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, to carry with me the lessons learnt from the past and to then go forward being clear on my goals and my intentions for the year ahead.

In this post, I encourage 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.

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 Years Resolutions but how many people actually continue these things past January is questionable.

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.

However, below is a list of other things I do instead of traditional resolutions, to get myself focused and ready for the new year. I will also go on to explain how I do each of  them and why:

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

handy ways to get prepared, focused and ready for the New Year ahead by using goal setting, focus words and promises to yourself.


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

– Helen’s Journey Blog

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

Looking back at 2017 my word would be ‘escape’. 2018 was my year of ‘healing’ and ‘restoration’. 2019 the word I’m choosing for myself is ‘in-bloom’ and this is because my days are now full of more sunshine and my buds that were created last year are preparing to open and bloom when the time is right in this new year ahead…

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.

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 history doesn’t repeat itself.

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

  •  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 this year is:

  • 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 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!

> 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 “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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Handy ways to be prepared, focused and ready for the new year ahead. Focus Words, Goals Lists and Promises to yourself by Helen's Journey blog


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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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