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Word of the Year: Focus

January 11, 2016

Orphan Survival Guide - 2016 Word of the Year: Focus

Last January, I wrote about my new semester resolutions, because I’m too noncommittal to adhere to long-term goals. Last week, I went over Orphan Survival Guide’s progress in 2015. I’ve learned a lot about how I work and process things, and I think I’m ready to set some more abstract resolutions for 2016.

A lot of resolutions I’ve seen lately haven’t even been resolutions, they’ve been a Word of the Year. Happiness. Clarity. Purpose. Gratitude. Mindfulness.

Mine is focus.

I want to streamline my life and find the few things I’m passionate about instead of spreading myself too thin.

I am an ENFP most days, so I have a habit of getting really excited for a bunch of new projects, starting them, and then quickly abandoning them because I either get bored or don’t have time for everything. My biggest challenge is finding something to focus on that I can give most of my attention to, rather than dividing my attention among a dozen different tasks.

Personal Focus

In a private Facebook group, someone asked members to go through a list of all of their identity labels. Gender, sexuality, politics, work… the whole shebang.

I noticed that writing and self-sufficiency were the main themes of mine, so I’m going to redefine my personal focus this year on finding happiness and my self through writing. Which sounds like fluffy Eat, Pray, Love nonsense, but I think there really are a lot of different ways to find your purpose in life through words.

I made a resolution a few years ago to not read books out of obligation and only read things that make me happy, so I’m going to read more inspirational and self-help-y books this year (which I intended to do last year but didn’t accomplish). Starting with Rising Strong by Brene Brown.

Work Focus

Having a million side hustles seemed like a great idea at the time, but a lot of times I get overwhelmed by all the options or I run out of steam on things really quickly. Plus, working from home is lonely.

I’m looking into part-time office work just to get myself out of the house every day, and I’m going to refocus my work on the things I really like doing (or are at least super easy). I’m going to seek out more freelance writing gigs, work on transcription when I’m hard up for cash, and get back on the self-publishing saddle.

Blog Focus

My intention for Orphan Survival Guide this year is to make it more engaged and personal. I want it to be more than just guides to life; I want to give a glimpse into life as adult orphans.

Some of the tasks that will help achieve this focus are: blogging every week, joining link parties and communities, pitching to other publications, and working with cowriters and guest bloggers. And as much as I know people will complain about OSG selling out, I am looking into sponsorships because working on the blog takes away time from working for pay, and I have bills and student loans that need my time and money. [See my Disclosures page for more info about how I select sponsorships and affiliate networks.]

Here are some of the posts that are in the works or on the back burner for this year:

  • A Day in the Life profiles, stories, and challenges of other adult orphans
  • Book & Resource Reviews: I have a list of things I’ve been meaning to read for Orphan Survival Guide on the Resources page, which I’d like to organize a little better and start actually reviewing
  • Printables: more planners and schedules to help keep life organized
  • College guides: determining whether you’re ready or even need college, finding the right schools, finding and applying for financial aid, navigating college as a working grown-up, planning a realistic class schedule, study tips and note-taking systems
  • Feeding Yourself guide: how to coupon and find the cheapest groceries, basic meals everyone should know how to make and keep on hand, easy meal planning, and how to stock your pantry
  • Moving Out and Moving In: how to cut a lease, spot a scam in a lease, get away from toxic housemates, find a place of your own, change your address, and decorate and furnish your new pad

That’s what I’ve got on the table for the next year. What are some of your goals for 2016?

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