Here we are, a few days into a brand, spanking new year! And let me tell you, it sure does feel GOOD to usher in 2017!
2016 seemed like a tumultuous year for the world at large: from so many natural disasters, to deadly attacks, to political meltdowns worldwide…it seemed like people weren’t happy and they were definitely going to let the world know how they felt about it! It really felt like at almost every turn, it was just depressing news or lots of anger spewing forth.
While my personal life wasn’t quite as moody, I will admit, 2016 was a challenging year for myself and my family.
I went into 2016 with the greatest of intentions and was really excited to start the second year of blogging, with FOCUS being the word I declared over the year. You can read all about that here.
Little did I know that only two weeks into the new year, I would be faced with my first big challenge of the year which involved a few bloggers and a lot of hateful things being said to me and about me. Without going into details of the whole ordeal, because truthfully, I don’t want to spend any more time giving voice to something that wrecked me for those first few months of 2016, it completely shifted things for me. What I wanted to be focused on, I wasn’t, because I became consumed with things that were completely out of my control.
After trying to move past the situation and regain my footing, we suffered another, much more traumatic loss: my husband’s job. This was completely unexpected, taking us completely off guard. You want to talk about losing your focus, well, losing a job like that will do it to you. You can read all about that here.
We spent the summer, together as a family, regrouping and reevaluating what we really wanted to be doing with our lives. Lots of conversations were had. Lots of prayers were said. Lots of tears shed.
In the midst of all of that, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and would go on to need all kinds of sleep studies, sleep machine/medications and ultimately requiring surgery to remove my tonsils (because they were part of the problem) at the end of the year.
It’s funny that the word I chose to declare over my life for 2016…FOCUS…was probably the very last thing I ended up doing. Amidst all of these trials and uncertainties, I tried my very best to keep it all together for my family as well as for this blogging business that started to grow rapidly. From about June til the end of the year, I felt like I was drowning. It wasn’t just that I had so much work, along with health and family issues to work through, it was that I seemed to let EVERY.SINGLE.LITTLE.THING bother me.
If you don’t know this about me yet, here it is: I am more of a people pleaser than I’d like to admit. As much as I am strong and consider myself a leader, I do NOT like when people are bothered with me. As fierce as I may come across, I have a very sensitive heart which means I can get hurt often and usually fuss over things I can’t even change.
There were SO many things out of our control in 2016 that we could do nothing about and yet, I let so much of it consume me. Trying to figure out ways to ‘fix’ things is something I’m always doing. Each and every one of these ‘things’ were taking my FOCUS away and onto mostly trivial, non-fixable things.
So why do I tell you all of that backstory to 2016? Well, because it’s important in understanding the goals that I’m setting, including my new word, for 2017.
You see, here’s the thing. Sometimes, in order to move forward with a goal, you actually have to move about 10 steps backwards first. I thought I was focused going into 2016…I thought I was strong. I thought I knew EXACTLY who I was, who my friends were, where we were headed as a family and so on. And boy, was I ever WRONG!
But at every unexpected turn in the road, it was a chance to re-focus…to seriously hone in on what EXACTLY I wanted to be doing…on where EXACTLY we wanted to be…and who EXACTLY I wanted to be closely connected with. Sometimes you need to lose focus to realize you were never really focused in the first place.
Going through all that we did in 2016 (and don’t get me wrong, there were LOADS of amazing times), it caused us to re-align ourselves and figure out exactly who we were and what we wanted to be about. It also caused me to do that for this blog.
And so going into 2017, I actually don’t have one word…I have TWO. I’m choosing FOCUS again, as my word for 2017…because this time around, I am more solidly grounded in who I am, who my friends are, what I believe and where we are called to be. The second word that goes hand and hand with focus is INTENTION.
You see, last year, I let a lot of crappy things consume me…derail my focus…and cause me to not live to my fullest potential. And it’s because I wasn’t being intentional with my time. I had no clarity because I was so focused on silly things.
This year, we change that, baby! This year is all about INTENTION.
I want to live better, to love harder, to be happier, to achieve greater, and to be present. Being intentional about these things will cause my focus to remain steadfast. That doesn’t mean trials won’t come…I’m almost certain they will. But keeping my eyes focused on the goal…with great clarity and intention to come out stronger, I know that 2017 WILL be a GREAT year!
So I want to hear from you…what is YOUR word for 2017? Let me know in the comments below and how you are going to make sure you live it out every day!
Love & Blessings,