It is Never Too Late to Set a Focus – Decide on One Word Now

Posted on February 16th, 2015 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Intentional, Valued by QBeats, Workshops and Webinars

In this workshop, it is my intention to share my five best tools for making positive change in my life. So far, I have shown you how I made a vision board and how I use mind mapping to get clarity on my core values, desires and goals. Now, I will share my favorite tool that has been instrumental in my life to get inspired and motivated and it is so easy, all it takes is one word. (This post is valued by QBeats. Read about why I am asking you to support my blog in this post: Authenticity Means Real.) This is week four of my six part series on getting your rear in gear for the year.


Reflect & Focus 4

It is Never Too Late to Set a Focus

Take some time to reflect on 2014. Read my post Do You Love Your Life and think about your life as you look at the quotes and photos there. How do you honor yourself and your family? How do you honor your interests? Are you utilizing your best skills, being true to yourself, living your purpose?

In 2014 I tried to use a chart of a different kind. Instead of mind mapping, I tried using a bingo card. Yep. It was fun. It didn’t work very well because I made it too big and detailed. But upon reflection, I realized how much it did help me. Since my focus word for 2014 was discover, it fit well. I did discover more than I imagined I could, about myself.

If you would like to read about Goals Bingo and My 2014 Reflection check out Goals Bingo Wrap Up

My Focus Words: 2012 - Experience 2013 - Ta-da! 2014 - Discover 2015 - Intention

My Focus Words:
2012 – Experience
2013 – Ta-da!
2014 – Discover
2015 – Intention

I love having a focus word.

It helps to stay centered and relaxed. Not being confined to a list of resolutions or goals allows me to take in what life has to offer and make it work for me. Feel free to look back and see my posts about my focus words starting with 2012. My life really has seemed to change since then.

When I wanted to enrich the experiences I was having and focus on my family and being present to them, keeping my thoughts on the word experience really helped. When I wanted to build up my confidence to show off my talents and write and self-publish a book, using the word ta-da was just the thing I needed to bring me back to that childlike energy. Last year as I was ready to move forward and take on new endeavors, breaking out of my comfort zone and allowing myself to be adventurous – discover was the term that reminded me of my quest. Now, my life has taken a direction that I have looked forward to for a long time. I want to help people and I want to share my good fortune with others. It will be my intention this year to use my talents to the best of my abilities, honoring my true calling, I will shine and dream big. I will do everything with thought and care, considering the outcome and truly be intentional with what I do and who I help. Taking my cues from a campaign that I worked on recently, rather than random acts of kindness, I will direct my efforts towards sustainable change with intentional acts of kindness. I hope to really make a difference for people. I hope this is making a difference for you.

My word this year is intention.


You most likely already have a word for the year.

The practice has become very popular especially among bloggers. If you do have a word, how is it working out for you so far? Do you find yourself thinking about it? Have you written in down in prominent places as a reminder? Does the word seem to come up in conversation a lot? Are you saying it more and more? How did you prepare yourself to use this word? If you want to learn more about the power of having a focus word, read on my friend. Take off your shoes, get a beverage, sit back and take time for this now.


If you have not yet decided on a focus word, consider this…

Create a theme for this year. It should encompass all that you want to accomplish, be, have, and/or do for yourself in all areas of your life. Do you want to learn new things, enjoy your family, expand your horizons, lead the pack, celebrate your accomplishments, live in the moment? What are you about at this point in your life? What do you want to achieve? What skills can you hone? What is your core desired feeling? How do you want to present yourself? How do you want other people to perceive you?

“One word creates clarity, focus, power, passion. One word changes everything.”

I learned of this book, One Word, and others like it just this past year.

My boss was introduced to it at a leadership retreat. Long before that, I was first asked to consider a word for the year rather than a resolution when I went to a meet up with my good friend and life coach, Joy Holland of Facets of Joy. (Joy and I have been friends for over eighteen years. I started writing and became a life coach thanks to her guidance.)

Everyone in the group discussed what words they had chosen  in the past and what worked for them. Then, soon after that I was participating in a writing prompt for my blog and it came up again. I have been in the practice ever since.

In the book, One Word that will change your life, there are steps to take to hold yourself accountable and to measure the change taking place. There are workshops and seminars devoted to it. If you want to delve into it that deeply and apply it to your life, I recommend at least reading the book first.

Inspiredfor2015_sclb3In the So Cal Lady Bloggers workshop that I held in January, I briefly reviewed the questions on page 4 of this pdf: OneWordDiscussionGuide after reading an excerpt from the book. It talked about preparing yourself. Siting examples from UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden who said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” and President Abraham Lincoln who said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”

“Taking the time to sharpen the ax makes the task successful. Most of us fail in the preparation, not in the task itself.” ~from One Word that will change your life

In Stephen Covey’s book , The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 7 is called Sharpen the Saw – Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal. Covey says that taking time to sharpen the saw “surrounds the other habits on the paradigm because it is the habit that makes all the others possible. Sharpening the saw is preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you. It is renewing the four dimensions of your nature – physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional.”

In other words, taking care of yourself, taking the time to put your best foot forward and really shine is necessary to be successful in reaching your goals. To do your best and be your best self, take the time to prepare your heart, prepare your mind, prepare your soul, prepare your body. Get yourself fit. Runners don’t run marathons without starting out with training and preparing. Life is like that.

“Busyness is a disease that is robbing us of life. It brings on stress and exhaustion, and it weighs our hearts with anxiety…and leaves no time for mission and meaning. Activity does not mean achievement.” ~from One Word that will change your life

Super Mom Miz Meliz' Super Powers

I don’t have to be all these things all the time. If I don’t take time for myself, I can’t be good at any of them!


