What is your 2019 Focus Word?

I’ll tell you my focus word, if you tell me yours!

I’ve written a lot about resolutions and goal setting in the past, but last year I finally jumped onto the focus word bandwagon with my selected theme for 2018, CONNECT. I find that a focus word, or theme, helps to shape my thoughts and actions in a way that does not require sticking to a specific habit that can easily be abandoned. The word can apply to one’s personal life, work, or both, and keeping it in mind can lead to discoveries and new habits that were not foreseen on January 1st.

A focus word or theme for the year can't be broken as easily as a resolution can. Click To Tweet

Here’s an analogy I just thought of for focus word v. resolutions: Picture your life (and goals) as a tall, willowy tree, swaying in the wind, but still growing…rather than relying on a single branch that may break. What do you think?

OK, are you ready?

My new focus word for this year (if you haven’t already guessed) is LEVERAGE. Here is the dictionary definition:

LEVERAGE (I’m using it as a verb): To use (something) to maximum advantage.

Here are some examples of what this means to me (although this could all change and grow as the year progresses):

LEVERAGE my things

(This also means, by extension, leveraging money already spent. Not to be confused with sunk cost on projects that need to be cut loose.)

  • Read the books I already own, or donate them, if I realize I never will read them, before buying new ones. (This includes not bringing any more cheap, used books home from my library volunteer job for a while, either).
  • Use up the food staples in my cupboards before they expire, and before I buy more.
  • Finish the online classes I’ve already started, rather than investing in new ones that catch my eye. Free one-off genealogy webinars are OK!
  • Learn how to use the tools I’ve already got (FlipPal scanner, PhotoMechanic editing software, etc.) rather than buying new ones, or even trying to learn free new ones.
  • Fix the issue with my not-brand-new, but still-unused Instant Pot and learn to use it.

LEVERAGE my time

  • Continue offering more Virtual Organizing and Genealogy Services so I can spend more time at home doing what I want rather than driving around town. (In addition to the other benefits of Virtual Organizing, of course!)
  • Combine tasks into more efficient time blocks. (Like I teach my clients to do!)

LEVERAGE my ideas

  • Make more of a point to refresh, share, and re-purpose the best of the many blog posts I’ve already written, which are just sitting there on my website. (Rather than worry about how many new posts I’m writing, or not writing.)
  • Consider creating new info products, or combine old ones in new ways.

LEVERAGE my relationships

(This one extends last year’s CONNECT theme.)

  • Nurture existing friends, clients and colleagues. (Keeping in mind the 80/20 Rule.)
  • Ask for help if I need it. (This one is always hard for me.)
Are you LEVERAGING your life? (Do you want to be?) Click To Tweet

What other examples can you think of for LEVERAGE?

Are you LEVERAGING your life? (Do you want to be?)

If you have one, what is YOUR focus word, or theme, for the New Year?

Please join the conversation in the comments below!

Copyright 2019 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life.
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  1. Carla on January 4, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    My word is KIND. Please don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t consider myself unkind, but I want to focus more on being kind to those who aren’t necessarily nice to me or those who irritate/frustrate me. I’m striving to be kind to everyone regardless. And when I’m not kind, I will admit it, seek forgiveness, and just keep working at it, one day at a time.

    • Hazel Thornton on January 4, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      I think KIND is a lovely word and theme for the year! And I also think that only a basically kind person would think to want to be even kinder! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Elizabeth Gross on January 5, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    My word for 2019 is BEGIN. the inspiration for this comes from the Bible verse, Zechariah 4:10, “So not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”
    If I can get started on a large project then the sense of being overwhelmed is often overcome. It is the dread of the entire project that stops me, but if I can get started on a little piece of it then the project doesn’t seem so scary.

    • Hazel Thornton on January 6, 2019 at 8:36 am

      Nice, Elizabeth. And so true. Thanks for chiming in!

  3. Janet Barclay on January 5, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    My word is MINDFUL.

    • Hazel Thornton on January 6, 2019 at 8:41 am

      Good one! Is there anything in particular you feel you have not been mindful of, and want to be more so?

      • Janet Barclay on February 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm

        I’ve just finished reading “Looking at Mindfulness: 25 Ways to Live in the Moment Through Art” and discovered that it’s much more than I thought. There have been lots of times where I’ve been guilty of multi-tasking or asking a question and not listened to the answer, but it goes much deeper than that. It’s about noticing details, whether they be visual, sounds, smells, or whatever, and about being in the present instead of dwelling on the past or future. I’m looking forward to reading that book again and putting the principles into practice in my daily life.

  4. Gail Rosemeyer on January 5, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    My word is BREATHE. Yes, maybe I stole it from my Apple Watch which keeps reminding me to do so, but it works for me this year. It means Slow Down, Relax, Enjoy the moments, Be present, Focus less on the constant Doing and more on the joys of Being. While staying organized of course! Thanks Hazel; wishing you successful leveraging this year!

    • Hazel Thornton on January 6, 2019 at 8:47 am

      Hi Gail, how nice to see you here! I think it’s very smart — and organized — to pick something you want to focus on that you will be getting automatic reminders for, lol! And, actually, it’s a tip that will help others, whether they write their word on a sticky note and post it on their computer, or program their smartphone with daily reminders or ….

  5. Kim on January 7, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    My word for this year is Clarity. Just retired from my full time job. Planning to take some time to get my physical and mental health back on track. Really need to listen to myself and trust in my instincts. Thinking about my passions and how I want to focus my energies. Excited about what is to come.

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