New Year, New Focus: Who do you want to “be” this year?


I love a new year, a fresh start, a clean calendar, and to be honest, a do-over. I can’t even remember what my New Year’s resolution might have been a year ago. But I know I want something different this year. 

Instead of working on what I should “do,” like lose those 30 pounds I lost three years ago and then gained back again, pray more often, or plan fun dates for my husband, this year I’m focusing on what or who I want to “be.” 

Focus on who you want to “be” instead of what you should “do”

I didn’t start off January with this clarity, but eventually, I decided what I wanted to see more of in my life was peacefulness, purposefulness, and productivity. The qualities guided my decisions, helped me say “no” when I wanted to say “yes” and gave me rails to run on. 

My husband’s new job brought us to Flagstaff this summer, which meant a new job for me too. After a few interviews that weren’t a good fit for this middle-aged momma, a friend told me about a woman she knew who owned a business and was looking for an executive assistant. I had worn a lot of different hats in my career, but this was not one of them. But I was running out of options, and I was actually a little curious about the position.

So with scenes from “The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Intern” running through my mind, I turned in my resume with an email to the HR lady telling her I wasn’t really qualified for the job and cautiously agreed to an interview.

Way out of my comfort zone

After just a few minutes of get-to-know-you questions and then hearing what this woman was looking for in an assistant, what her business goals and motivations were, I felt like a giddy five-year-old awaiting the first day of school. I was way out of my comfort zone, but I had an uncanny clarity, almost a conviction, that this job was what I needed to practice being more productive, more purposeful, and even more peaceful. 

Some days I’m tempted by job opportunities that look more glamorous or more in-line with my education or experience, but then I ask myself, “Would those jobs help me be more. . . .” You get the idea.

The better “yes”

Later, when I wondered if I should take on a volunteer opportunity, which may have been a good thing to do, but wasn’t really in my passion area, I asked, “Will this commitment make me more peaceful? Is it in line with what I feel is my purpose in this season? Will it help me be more productive?” It was clear that saying “yes” to that opportunity could prevent me from saying “yes” to something later on that was the “better yes.” 

What do you want “be” this year?

Create some quiet time in your life this month to think, meditate, pray and consider what you want to “be” this year. You may need to get a babysitter, go to a coffee shop, take a hike, or wake up an hour early to find the kind of uninterrupted quiet you’ll need to arrive at your focus for 2018. Ask a trusted friend or your husband to affirm your focus words when you’re getting close. And then write them down, post them on your bathroom mirror, make it into something beautiful and hang it on your wall. Breathe it in on a daily basis, and then live it out. What do you want to “be” this year?