How to chose a Focus Word for 2024

How to chose a Focus Word for 2024

With the new year upon us, I thought I would suggest something that really worked for me this past year. Instead of writing a New Year's resolution that will be forgotten about by February, take on the new year with a FOCUS WORD.
I'm not one to blindly recommend this to you. Last year, I actually chose a focus word*, I stuck with it, I really reminded myself about it every day, and made decisions based on it all year long. 
And this is what happened:
  • I grew and nurtured friendships 🌷 (felt lonely, and short on friends)
  • I joined a soccer team ⚽ (haven't played in 11 years)
  • Started up the neighborhood Bunco night 🎲 (stopped due to the pandemic)
  • Committed myself to Book club 📚 (usually flaked)
  • Went on my first girls trip in over 10 years 😱 (mom guilt was holding me back)
Prioritizing things that are important to me and thinking about what I needed to work on, helped me to choose the right focus word.

*I will reveal my focus word later, how I used it, and how it helped. 

Understanding Focus Words:

Some people refer to a Focus word as a Positive Affirmation or a Nudge Word. A Focus Word is a carefully chosen word that can act as an anchor, guiding your attention and energy toward a specific task or goal. These words can be personal, professional, or a combination of both, tailored to suit your unique objectives.

1. What are focus words, and how do they work?

Focus words serve as mental triggers, helping you direct your attention to a particular task or mindset. They work by creating a mental association, signaling to you what is important to you, and choosing associated activities to reach your goal.

Here's another great article that goes deeper into Focus Words: How and Why to Choose a Focus Word of the Year by Clare Kumar

2. How can I choose the right focus word for me?

The choice of a specific focus word is deeply personal. Consider your goals, priorities, and the areas where you want to enhance your life.

Here is an example from Reddit that explains why they chose the focus word 'Curiosity'.

How I Chose my Focus Word

I wanted to keep it simple, so I asked myself the following questions:

  • What was I proud of in this past year?
  • What goals do I have for the following year? 
  • What activities brought me joy that have I stopped doing?
  • What would make me (only me - be selfish) happier? or at least more content?

Simplifying it a bit more, could be reading through a list of words, one will just resonate with you. SCROLL DOWN ⤵️ for an extensive list that I've compiled of great focus words that can inspire you to think about what you want out of this upcoming year.

3. Can focus words improve productivity and creativity simultaneously?

Absolutely! Focus words aren't limited to just one thing or another. By honing in on specific words, you will be more intentional with your decisions and be open to new ideas and thinking. It's a harmonious blend that can lead to holistic personal and professional growth.

Here are a few great Focus Words to help improve productivity and creativity:

  • Brilliance
  • Creative
  • Ingenuity
  • Innovative
  • Versatile  

4. Can your focus word help you stop comparison and doom scrolling?

Distractions are inevitable in the digital era but focus words can help you decide whether or not to scroll social media for hours or limit yourself. When you declare your intention with a focus word, this allows you to filter out irrelevant stimuli and stay on course.

Here are my recommendations for Focus Words relating to limiting screen distractions:

  • Attention
  • Be Present
  • Grateful
  • Mindful
  • Simplify

5. Can focus words be shared between friends?

Absolutely! Focus words can be a powerful tool in team settings. By establishing collective focus words, teams can align their efforts, enhance communication, and foster a shared sense of purpose. It's a simple yet effective strategy to improve collaboration and achieve collective goals.

QUICK STORY: I was asked to make Morse Code Bracelets featuring the word VILLAGE for a group of 5 friends. Within the group, one member was facing health challenges, and her supportive friends sought a meaningful way to convey that they stood by her side. What an excellent example of the power of a shared focus word.

What Focus Word did I Choose?

Running a small business is very isolating and I can easily hide in my studio for days, if not weeks. But that's not realistic or healthy for me and my family. So, to break out of my self-inflicted hermit ways, I chose a focus word CONNECTION.

I set goals relating back to this word.

  • I wanted friends!
  • I wanted to get back to the activities I enjoyed!
  • I wanted more from myself, for myself!

How to keep your Focus Word in Mind:

If you are anything like me, my brain loves the motto: OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND. Works great for hiding junk in drawers and leaving laundry in the dryer but not for focus words. I found wearing my focus word on a Custom Morse Code Bracelet proved to be a helpful tool, serving as a quick reminder of my goals.

No one else needed to know what my bracelet said, which helped keep the pressure off. I found wearing my bracelet making decisions easier and gave me the sense that I was getting closer to achieving what I wanted.


I'm very happy with my results so far. I am a work-in-progress so I will continue with the Focus Word CONNECTION into the next year. 

Do you have a focus word this year? Please comment below - I'd love to hear what word you chose and why.

Woman wearing Morse Code Focus Word Bracelets and Necklaces 

Focus Words of the Year Ideas

For your enjoyment, here's a picture of a very nervous me at my first soccer game in over 11 years. It was like riding a bike. But the bike is rusty, missing a tire and the other is flat. I had a lot of fun!

A very nervous soccer Trish
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