Hey there! Welcome to a new week, and to the next installment of my series on make the next year your best year yet. Even if you’ve never figured out how to stick to new year’s resolutions in the past, I’m hoping this series can help us all make better plans than we have before.

In parts one and two, we looked to the past, thinking about our biggest joys and sorrows of the year that’s almost done, as well as the best times of our lives up until this point. That’s given us a good idea of what we want to do…and what we don’t want to do.

Now, we’re looking ahead and picking a word that we want to sum up our next year.


Make up your mind that next year will be THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE (so far!) Then plan it out with this 5-part series. #inspiration #inspirational #how to stick to New Year #New Year's resolutions #motivational


Basically, we’re finishing this sentence:


2018 will be the year of __________


I came across this idea of choosing one word on a defunct goal-setting site, 43things.com (which another enterprising person has revived.) If it’s from someone’s book or blog or something, let me know so I can give proper credit!

I’ve more often seen people choose a verb, though, like “Thrive” or “Connect.” Maybe you’d prefer that approach! For whatever reason, a noun feels more satisfying to me.

For the coming year, I choose “romance” as my focus. My marriage is so important to me, and I feel like focusing on our relationship and on our shared enjoyment of life is the best thing I can do right now.



Everyone’s different, and every year is different. Here are some other possibilities for focus words.










the home










my career










You might very well have better ideas of your own!

Just be honest about what you really want. If you pick a word because you “should” focus on it, but your heart isn’t in it, you’ll be fighting yourself from the start.

And now, I should confess something.

I tried choosing a focus word last year, and I completely failed.

At the beginning of last year, I thought that if my new business didn’t move forward, I’d be depressed, and if it did move forward, I’d be busy. (I somewhat underestimated how busy.) Either way, I thought I should make it “the year of fun.”

Hahahaha. Well, I completely forgot about it, and suffice to say, it was not the Year of Fun. I did have some good times! But as I’ve written about before, it was mostly the Year of Working Long Hours and Worrying.

I wish I’d kept my focus word in mind…and I have an easy suggestion for how to do that. Buy a 2018 calendar (I have more suggestions for this calendar later), and write it across the top of every month. Like I’ve done here:


Make up your mind that next year will be THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE (so far!) Then plan it out with this 5-part series. #inspiration #inspirational #New Year #how to stick to New Year's resolutions #motivational


Easy! Every time you flip to a new month, you’ll get a reminder to re-set your focus, if it’s happened to slip. I’m doing the same thing with my planner pages for every month of the new year.

Do you have ideas for a ‘focus word’? Do you like the idea of choosing one, or not so much? Let us know in the comments, if you like.

And so that you don’t miss a post about better living, follow the blog, if you aren’t already — there’s a place to sign up below. Thanks so much for reading!

Part four in this series is about making resolutions. Check it out here!