My word for 2017 was Tough.

In 2017, I made myself tougher in many respects.

I ran some gnarly trails.

I lived alone on Syracuse for 6 months.

I moved back to Ithaca.

I showed up for people.

I made pain my friend.

I tried to get better at being cold.

I controlled my mouth and sarcasm.

I stopped being vegan when it didn’t work for me.

I would say that on the whole, I am tougher than last year at this time.

My words for this year are: Focus and Willpower, or the willpower to remain focused on whatever I am doing.

I want to continue to be present, for people, for work, for assignments.

Focusing on one thing at a time is something I have to practice because there are always a million things vying for my attention.

The million tabs open.

The mindless Instagram scrolling.

The people talking while I am doing something else.

When I don’t give what’s important my full attention, the job I do, the recipe I am making or even the food I am eating is simply sub par. Focusing and concentrating on the task at hand, even if my gaze or thoughts are pulled away, but coming back to focus on that task, is something I believe has been serving me this past month.

I refuse to skim articles. If I begin to read it, I will finish it regardless of interest level.

I finish editing one photo before moving onto the other things I remember I also need to do.

I eat a bite, and actually taste it before moving onto the next one.


The second word, willpower, is simply a descriptive word of how I will remain focused. When I don’t want to finish reading an article or start to skim, the word willpower goes through my mind and I keep reading.

When I think of the fears I have moving into a van, I think about the willpower I need to make it through the beginning rough stages.

Grit could be another word, but willpower speaks to me.

Willpower and Focus.

Focus first, use willpower to remain focused.

My words of 2018.

10 thoughts on “Focus and Willpower”

  1. Focus always makes me think of Pomodoro Technique….have you tried it? It seems to help a lot of my students with the idea of being present. My word is Wellness….and specifically this week, Balance.

  2. you have so much willpower and focus- that inspires me a lot.

    this year i finally quit the mindless social media scrolling and learned to think about the impact of my words- i hope to bring this over to 2018 too

  3. I really appreciate these words Ellie; I would love to grow in focus this year too and willpower to patiently finish whatever I’ve started, especially reading articles or blog posts. I realized last year that I was too RUSHED and not caring enough for the people who have put the hard work into the blog posts; I want to treasure each blog post more and learn from each one. I learned from this one that I need to take more time to read those posts, think about them, and then comment.

  4. I could definitely do better at actually tasting food before taking another bite haha. I like that idea of focusing on enjoying each bite more rather than just rushing through. Hope you have a WONDERFUL 2018, Ellie!

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