Handy ways to get prepared, focused and be ready for all that’s ahead in the future: Focus Words, Goal Setting & Promises to yourself!

Set your future intentions with Focus Words, Goal Setting and Promises to yourself – as ways to be prepared, focused and ready for all that’s ahead…

When looking ahead, I like to do things that will get my mind focused on the future. I still want to carry with me the lessons learnt from the past, but in order to then go forward, being clear on my goals and my intentions for the year ahead.

If you’ve read my post Be ORGANISED & FOCUSED in life, with these TOP 3 ITEMS to keep you on track! you would know I use a few different items such as a diary, journal and calendar, in order to keep myself prepared and organised in a practical way.

However, below is a list of other things I do at the dawn of each new year instead of traditional resolutions, to get myself focused and ready for the future:

  • Choosing a focus word for the year ahead.
  • Setting my goals and intentions for the year ahead.
  • My New Year Promises to Myself.

However, whatever time of the year you are reading this, you can start to implement these things to help you get focused in life. In this post I will go on to explain just how I do each of these future focusing exercises and why. With the aim of inspiring you to do the same no matter your circumstance – if you are a business executive, stay at home parent or a chronic illness warrior. We all need a direction, plan, vision, goal and dream to work towards and focus on!

“Wave goodbye to the past but take with you it’s lessons. Say hello to the present with focus and determination for all that’s to come in the future…”

– Helen’s Journey Blog

When a new year begins there is a feel of freshness in the air and an atmosphere of new beginnings. A lot of people still set themselves New Year’s Resolutions but how many people actually continue these things past January is questionable. So let me talk you through these alternative methods to help get you ready for future at any point in the year!

How choosing a focus word for the new year ahead can help give you clarity and direction.

Choosing a focus word makes you really zone in on the direction you feel you are going in. We may have a long list of goals, things to tick off our lists, places we want to go etc. However, choosing a focus word makes you break all those long lists down to a single word that you want to focus on the most. E.g: Happiness, Education, Rebuilding, Love, Business, Growth, Resilience, Consistency, Balance – really the list is endless, so choose something that is specifically personal to you.

I am such a big fan of a ‘focus word’ that I have written a blog post dedicated to them called “Top Tips for choosing the right ‘FOCUS WORD’ to give you direction in the New Year ahead!” which goes into much more specific detail about just how to choose the right ‘FOCUS WORD’ for yourself, which questions to ask yourself when choosing your word, etc. As well as expanding on many ways in which you can then actually use this focus word on a daily basis in your everyday life to keep you fixed on your direction.

In that post I also share with you my personal life journey and why I chose each new word each year between 2017 and 2021. It shows how you can build on each years focus word to show your development, transformation and growth. (I really encourage you to read this other post after you have finished this one, you will find the link at the end of this article.)

What focus word are you going to choose for yourself  for the new year ahead? Why not let me know in the comments at the end of the post…

How goal setting and intention making can help organise you for the future.

Although we can never know all that the future holds and we can be thrown a curve-ball in life at any time, it is still empowering to know who you are and the type of life you want to be creating for yourself. A good way to do this is to write yourself a list of the goals you want to try to achieve.

You can have a mix of more realistic goals and also ‘dream goals’ that may be harder to reach or goals that may not be reached for a few years but you can still put it so you know what you are working towards.

When you have certain restrictions in life because of illness or responsibilities your goals may look a lot different to someone who has full health and more freedom in life. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do this exercise. Even if your goals are to try to get out of bed every day, to do stretches every day and eat healthier – those are just as amazing as someone whose goal is to get a promotion at work or buy themselves a boat. The point being that making goals realistic to your circumstances still makes the goals important and relevant.

How making promises to yourself about the future, can be empowering and give you accountability.

This exercise is what I do to make sure I have learnt lessons from the things that are past and making promises to myself is a way to carry forward these lessons so they aren’t forgotten or so history doesn’t repeat itself. These promises can be a practical thing you promise you will do, or an emotional thing, spiritual thing, educational thing, etc.

For example, at one point on my lists in the past was a practical thing:

  •  To make myself open the curtains every day! This became a thing for me as on my worst days I liked to shutout the world. But I’ve learnt from experience how depressing, lonely and isolating this can be. So come rain or shine I promised I would encourage myself to open the curtains to remind myself no matter how I feel, I am part of the world & I have a role to play in it even if I do t make it outside that day. It really helped me in terms of engagement, perspective and mood.

