My One Little Word for 2018 is/was FOCUS. I wrote about what I expected my focus on FOCUS to do for me back on January 4th, and did a mid-year evaluation on July 5th.
Since then I haven’t actually dwelt on my OLW a whole lot. But reading these two posts and looking back over the year helps me see that focus has, in some small way, actually become part of my DNA—though I could still do much better.
In September we took the trip to the Canadian Maritime provinces that I was dreaming of back in July. Before our trip I focused on getting ready. During our holiday I focused on the sights, sounds, smells, tastes—all the wonderful moments of exploration and discovery.
When we got back home, I kept my promise to myself and again picked up and focused on the fictional story I’ve been writing (in some form or other since 2014). I’m thrilled to announce that the first draft is nearly done!
Something I do to help me focus on this project (and others) is to set my iPad timer for the amount of time I plan to work on it (for this one 90 minutes a day, four days a week). That somehow frees me to dive in and get immersed in the work without the distraction of looking at the time.
Another focus trick I use is to treat myself after onerous tasks. Treats are things like drawing, painting, doodling, or reading (not food!).
My one little word for 2017 was LISTEN. I was sad to leave it behind. But I didn’t—at least not completely. I have found that habits I formed during my year of LISTEN are still with me. (For example, in conversation, when someone cuts in and begins to talk over me, I immediately stop talking and listen—something I trained myself to do last year when I was trying to become a better listener).
Similarly, I hope that habits I’ve formed this year under the influence of FOCUS will prove to be just as sticky.
And now, it’s time to focus on Christmas. To all of you—have a very blessed one!
This post is linked to Spiritual Journey (First) Thursday, hosted today by Irene at her blog Live Your Poem. There you will find links to other Spiritual Journey Thursday posts.
December 6, 2018 at 7:18 am
I love watching your bible doodling. I’m sure that in itself has been meditative allowing you to focus. Some words just seem to fit better than others.
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December 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm
Thanks, Margaret! And yes, I find that drawing has become a wonderful meditation tool… something I never would have expected before I tried it.
December 6, 2018 at 1:36 pm
I’ve loved seeing your photos this year – that’s one way you focused! Thanks for sharing your reflections, today and all year. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
December 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm
Thanks so much, Ruth! And I can say the same back to you. Your interesting photos enrich each day! I don’t know how you manage it with your busy teaching schedule as well.
Irene Latham (@Irene_Latham)
December 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm
Dear Violet – I love your bible art so much! And your tips for focusing are great… I, too, have accomplished many a project by setting daily time goals… and rewarding myself! We all do better with positive reinforcement, don’t we? Congratulations on your first draft!!! How exciting! xo
December 8, 2018 at 6:04 am
Thanks so much, Irene! Yes, positive reinforcement is so key. I’m sure I could learn many lessons from you about focus. Congratulations on your many achievements this year – new books etc. Focus is so needed and evident in those things.
December 8, 2018 at 6:04 am
Violet, focus was such a good word for you this year. Your bible art has been a focused treasure. I would love to share one of your pieces at my Abundant Autumn Gallery. Poem/photo/artwork would be welcomed. Enjoy your holidays.
December 8, 2018 at 6:06 am
Thanks, Carol! I so appreciate your encouragement. I’ll send you a photo of something fallish for your gallery.
December 13, 2018 at 5:59 am
I love when you share your Bible journal pages with us! And the ways you found to focus throughout the year remind me that there are many ways to live our OLWs throughout the year. Hoping to keep the stickiness of my past words alive as I move toward choosing a new word for 2019.
December 15, 2018 at 7:27 am
Thanks so much, Ramona!!