We don’t have to stay active and busy to achieve our goals.

If you find yourself never taking time for silence, never slowing down to truly breathe and enjoy the simplest things, then you are guilty of allowing your schedule to rule you. Let’s turn that around. Let’s manage the schedule and not let it manage us.

Here are some questions from the OneWord Discussion Guide to consider:

  • Why is it so hard to simplify life?
  • Why am I so busy?
  • What causes me the most stress?
  • Does being busy make me stop caring about the things I care about?
  • Can I envision a better life by living what is truly important to me, my core desired feeling, my one word?

2014-07-22 03.48.05

Slow down, unplug, remove yourself from the busyness of life and take time to prepare for what it is that you want to focus on. That is why I asked everyone who signed up for the workshop to think of the word before we met. I sent everyone an email ahead of time with a little insight about choosing a focus word. That was intentional because I didn’t want anyone to feel pressured to choose something on the spot. It takes time to decide. It is that important. This is also the reason that I made this topic part four of the series instead of starting out with it – so in considering our core values and learning how to map them in a concise way, we were preparing ourselves to find our passion, and experience “renewed mission and meaning” in our lives.

I believe you will notice the change that will take place in your life just by choosing one word to focus on and then reflecting on it a few times during the year. Make an appointment with yourself to check on your focus. Write about it or meditate on it at the end of the year. Let me know how that works for you.

If you want to do a more formal review of your focus word, here is a pdf from One Word that you can download and use.

This OneWordReview and the One Word Discussion Guide is available for free on the One Word website at:



Here are some reflection questions from the One Word Review:

  • How has your life changed?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • What were the blessings?
  • What were the challenges?

It is important to know what things you will be reflecting on at the end of the year. Make up your own questions now. Think about what matters to you. Know that there will be challenges. There will be obstacles. Prepare yourself. Take the time.

Here is a gift for you…

10 Rules for Brilliant Women

  1. Make a pact
  2. Imagine it.
  3. Gasp.
  4. Get a thick skin.
  5. Be an arrogant idiot.
  6. Question the voice that says, “I’m not ready.”
  7. Don’t wait for your Oscar.
  8. Filter advice.
  9. Recover and restore.
  10. Let other women know they are brilliant.


Check out the complete 10 Rules for Brilliant Women at Tara her insights are so truthful and inspiring.

If these rules don’t give you the kick in the pants that you need to get your rear in gear, I don’t know what will! (Shout out to Jill Dahl from who told me about Tara Mohr. Wow!)

All I ask of you for homework is to tell me your word.

In the comments, please come back and tell me what you have chosen for your One Word.

If you want – make and post a pretty picture of your word, like this:

100 Mandalas


Next up:

What is on your “No Thank You” List? I will discuss a way to maintain balance and stay in control by using one of my favorite tools – the “Thank you but no thank you list.”

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10 responses to “It is Never Too Late to Set a Focus – Decide on One Word Now”

  1. This is the first year I chose to focus on One Word, health. And even though it’s a broad term, the reality is I want to always have health in every area of life. So far I have noticed a difference because my mind is focused on how I can be healthy each day. By the way, I love your word for this year. I think it’s good we always be intentional! Best wishes 🙂

    • mizmeliz says:

      Thank you for your insights Edith. I have made my own health an unofficial focus because it is an ongoing issue for me. I am glad you have noticed a difference already! Keep up the great work!

  2. Lysa says:

    I don’t have a word for my year but I do participate in a Word of the Week blogger “challenge.” It has definitely helped to put many things in my life into perspective as I reflect on my past week and what I hope, wish, and dream for the following week. I am the type of person who needs to do things a little at a time as thinking about the entire year is enough to cause great anxiety. I really do much better with smaller steps, or as my sister says “bites of the elephant in front of me!”

    Thank you for joining us and linking up to Party Under the Big Top! Hope to see you again next time!

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus

    • mizmeliz says:

      Thanks Lysa!
      I weekly reflection is a great practice. I like that idea very much. The nice thing about having one word as a focus, is that is should reduce anxiety because you don’t have to worry about a list of goals. It’s like choosing a theme for the year. Yet, what you are doing sounds lovely. Knowing yourself, honoring your best attributes, and doing what works for YOU – that is all you need!
      I love the circus!

  3. I love the word intention and use it ALL THE TIME instead of goal-setting. And yes, I even wrote a blog post about that some where along the line. But this year my word is “self-reliant” I’m really, really using it to focus on being true to myself no matter what.

    • mizmeliz says:

      Me too Kathy! I realized in looking back at some posts in preparation for this one that I use the word intention quite a bit. That makes me happy. Being true to myself is one of my core desires. Self-reliant speaks to trusting yourself, that’s a biggie. You can do it. I believe in you!

  4. Mary Burris says:

    Some wonderful tips and advice! My word for this year is Health.

    Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! We hope to see you again next week! #BigTopBlogParty

    • MizMeliz says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I love the #BigTopBlogParty and I hope to stick with it. Health is a great one! Don’t forget health includes all areas of life including relationships. Nurture yourself first and everything around you will bloom.

  5. Suzi T says:

    Stopping by from #BigTopBlogParty. Very thought provoking article. I think my word for this year is ENDURE.

    • MizMeliz says:

      It sounds like you expect to have a tough year Suzi. I can relate to that. Endure is a good word to use in preparation for hardship or when you will need stamina. I used “I will get through this.” and “Just persevere.” as my mantras to get through the tough times. “I am okay.” works too. Keep your heart open and listen to your inner sweetheart.

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