2022 Focus Word

Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. Today I am letting you in on my focus word for 2022.

If you’ve been here a while, you know I’m big on goal setting. For the past few years, I’ve been choosing a single word to represent the type of things I want to hone in on and cultivate in my own life. Essentially, you choose one word, phrase, or song, and use that to focus your intentions throughout the entire year. I call this my focus word, and it has helped shape and define my path.

Why do this? 

Well, if you’re trying to make a decision on something, you have your focus word to guide you. For instance, I chose FOCUS as my focus word the first year, because I was all over the place with multiple unfinished writing projects and I wanted to zero in on one project and work on it exclusively to get it done and off my plate. When the single project got hard and I wanted to quit and pursue some shiny new idea, I remembered my focus word and made a decision not to pursue the new thing. 

Using a focus word can also help you shape your goal setting. 

You direct your attention from that one single word. Say you use Healthy as your focus word for the year. It could mean any number of things to different people. If your mental health is in decline, maybe you make this your year to do some research, reach out to a close friend and tell them about your struggles, and go seek professional help. Maybe you establish healthy boundaries with your friends, family, coworkers, and with your electronics. If your physical health isn’t great, maybe you do as many push ups or crunches as you can while you’re waiting for your coffee  brew in the morning, and maybe you stop eating junk food after dinner, and maybe you take up a dance class or go to the gym.

You can build in small habits that lead to big change. 

Is five minutes of running in place waiting for your coffee to brew or your computer to boot life changing? No. But is it more physical activity than you are doing now? It might be. Is drinking a glass of water after dinner life changing? Not really, But if it helps you curb that craving for sweets one night just before bed and you sleep better as a result, then you’ve already succeeded.

You can use small changes to lead to bigger ones. 

Habits stack on one another. 5 minutes of exercise in the morning isn’t huge on it’s own, but it ends up being 35 minutes a week. In a year, you exercise for 1820 minutes, or roughly 30 hours. And that’s if you only do 5 minutes a day. All you have to do is show up for 5 minutes.

We have talked before about doing the ONE thing that will make everything else easier in your life. I can’t tell you what that one thing is for you, that one domino that will make all the others fall into place. So I encourage you to take some time and really think about it. Boil it down to its barest essential parts. What is one thing that you know you need to do that will make your life better?

2018

2018 was the first year I chose any word at all, and the word I chose was literally FOCUS. I had too many projects that I was working on. I would work on a fresh idea, get stuck six chapters in, then stop work on that and go work on something else. I could say I was working on a ton of novels, but I wasn’t completing any of them.

2018 felt so stagnant in my writing because it was a step back from everything I was working on to work on figuring myself out. When things got rough, and especially when the year dragged on and I felt at a loss, I again brought my thoughts to that one word, focus, and it helped me remember and clarify what I was trying to accomplish.

2019

2019 was all about that lady boss HUSTLE. I had a lot of half-finished projects which I intended to work hard on and I wanted to finish some drafts so that I could finally get a worthwhile piece of fiction out into the open.

Additionally, I knew I had ups and downs where I get lazy about posting things on social media, the blog, and other places. My energy levels drop, and continue dropping until it isn’t just a tiny bump in the road to cross, it’s an entire dormant volcano that I have to climb out of.I wanted to work hard all year round and not have those dips that I had seen in the past.

2020

In 2020, that focus word was PERSEVERANCE. I knew I was going to have to do some hard things that year, like sending my draft through multiple revisions and putting myself out there to find a literary agent. I wanted to push myself to persevere, even through the hard times. 

2021

My word in 2021 was ENERGY. I wanted to do everything in my life with energy. 

They say that breaking into the publishing business from the slush pile is really hard work. It is a ton of keeping your head down, showing up, doing the thing, over and over and over again. It is a lot of gatekeeping and networking and trying to be seen in an ocean full of other fish. For the last few years, I felt that I’d done that. I had taught myself all the things I’d thus far needed to learn, I’d kept reaching out and trying to finish my manuscript with little to no writerly support. And I had a system for writing novels, and the writing part had become almost mundane to me, where it used to be the best thing I could be doing was to draft.

So in 2021, I wanted to bring my energy back to the table. I wanted to spend the year writing draft after draft in a series of YA/Paranormal books. I wanted to feel like I could love the writing process again instead of hating everything I write all the time without end. I wanted to just write and trust the process and trust myself.  

2022

In 2022, I’m choosing the word FEARLESS. Publicly announcing that makes me sick to my stomach. That’s one of the reasons I know I need it. I am so scared to make big moves. To stand up for myself. To claim that I’m writing a book. To admit that I want the freedom that staying at home and writing on the weekends affords me, all the time, not just on the weekends.

Big goals and dreams are scary. Sometimes the routes to them are harder than you think they should be. I have spent many years working very hard in an isolated way, not daring very much or making very many waves, and trying to find a way to book publishing without having to make a fuss or drawing all that much attention to myself. 

I want 2022 to be the year I throw all my timidity out the window. I want to lean into my gut feelings about everything. I want to do things, and be damned if I’m scared. When people tell me no, I want to bounce back quickly and double down. Admitting this makes me want to puke my guts onto the floor, but this is only my first step in the direction toward fearlessness, and it can only get better from here.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you choose a focus word every year, and if so, I’d love to hear your word for this year?
  2. What you think of my focus word for this year?
  3. What is one thing you could do for yourself this year that, if you achieved it, would have impact on the most areas of your life? 

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