FOCUS: My 2018 Word of the Year

January 8, 2018 3 min read

Some years I have a word for the year, sometimes I don’t. I can only remember a few without going and looking them up in a journal or art piece. My word for 2018 is FOCUS.

  • Focus. Stay focused on tasks that need to get done. Teaching. TpT store. Around the house. And don’t forget to focus on other stuff such as emotional, spiritual, mental areas. These self-care areas can get blurry and out of focus if they are neglected and affect everything else.
  • Don’t get sidetracked!  I am the queen of getting distracted!  Or just forgetting. When I need to or want to, however, I can really focus and get work done, like writing an assessment report or IEP. I can tune out everyone else in my office, their phone calls, etc.  However, if it’s not regarding teaching, I can really get sidetracked. Especially if it’s not a preferred activity! (I’m just like some of my students!!)
Here are some strategies I quickly brainstormed to help. It’s so funny that the first ones I thought of are good classroom strategies!! (Always a teacher!)
  • Use a timer…
    • to stay focused on undesirable tasks for small chunks of time, say 15 minutes.  Somebody once said, “You can do anything for 15 minutes.”  Set a timer for 15 minutes and do that cleaning I keep putting off.
    • to stay off social media so I can get work done around the house, or spend time creating teacher products, reading, being artsy/crafty, etc. I do use social media for TpT marketing, but I can also waste time on it. So maybe set the timer for 30-60 minutes.
    • to get up and move around after sitting a long time.  Also, use a timer to get in some exercise!
    • when I’m doing fun things… to keep from avoiding undesirable tasks, or from getting sidetracked on fun things too long.
  • I haven’t really tried a First -> Then chart but maybe I should!! Visuals are good for all.
  • Have a plan! If I have a lesson plan, I follow it. I’m fairly able to follow instructions gives me. But I don’t always have a plan otherwise. Or I have a bunch of lists I forget about.
  • Stickers. LOL! That is yet another classroom strategy. Hmmm, I know my grown child would focus and work for stickers for her computer (Hume, Dutch Bros, etc.) so maybe that isn’t so childish after all!
What are other strategies that help you stay focused??? I don’t have a very big list so far! Comment below. I’ll update this as I think of more.
Past words for the year (that I can remember) have been joy (after a time of sadness and grief), fearless (in trying new things), and gratitude (after reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp). I always pay attention to seeing my word out and about or reading about it. There is a lot of Bible verses regarding joy, gratitude, and fearlessness. I’m sure there are verses about focus, but I wonder if the actual word is in there (might be easier to find in the Message version or use a thesaurus or Bible dictionary) – that will be an interesting task to check into.
So help me out, I need more ideas!!!

  • Brooke Khan January 25, 2018 at 8:52 AM

    The word that is sticking with me for 2018 is TRANSFORM. I had a hard time narrowing down my list.

  • UR1NABillion January 25, 2018 at 2:19 PM

    Oh, wow, that's a good word, too!!! That covers so much!

  • Shannon Olsen January 25, 2018 at 7:59 PM

    I feel like the word "focus" has even more meaning since recently adding the commitment of being a TPT seller/blogger to the roles of teacher, mom, wife, etc. etc. It's so easy to get sidetracked, but staying focused on what matters most is definitely a priority for me as well this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kim Lepre January 26, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    YES to FOCUS! It's so easy to try to do multiple things at once as a teacher, so having focus and purpose definitely help maintain my sanity. My strategy for staying focused is to make a hierarchical list of things to do. The big picture things happen first, otherwise I'll fill my time with little things that don't move me forward!


  • UR1NABillion January 27, 2018 at 12:10 AM

    That is so true! It does change in various seasons of life!

  • UR1NABillion January 27, 2018 at 12:11 AM

    Oh yes, you are right. Prioritizing is essential! I definitely can get sidetracked on what seems important at the time, but really wouldn't be high priority! Thanks for this idea!

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