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At the start of January, each year for the past 5 or so years, I have sat down to contemplate choosing a Focus Word of the Year.
I have written about all the types of words you could choose from and given you a list to help start your creative juices flowing.
I have shared my breakdown of the steps I go through to pick my focus word of the year so you can use that as a guide for choosing your own word of the year.
This year, I think I just want to give you an in-depth look at the reason behind why I picked my 2019 Focus Word so you can see a little more of the personal thought process behind it.
My 2019 Focus Word Of The Year
In 2018, my word was Stewardship. I felt like we had been given much, (a child, a new house, unique spiritual gifts) and I wanted to make sure that we didn’t waste them.
I wanted to steward all of those gifts well.
And 2018 was a great year where I feel like I did accomplish a lot of good things.
We made memories with our daughter on vacations and by spending Saturday mornings at the park or doing Sunday morning cinnamon rolls.
We were good stewards of our finances and met with a financial planner to get us back on track after getting pretty off course with Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
I stewarded my gift of writing by working on this blog and growing it well beyond my goals for 2018.
One thing that I could have improved last year was that I fell wayyy short in being a good steward of my time and let my life get a great deal unbalanced for the majority of 2018.
I had a great job that offered lots of flexibility, which was important as a working mom. It was also a quickly growing company which offered a lot of opportunities to increase my responsibilities.
It was an opportunity I did not waste. I took advantage of all the growth and learned a lot of new things. I felt needed and knew I was making an impact.
Clearly, none of these things are bad. Sounds like an awesome job right?
But my mindset was all wrong.
As we got further into the year, I realized I was measuring all of my self-worth and value by this job. If I didn’t get included in a meeting, or my ideas weren’t put into action, it would affect me more than I would like to admit.
So in return, I would work harder. Pour more of my time and efforts into my job. Be sure I was available if anyone needed me even if I was on vacation, or it was Saturday or 10 PM at night. And it isn’t that I have an issue with working extra hours or putting in a little bit of elbow grease. But I was doing it all to try and prove that I was important in ways that a place of work just can’t validate.
I had let my priorities get all out of whack. Even though I had so many other things going great in my life, I was miserable because I couldn’t be perfect in my job. And let me be clear – nobody was asking me to be.
I had put myself in a no-win place of “I’ll finally be happy when…” and no amount of raises or increased responsibilities or kudos from my bosses was enough. There was always something more to strive for.
A friend of mine had referred me for a position at her company (since I fit the job description and she got a referral bonus) and I took the interview to see what would happen. After a lot of discussion with my husband, I decided to make a switch and took a new role at the end of last year.
Now, in no way do I think that just changing jobs was going to magically fix my mindset problem. But we talked about how I had made my current role an idol in my life and it had knocked everything else out of the picture, including my relationship with Jesus. So a change of scenery might be good for a while.
And the new role I moved in to has lots of great opportunities and gives me a chance to dive deeper into a few things that I am really interested in. It makes me a much smaller fish in a much larger pond, which has certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone. We are a few months in and I have really enjoyed it.
So when I did my end of year reflection, I knew I wanted to be cautious about setting myself up for failure again.
Sometimes when we make goals, we see those inspirational quotes telling us to “Dream BIG”, “Shoot for the Stars” and “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!”.
But you have to be cautious that when you dream big, you don’t let it get so big that it overtakes you.
So this year, instead of giving myself a bunch of out of this world goals that are larger than life and will surely catapult me into success and will finally give me all the happiness I desire – I am going to focus on growing slow.
I want to be STEADFAST
When I was looking through a few words that I had narrowed down to, I always like to read the definitions. And the definition (per dictionary.com) of Steadfast really seemed to nail what I wanted to achieve in 2019.
Steadfast – to be firm in purpose, unwavering in resolution or faith; steadily directed
I have all the tools to set myself up with a strong foundation, so I can one day reach those larger than life goals, but those won’t happen overnight and I can’t let them become my entire focus.
I want to be steadfast in my faith. I want to be steadfast in my roles as a wife, mother, and friend. I even want to be steadfast in my drive to be good at my job and serve others in my workplace.
I like having a job outside of the home. I watched my mom do it and it taught me so much about character and leadership.
But if I don’t pursue those things in a steadfast and steady manner, I risk putting myself into a situation where I stop pulling my self-worth and value from my faith in Jesus and start expecting for some other role to make me feel worthy.
And really, nothing else in my life can do that except for my faith.
So here is to 2019, the year of Steadfast. I am looking forward to strengthening my foundations so I can build up my dreams slowly but surely.
Have you picked a word of the year yet? Or have you been searching for meaning in something that isn’t going to give it to you?
Let me know in the comments below.