Happy New Year, friends!

I hope you kicked off 2018 in style! I think this was actually my first time celebrating New Year’s Eve in Boston! We typically head to Vermont, but the sub-zero temperatures weren’t exactly tempting this time around. It’s been so nice to cozy up for the past few days at home and avoid the frigid cold, and it was amazing to ring in 2018 with friends in town. Champagne, games, pajamas, and Robyn–what else is there?!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Me again? So soon?! Yesterday I shared list of cringeworthy words, and played around with inventing some new words for 2018. That post was mostly for fun and to think about the overused, misused, and obnoxious terms from 2017. Today, I want to share more about my personal focus for the year ahead.

2017 Reflection

In 2017, I laid out several very specific goals. It was a lot of fun to chase them down, and I was surprised to see how many I achieved (new 5K and half marathon PRs, drastically reduced meat consumption, developed new blog features). Of course there were some that I will definitely continue to work on (more quiet/personal time, more meditation and yoga, giving track workouts a try).

New Year, New Approach

For 2018, I want to try something new. Below, I identify 5 words to focus on and 5 words to leave behind. Simple. Clear. Potentially very powerful.

My intention is to let the 5 focus words be ongoing mantras throughout the year. I’m a big advocate for having short, specific mantras to turn to when things get difficult, whether during a tough run, in a sensational yoga pose (I’m looking at you, pigeon), or in everyday life. I typically choose mantras for very specific moments–a certain yoga practice, a particularly stressful day, or an important race. I’m hoping to apply this idea to the year ahead by giving myself these 5 tiny mantras to revisit and explore. This way, no matter what I’m up against, one or all five of these words are available for me to shift my focus to or to help me get fired up to address any challenges thrown my way.

I also want to acknowledge some of the likely “dragons” or challenges that tend to arise by identifying 5 words to leave behind. When I find myself in a state of mind that could be described using these words, my intention is to make note and try to shift toward something positive–perhaps even a focus word.

*Drum roll please*

5 Words to Leave Behind:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Judgement
  • Control
  • Anticipation

5 Focus Words/Mantras:

  • Bold
  • Here
  • Grateful
  • Strong
  • Rest

I certainly wouldn’t call these resolutions, but I’m looking forward to this exercise in shifting focus. As one of my favorite teachers often points out, it’s important to value our limited attention and energy. When we give energy and attention to something, we make it bigger in our minds and lives. So do I want to dwell in fear or act with strength? Will I allocate attention to my worries, or can I shift to being bold? As you can see, these words aren’t opposites; they are indicators of mind frames that hold me back vs. mind frames that motivate me to let my best self shine.


If you give this a try, let me know what you think! Even if you only look at these words today, it feels pretty good to frame your intentions for the year.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy 2018!