As I’m writing this, the first full week of January is history.
We’re already more than seven days into this new year of 2020. What was 52 weeks is now down to 51 weeks, and by this time next week, the first month of this brand new decade is more than half over.
And here I sit…with my list.
Years ago I would start each year with a list: goals and projects that I want to accomplish before next year at this time. Paint the downstairs bathroom, redesign a section of the flower garden this spring, eat healthy, set a regular schedule, keep the house more tidy and clean.
The possibilities are endless, but it’s too much to focus on all at once. If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. If everything needs to be done, then nothing gets done. And all these to-dos are too much.
So along with my list, I now have a focus word. It really helps, and it can help you too.
First off, decide on one single focus point for the year. Choosing one thing as a focal point means it’s easier to keep an eye on the prize. If all I do all year long is remember This. One. Thing. then all the little things will fall into place.
But when so many things are vying for my attention, what’s the best way to stay focused on the focal point? To keep the main thing the main thing?
That’s where simple, daily (and the daily part is important!) rituals can be your friend.
Don’t read. Don’t watch. Don’t consciously “think” about anything. Instead, focus your entire energy on the task at hand.
- Do simple household chores — fold and put away the laundry or do the dishes and wipe down the countertops. Make order where there was chaos or clutter.
- Pick up some handwork — quilt, knit, or crochet for a while. Create something beautiful where you can see that little tiny stitches really do add up.
- Tend to something living — water a plant or feed a cat. Shower a little love and attention on something you care for.
And as you do these simple things let your mind rest. Don’t worry about anything other than whatever small task is before you.
I often find when I focus my conscious thoughts on something mundane, I’m hitting a mental reset button that makes it easier to get back at it when the time comes.
In fact, it’s the exact process I used to come up with a topic for this blog post.