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One Little Word 2021

Each year, I pick a word and use it as a way to guide my year . For 2021, I'm really stuck between a couple words, clarity and focus, and have decided to pick FOCUS as my main one little word and, I suppose, I'm hoping with focus will come clarity. I like to have one word to reflect on, to think about, to really ponder as I'm going through the year. I'm saying right now I want to have more focus but I need to really sit with that word to understand how it's going to benefit me. If you are tired of making new years resolutions, this is a great alternative and one that's easy to keep close as the year moves forward. There is no failure with one little word. It's a beautiful thing.

I have so many thoughts swirling in my head about things I want to make happen for myself and for my work in 2021 but they are scattered and not buttoned up at all. I need all the various ideas and goals to come together in one focused point of clarity to ensure I'm doing what I love and offering services that add more value to my client's lives. I know focusing my energy will allow me to feel more fulfilled and happier, as well. Win-win!

So what do I want to FOCUS on in 2021?


Just in line with Blue Pencil's mission, I want to continue to help people enjoy their memories. I want to keep working on client photo projects and turn their chaos into an organized system, making photo books, digitizing old media, streamlining photo collections. I want to encourage people to be more proactive in organizing their own photos, to keep them curated, to complete projects they want to complete, to make photo books or whatever they want to do. Sure, I can do that for my clients, but I also really want to find ways to do more to continue to encourage people to take action where they can, on their own. I'm not sure if this involves more in-person workshops, more consulting sessions or online groups, but it's something I'm interested in pursuing.


I have benefitted so much from decluttering and finding out what's really important for me to lead a fulfilling life. This has benefitted our whole family and led to many conversations with my husband about what we are actually working for, anyway! What are our short term goals and long term goals? If I hadn't spent the past few years really editing our belongings, I wouldn't even be able to enjoy those deeper conversations. I want to help other people simplify their lives. I want people to understand by clearing the junk out of their lives, they will find room to do more of what they actually want to do. I want everyone to be living life to the fullest, not managing the stuff in their houses. I want my clients to come home to a calm space, with enough of what they need to be happy and room to grow. I want them to have more time. I want less people to sigh and tell me how "busy" they are. I want my clients to enjoy their homes and have systems in place which make their houses work for them. I want to continue to share the message that less is actually more. Minimalism isn't having nothing. It's having what you need and what you love and that's more than enough.


I want to continue growing my own knowledge base, which encouraging my family to grow. I have a lot of classes on my list to take or finish. I want to review some classes I have taken now that I'm ready to hold onto more information. My husband bought me a year subscription to MasterClass because he knows I love to learn and explore. I want to look through their offerings and see what is of interest and plug it into my calendar. I want to keep getting better at my workflow, at my processes. I want to continue to become more efficient, working smarter. I want to feel like I'm getting better at what I'm doing and learning new things all the time while offering a great end result to my client.


I want to focus on how I'm spending my time. This means I intend to plan out my year with general monthly goals and then also very specific goals to meet those monthly goals. I want to really spend some time looking at how I'm going to get where I want to be and break it down into manageable chunks. This is going to involve me sitting with a a pen and a notebook and really diving deep into the year. I'm going to do a general yearly overview and also planning to spend some focused time every month and week reviewing where I'm at. While I think I have been actively pursuing things I think are a priority, I also need to look to make sure those things are in line with the bigger goals I want for myself, my family and my work.

I have a hard time believing this is my 11th year picking one word to help guide my year. Here are my words from the past...some were better choices than others. Pause in 2018 was probably my favorite and most impactful word. It stays with me to this day.

2011 Habits

2012 Moderate

2013 Build

2014 Patience

2015 Choice

2016 Less

2017 Calm

2018 Pause

2019 Stretch

2020 Mottainai

2021 Focus

I also like to write down some of my favorite quotes on focus to reflect back on throughout the year as I'm moving through the months.

It is wise to direct your anger towards problems-not people; to focus your energies on answers-not excuses. - William Arthur Ward

Focus on where you want to be, not where you were, or where you are. - Anonymous

Focus on being productive, instead of being busy. - Tim Ferriss

If you don't have time for the things that matter, stop doing the things that don't. - Courtney Carver

A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power. - Brian Tracy

Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus. - Oprah Winfrey

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory. - Arthur Golden

Focus does not mean saying yes, it means saying no. - Steve Jobs

Ignore the noise, focus on your work. - Anonymous

Focus and simplicity....once you get there, you can move mountains. - Steve Jobs

Focus on what you can control, not what you can't. - Anonymous

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days. - Zig Ziglar

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle Onassis

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closet to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them. - Jack Canfield

If you haven't ever picked a word for your year, I would encourage you to do it! It's a fun way to work towards what you want for yourself. I always love looking through Ali Edwards information on One Little Word, which is where I first got the idea many years ago. Check it out if you are looking for a list of words to ponder for your own one little word.

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Blue Pencil is based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Locally servicing Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Remote consultation available.

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