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!