I’ve been doing this One Word thing for the past few years, in which you choose a word (or God chooses one for you) that becomes your focus in the coming year. It’s like New Year’s resolutions but not. In the past I’ve had words like Less (the year I purged a bunch of stuff from my house), Move (the year we moved to Virginia), and last year’s word was Focus.
I try not to compare but I felt a little bad about Focus, when all around me people were choosing words like Thrive, Rejoice, Wonder, Worship, etc. Those words are so happy and fun and promising! Focus sounded so serious and pointed and kind of like hard work, especially to someone whose entire life seems to be be one giant tornado of chaos. But I knew I could use some improvement in that area and it felt right so I went with it.
I won’t lie to you and say that I made some huge changes in my life and now I have laser focus and will forevermore be able to keep my eyes on the prize at all times. Not so much. But I can say that I saw some improvement in my ability to focus. I learned to turn off the TV and get into a quiet place when I read my Bible and devotionals instead of trying to absorb God’s word through the noise. I found that I could read scripture two or three times, truly focusing on it, and commit it to memory, whereas my slapdash approach in the past had me reading and re-reading the same verses with little to no comprehension.
I tried to put Focus into practice in my relationships too. I made an effort to pay attention when my kids or my husband were talking to me, and I gave up trying to multitask. I attempted to look people in the eye when we were having a conversation and that’s not easy for an introvert. I try to put my phone at least face down when I’m at lunch with a friend or at the table with my family. Yes, it’s hard. The world tells me that I should have the phone surgically attached to my hand so that I’m never out of touch with the online world, but as a Believer I’m called to be different than the world anyway. This is just one more way to show love to others and be a nonconformist, right?
I also found tasks get done much more efficiently because I only have to do them ONCE if I focus and pay attention to what I’m doing. When I multitask, sometimes I make mistakes that cost me time in redoing things.
So Focus, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better this year. I’d like to say I will miss you but I see that you’ve sent your cousin to hang out with me for the next year. Apparently I still need some work in this area. I’ll post an introduction of my new word in a couple of days.
What about you? Do you choose a word? What was your word last year and how did it work out for you?