One Little Word® for 2018: Focus


Goodbye 2017, hello 2018.

In true new year’s fashion, I am jumping on the One Little Word® bandwagon again, but it’s has taken me a little bit to pick a new guiding word 2018.

If you’ve followed along, I’ve been picking a guiding word for the year for a few years, but sometimes the word comes easier than other times. (Here are the words I picked in 2015, 2016, and 2017.) Last year, I chose the word PERSEVERE because after the election it seemed like such a fitting word to be able to move forward and it was applicable in so many areas of my life.

This year, I am choosing the word FOCUS.

If you know me, you know that I want to do ALL THE THINGS, preferably all at once (because you know… *tapping my proverbial watch*) and I am often disappointed when I can’t fit everything I want to do into my free time. I theoretically know that it’s just not possible to do everything and that I have to prioritize the things that are most important to me and the time I spend on them, but try to tell that to my ambitious mind. Even worse, sometimes I feel downright paralyzed when I have a chunk of free time and can’t for the life of me decide what I want to do with that time and then I end up – what feels to me like – ‘wasting’ it.

I tend to bounce between things to try and make most of the time that I have but often feel ‘restless’  because I can’t focus on the thing at hand because I am mentally already thinking about the next thing. That often makes me feel ‘stressed’ out and frustrated. I know that in order to feel more balanced and grounded, I need to “slow everything down”.

This will be a challenge, and it is not the first time that I am attempting this, but I do know that it is possible. Every once in a while I’ve been able to direct my mind and energy to one thing at a time instead of too many at once, and guess what? I feel much calmer and … well, focused. Time slows down, I am more present and don’t feel so ‘stressed out’, and that is really my goal.

So first and foremost, I am trying to address a feeling this year that is bothersome to me and that I feel way more often than necessary (and I know that this is a “first world problem” to have when you don’t have kids or a lot of other responsibilities, but this is still my personal reality and therefore I consider my feelings valid).

I believe though that focus can also be applied to many other areas of my life.

In my work life, I want to focus on all the things that I love about my job. My motivation has been a bit low lately because I’ve been working on tasks that haven’t always been the most exciting and I’ve had some minor communication issues with a (distant) coworker that were frustrating, to say the least, but I want to focus on the fact that I have a great work schedule, a short commute, a very laid back office atmosphere, and the best co-workers I could ask for.

On the fitness side, I want to focus on keeping up my running and incorporating more crosstraining. I have been doing more strength training in the last six months and that has really paid off in a lot of ways, but I also want to switch it up with other crosstraining exercises. I have set a goal to run a sub-2 half-marathon this year and am also hoping to increase my yearly mileage.

Financially, I want to focus on learning more about investing and retirement funds. I’ve started this process a few years ago already and have been able to contribute more to my retirement fund at work last year. I also think that we’ve been really successful in getting a handle on our spending habits (by using a budgeting software), but I still think I could do more and become savvier in this area.

And lastly, I want to focus on my relationships. I want to make more memories with J and make it a priority to see my friend Susi more often (who lives closest to me from all my friends).
As always, I wish I had more local friends, but I also often feel so pressed for time that I haven’t made any more efforts to find new connections. I am, however, part of a meetup group and I am hoping to continue and deepen those loose friendships a bit. I also want to focus on the people that are already near and dear to my heart and let them know that I value having them in my life, even if they aren’t local, and reach out and make arrangements to meet-up with far away friends more often.

Did you pick a word for the year? I’d love to hear which one and why!

  1. I don’t pick a word for the year but if I picked one, it would be ‘present’. I kind of have the same problem as you as I’m always thinking about the next task or goal instead of focusing on the here and now. Phil kind of hates how I always start to talk about the next trip we should take when we are in the middle of a trip! But it’s just my nature to think of the next thing to plan/look forward to. But with the birth of our child, I want to focus on being present in my day to day life and to soak up all of the stages instead of thinking about the next stage. This might be our only child as this pregnancy hasn’t been easy for me (although we may change our mind and have a 2nd – we’ll see how we feel afterwards!) so I want to make sure we soak it all in as this might be the only time we go through each stage of development with a baby!

    I kind of hate that you had to put the first world problem disclaimer out there in this post. I probably would have made a similar statement if I was writing this post, too, as I kind of feel like I always need to say, ‘and I know I’m not as busy as people with kids’. I feel that way because people have said, ‘oh just wait until you have kids, then you will know what it means to be busy.’ And there’s probably truth to that. But before kids, I am/was still really busy and I had a fuller calendar than many of my friends with kids (because I could, of course). People with kids are busy, people without kids are busy. We all fill up our lives with the things we want/need to do. And I kind of hate that single or childless people don’t feel like they can say ‘oh my gosh, I’m so busy!’ because we are all entitled to feel that way! Anyways, I’ll step off my soap box now. ;)

    1. Thank you for soapbox comment Lisa! As a woman without children I appreciate it!

    2. Lisa, I agree with Courtney!
      Thanks for the soapbox comment :)

    3. Yes, thank you for the soapbox comment…. I am glad to hear that you agree with me and don’t think I needed a disclaimer, but would have probably put out one as well.

