Whether we are thinking them to ourselves or saying them out loud, the words that we use have a powerful impact on our emotions and how we experience life. This is why it is so important to consciously create vocabulary that supports how we want to feel and operate in the world.
Now there are many ways in which we can do this, with one of our favourites being the use of daily positive affirmations. However, another is to choose a specific focus word to help guide us over a designated period of time, so that we can achieve the outcomes and experiences we wish to manifest in our lives.
The main purpose of a focus word is to help us create or embody a specific feeling or trait, but it can also help us to:
- Feel motivated and inspired
- Take aligned action towards our goals
- Keep us focussed on what is important to us
- Help us to realign with our intentions
Although, this concept can be applied to any timeframe, most people generally choose to have a focus word over a 12 month period, i.e. a word of the year. Even those of us, like myself who like to set goals in smaller time blocks find this more useful. This is because a focus word is more of an overarching internal accomplishment that’s purpose is to help fulfil the more specific tangible goals.
Below are some tips for choosing and implementing your focus word of the year (or whatever timeframe you want to roll with). Remember, there is no right or wrong way of doing this. This practice is really about what you feel you need to focus on mostly during this time.
1. Decide how you want to feel
Defining how we want to feel is an important factor in creating a life that we love. This is because our feelings not only help shape our experiences, but they also influence our thoughts and in turn our actions.
Take some time to think about where you are right now in your life and how you currently feel? Look at each facet and identify where things feel good. Why is that? Now look at where things don’t feel good. Why is that?
Try to identify any overarching themes that are coming up throughout this process.
2. Identify what you want to achieve
Most of us choose to work with a focus word because we want to improve our lives and fulfil our goals.
Take some time now to look at each facet of your life and define what it is that you want to achieve and why. Think about what is currently going well and try and identify why you think this is. Now look at where things are more challenging and again try and identify why.
As before, look out for any overarching themes that are coming up as you work your way through this process.
3. Stick to one word
When we are in full goal setting mode and feeling really motivated to make things happen, then it can be tempting to try and do all the things at once. Because of this, when it comes to choosing your focus word you may feel drawn to pick more than one to help you achieve all of your desired outcomes.
However, it really is best to stick to one at a time so that you can, well, keep more focussed.
Our focus word is what is going to guide and support us, as well as keep us committed to our current goals, but if our attention is split then this is going to be harder to do. Remember, the best results usually come when we limit our focus.
4. Make your word visible
With all the best intentions, when things are out of sight they can quickly become out of mind. Even when we know that we have certain tools in our jewel kit to help us, sometimes we still need to be prompted to use them. This is why having visual reminders of your focus word is a great way to keep it at the forefront of your intentions.
There are many different ways you can do this, some of our favourites are: writing it on post-it notes and sticking them around in or around your frequently used spaces (think mirrors, diaries), creating beautiful printables and hanging them in prominent places, making a screensavers for your digital devices and even writing it on your hand or wrist in eyeliner.
5. Remember, it’s a process
Choosing to implement a focus word is a goal within itself, and like with any goal it can take time to make it a habit. So Goddess, don’t expect to automatically take on the feeling or trait of this word as you may find yourself abandoning it before you’ve really tried.
The aim is for the word to become part of your process whether physically, mentally or emotionally. If you find yourself really struggling to integrate this word into your life, then break down the reasons why.
Identify what the actual obstacle is and ask yourself why it is there and what you really need to do to overcome it. Remember, you chose this word for a reason, so don’t give up on it that easily.
6. Create a matching mantra
Once you have chosen your focus word then you are going to need to find ways to help you apply it. One of my favourite things to do is to create a matching mantra, which is basically a complimentary phrase that you can affirm when you need to connect to your focus word on a deeper level.
You see, it’s one thing to have a word to focus on, but sometimes we need a whole sentence to really help give something context and power. Think of this as your catchphrase for the duration of time that your focus word is in place for.
Where your focus word is the thing that you are trying to embody, your mantra is the thing that helps you actually do it.