For the last few months I’ve been setting an intention for the month. I’ve really enjoyed having a ‘theme’ for the month or even a season; it’s a nice chunk of time that feels relatable - not too long; not too short. But I’ve never chosen a word before to encapsulate a whole year. Where as setting an intention for a month seems cute even, having one word for the whole year… at first glance feels kind of reductionist and at the same time overwhelming. So if I’m honest, maybe I’m not 100% comfortable with the thought of summing my life and dreams in one word; and maybe I don’t like the idea of making it so public a commitment.
But getting over myself, maybe that’s also the point - maybe we need to be pushed outside our comfort zones a little, and commit to something that scares us ever so slightly. And if I start to look at how I want to show up day by day, week by week, in the areas of life that matter most to me, I begin to see how a word or intention can touch and inform the daily activity of how I live my life.
So for me, the word that sums up my intention for 2019 is Focus.
For if last year was about experimenting and following curiosity, this year is definitely about honing in on what I want to do and accomplish. This is the year I take all that I’ve learnt about living day to day, and putting it into practice. This year I simply want to focus on what is truly important to me, in my business, my relationships, and my life.
Giving full attention to the moment
Whether it’s reading a book, eating my breakfast, or watching the sun rise, I choose this year to give my full attention to the moment. Obvious benefits include: not getting distracted and spending twice as long on something as it should; and a richer experience all round. Have you ever eaten a raisin really slowly? Google ‘Kabat-Zinn raisin exercise’ and indulge in the experience of mindful eating. Okay, maybe I won’t be meditating over every raisin, but I can promise that your morning porridge tastes so good when you slow right down to really appreciate it.
Focusing on what I want to become reality; choosing to see the positive
This is simply about choosing how I perceive the world and events around me. We can choose to interpret an experience positively or negatively. Either way, it becomes our reality. Funnily enough, life is way more fun and satisfying if you choose to see the positive. I know this sounds preachy, but it’s my honest experience. After years of identifying as quite a negative person, I choose to take small steps each day to interpret my experience as a positive one, and in turn, deliberately respond in a positive manner. I’m still working on it, and each day is a most enjoyable work in progress.
Focusing on what I want to become reality; deciding where I want to be
The second part for me is focusing on where I want to go. In biking, if you’re navigating a tricky technical corner, you focus on where you want to go; i.e. the exit of the corner. If you get distracted by the big rock to the side, you can guarantee that you’ll hit it. By choosing to focus on where you want to go, you naturally put yourself in the position of getting there. You can make note of the obstacles for sure, but more often than not, these are actually not as bad as you think, and you simply bump over them on your way (or glide over once you become super proficient)!
Choosing to concentrate on what makes the biggest impact
This year I am starting a coaching course, and I’m super psyched to really get into this period of learning and practice. This means I choose to prioritise. It means accepting I won’t have the time or mental energy for everything. My art will take a back seat. Last year I had some fun triathlon and running goals, and I simply don’t want to commit to anything like that this year. I want to give coaching the best I can give it; because I really believe I could help people with it - and I owe it to myself to give it my full love and attention.
And.. that’s it! Hopefully my word covers all the bases in my life and will steer me in the right direction throughout the year - phew. How about you: what’s your word for 2019? And how do you feel about the idea of having a word for the year?