    4. I love that you said you don’t pick a word, but if you did. it would be ‘present’…. so you DID pick a word, haha. But hey, I think this is a very fitting word for a year where so many changes will happen to your life. Soak it all up!

  2. Lately I have been very UNFOCUSED at work. I start something, move to something else, go back to the first thing… I don’t like it and I don’t know why I do it! I used to not be this way. I love lists and I just have to make myself tackle one thing at a time. I need more focus at work.

    1. Yes! That’s exactly how I feel (in many areas of my life) and I need to get this under control!

  3. Thats a great word for the year! I also like to do a bunch of things at once so focus would be something good for me to work on.

    1. I guess, focus is a pretty general word (many people think they could use some more focus), but it really fits!

  4. I love the word focus and I love how you’ve described using it. I need to focus on my work, my blog, my marriage, my health, etc. And in those categories I need to focus on many small things that could all add up to something pretty great. But I need to focus and it’s so hard sometimes.

    1. Oh tell me about it, it’s so hard to focus sometimes. All the more a reason to put that at the front and center of my mind.

  5. I think ‘focus’ should be my word too.. Definitely something I need in my life in 2018.!

    1. Don’t we all… ha :) (Thanks for stopping by!)

  6. Love this word. I am enjoying reading about the different words bloggers have chosen and I can relate to a lot of what you’ve said. Sometimes we have so much on our minds we need to be reminded to focus on just one thing at a time.
    Good luck with your word and the year ahead.

    1. I’ve been super-inspired by all the different words bloggers have chosen and they’re all great for different reasons!

  7. Love this word! I’m enjoying reading about the different words bloggers have chosen for 2018. I can relate to so much of this post – sometimes our minds are on so many things we need to be reminded to focus on one thing at a time.
    Good luck with your word and for 2018.

  8. I love the word FOCUS for 2018! This is definitely a goal I’m working on this year – focusing more on what needs to be done and less on trivial things. Hope you have an awesome year, friend! <3

    1. Yes, focusing on the important things… this is my goal, too. Thanks friend <3

  9. I ALMOST chose focus instead of nourish, because I want to focus more on what’s truly important as a part of my selfcare, so I love the word focus. I also don’t think it’s a first world problem to feel stressed and busy even without kids. Believe me, I know you can be just as crazed and busy without as you are with. So it’s valid for sure :)

    1. No way, you almost chose focus, too? That’s awesome. But I do love the word “nourish” and can see many areas of my life where I could apply that as well. It’s always hard to choose just ONE word every year, isn’t it? ;)
      Thank you for saying that it’s ok to feel stressed and busy without kids, especially since you’re a mom. I appreciate it. I always feel like I have to ‘defend’ myself, but I really don’t.

  10. I don’t pick a word for the year, but one thing I would like to do this year is spread positivity. There’s so much negativity in the word right now and we could all use a little joy!

  11. Hi San!

    I love your word for the year. I’ve been plagued with this myself–time and time again–I don’t know how to deal with downtime, and I, too, have the tendency to move through life at a million miles per hour, with a million tabs open at once. It’s exhausting, to put it mildly :)

    Also it is never a first-world problem if it’s something you struggle with. I feel like that’s so… dismissive of your feelings, ya know? You are allowed to have stressful days and to lament and wallow in them a bit. Obviously you don’t want to make this a pattern, but it’s healthy to focus and put your needs first! All the best focusing this year, and always happy to see what you’re doing here, momma! XO

  12. I will sometimes choose a yearly word, but I didn’t this year mostly because I feel like I completely forget what I want my word to be by the time February rolls around, haha. But if I had to choose, I think my word would be “simplify.” I want 2018 to be a year of simple things.

  13. Hey San,
    what a lovely word you chose and I love your thoughts about it.
    I know the feeling of being unfocused and the joy if I am. Wishing you all the best that this word guides you through 2018.
    Happy Sunday, Tobia

  14. I didn’t pick a word, but I do have a handful of goals I’d like to hit this year.

    I think you can absolutely hit a sub-2:00 half marathon and I look forward to reading about your process to get there. I think, for me, cross-training definitely helps, especially leg day which I used to never, ever do.

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