savor: to give oneself to the enjoyment of
I want to savor what each season brings this year without wishing any time away. Even the harder seasons, like the ones that drop 5 feet of snow on you in just a couple days. {Hah!} I want to look for the silver lining in everything and, savor all that is to come.
I also want to focus on savoring my food more, too. As a toddler-mom, I've developed the habit of scarfing down my food fast, while I have the chance. I've noticed that I've been eating fast, even when I have plenty of time, too. I want to break this habit; to start savoring my food more. 
Savor Plan: Eat more slowly, really taste when I'm eating. Be more aware of when I'm getting full. Appreciate every season, for what it's worth.
Generosity: showing a readiness to give more of something than is necessary or expected
This is another word my husband lovingly brought to light for me and, as shameful as it is, he is totally right. I am not as generous as I would like to be and, that mostly comes from being stingy with my time and also, a fear of being taken advantage of by the wrong people.
In 2018, I'm going to let go of my fear of us being taken advantage of by becoming more generous. A pastor from our church made a good point that really opened my heart to growth in this area. He said, in other words, that "it is worth being taken advantage of if it's for the glory of God". By being more generous with things, such as our time, we are being ambassadors for Christ. I want to be more of an ambassador for Christ this year. 
Generosity Plan: Volunteer more with the church and others. Cook meals for others "just because".
Well, it would be silly to give a definition for this one, wouldn't it?  Mainly, I just want to practice breathing more intentionally this year. This focus word is also a reminder for me to slow down; that "slow" isn't a bad thing. It's a blessing.
Breathing Plan: Practice deep breathing during quiet moments and, during meditation. Remember that slowing down is a blessing.
I love using focus words instead of resolutions. It's like a theme of growth and, it's so inspiring to me.

Speaking of theme's, I am wondering if picking a theme song for 2018 would be taking it all a little too far? Really, though. I think focus words are great and, if I were to pick a theme song for the year ahead, I have the perfect one in mind.

"I Point To You" by We Are Messengers.

I am so inspired and ready for growth in 2018. How about you?

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