Then on my list another year was more of a personal boundary setting promise:

  • Not to repeat the same mistake when I stay in a situation where I am being mistreated. No matter who they are; if it’s toxic and I’m being treated badly – I’m out!

These promises basically make me more accountable to myself and as things happen I can try to stay true to myself in my reactions and responses to them. Being at peace with who you are, what your goals in life are and what your boundaries are etc – all help in trying to keep the balance of life and keeping you on the track.

I hope that through me openly sharing with you these exercises I do, you are encouraged to do these things for yourself too in order to give your new year clarity, direction, focus and determination!

– Helen’s Journey Blog

> If there are things in your past that you need to let go off before you can move on, click HERE to read my post HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK when life makes you HARD ON YOURSELF! A free printable Affirmation, to encourage Self-Love, Forgiveness & Letting Go…

> If you need reminding of how worthy you are of a future, of having goals and value in yourself and your desires – then click HERE to read my post “You are…” a SELF-LOVE AFFIRMATION to remind us how AMAZING we are!

Click HERE to read my post “Top Tips for choosing the right ‘FOCUS WORD’ to give you direction in the New Year ahead!”

> Click HERE to read my post “Be ORGANISED & FOCUSED in life, with these TOP 3 ITEMS to keep you on track!”

I also have a board on Pinterest for all things ‘NEW YEAR’:

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23 thoughts on “Handy ways to get prepared, focused and be ready for all that’s ahead in the future: Focus Words, Goal Setting & Promises to yourself!

  1. Great suggestions, Helen! I think I’d like to set a focus word for the year, though I’m not sure what it’ll be yet. ‘Consistency’ is a good one. I agree that having an idea of how you want your year to look and setting intentions, with flexibility and without too much pressure, can be very empowering. Fab post – I hope the New Year is a good one for you 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Caz, yes defo has to be one that helps encourage you through the year, rather than one that puts the pressure on for sure (esp for us spoonies). All about using these things still while being kind to ourselves for sure ❤ Happy New to you too xx

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Preparation is a great word! Change can sound scary to some or carry with it some resistance, but that’s something personal to each person. But a season of preparation defo helps with accepting and adapting to change – so maybe they go hand in hand?
          Family travel sounds like something exciting to be preparing for too – where is on the map for you guys?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I not much for reslotutions either. I dont like the idea of failure if you are not successful. My focus word this year is Reinvention. Everyday is a new day to reinvent uourself in any way you feel you want growth.
    This was a great reminder on how to keep focused for the New Year. Thanks for sharing.
    Nancy |

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Nancy, so glad it helped with doing alternative resolutions for you too. Reinvention is a great choice and as you say a daily reminder for us to keep questioning our direction and goals. 🙂


  3. Wow! First impression was like this is a long title! However, such a great and helpful post❤️❤️ I have learned to give myself a break when life gets tough and also I’ve been doing self affirmations since last year! Will continue to this year💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right – I went back and forth with the title for too long. in the end i had to include it all *hand over face* lol. But as you say once readers read the whole blog post the long title can be appreciated 😉
      Sounds like your focus word for 2019 could be ‘self’ with giving yourself self love, encouragement through affirmations and being kind to yourself when life is tough etc. Good for you! ❤


  4. What a great post! Some really good points. I think my word for the year will be self-care. I have been terrible at it in the past, but with my recent scare and new diagnosis, I need to try and learn to be kind to myself.

    Kat –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kat – I think by the sounds of your situation ‘self-care’ is a perfect focus word for you for whatever this new diagnosis brings for you. Wishing you all the best! I hope some of my self love posts can help you too ❤


  5. A few weeks in to 2019 and my focus word is “reversal”…this is the year I am praying and believing for a complete u-turn and reversal of some things in my life….a big one lol but it is what I am feeling in my gut. Thanks for this post in how we can focus our mindset for the year ahead. I LOVE your focus “in bloom” for 2019 and I am looking forward ro seeing the buds flower! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WOW I think ‘reversal’ is a really powerful word choice. What a a great declaration for what you are believing for in the spirit. Our guts being one way the Holy Spirit can communicate with us too – I hope it can feel empowering for you to be in-tune and obedient to it, in order to see those U-turns!
      Thanks so much for sharing & I wish you all the best for all the reversal 2019 has in store for you… 🙂 x


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