How to Choose One Focus Word Intention for the Year

Finally, it’s 2021!! Oh, what a year we’ve had in 2020, and how we’re all dreaming of new beginnings and life-giving memories hopefully. We have the chance to start over, an opportunity to focus on what’s really important. Instead of setting a New Year’s Resolution, here’s a guide to setting a One Word Intention, your One Focus Word. This will help you set one goal, one focus, one thing to remember for the new year.

One Word Intentions & One Focus Words

Have you heard of setting One Word Intentions?  Or as I like to call it, One Focus Word?

It’s where you choose a focus word to help you focus on what’s really important, what you want to prioritize, what is life-giving to you.

I have so enjoyed this new practice of One Focus Word and it has helped so much with my reaching my goals, simplifying my focus for meditation, and having a unified business goal!!  Also, I don’t feel pressured to set a ton of goals with too many different focuses. 

In This Article:

  • New Year’s Resolutions Fizzle
  • Forming a New Habit Takes # Days
  • One Focus Word = One Goal
  • Intentional One Focus Words
  • Free Printable: 88 Focus Words
  • Your Guide to a One Focus Word

New Year’s Resolutions Fizzle

Many people work hard at setting a New Year’s Resolution, but it’s so hard to remember it after a month or two.  Why is that? 

Forming a New Habit Takes # Days

Well there’s a saying out there, it takes about 21 days to form a new habit… but this is actually wrong!!

What’s interesting is that according to a study published in the Eastern Journal of Social Psychology, states that it actually takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit.  WOW!!

So, for a new behavior to become automatic in everyday life, it actually takes about 66 days for this new behavior to become automatic, according to this 2009 study.  That means it takes about 66 days to form a new habit and for it to become automatic behavior, from practicing a new habit to actually living it every day.

Three stacked stones/pebbles with title "One Focus Word Intention"

Forming a New Habit

Let’s think of it this way… what if it takes…

  • 22 days (to begin) to practice a new habit
  • 22 days to replace the old habit, by continuing to practice the new habit
  • and 22 days to break the old habit and form the new habit, as the new habit becomes easier and the old habit becomes less and less
  • = 66 days to form a new habit that is automatic in your behavior

New Years Resolutions vs Simpler Path

So, for every New Year’s resolution, it takes approximately 66 days to form that one resolution as a habit. 

It takes a total of 66 days for a habit to be automatic

So, here you are starting the New Year and you may not want to wait 66 days to accomplish your new goal.

Many times New Year’s resolutions may not be simple goals, rather they can be complex and multi-faceted. Even if a complex goal is broken down into simpler goals, it takes 66 days to form a new goal as an automatic habit!!

So, there is a simpler way to accomplish a more peaceful, productive, and happier year.

Human Brain Remembers 3 Things

To simplify, let’s look at the how to remember things easily.

Did you know the human brain can
easily remember 3 things at a time,
(or maybe 3 words/phrases at a time).

Consider when it’s time to go to the grocery store and pick up 3 things, it’s easier to remember 3 things. But if you need to remember 4 or 5 things, you may need to write them down. It’s way easier if you can at least write a list, a text, something you can see and remember. 

The brain can remember up to 3 things without a visual cue. So, let’s break it down even simpler to help this year be a success!

So, with a One Focus Word, you only have to remember one!  That makes everything easier!

stones with one focus words on them

One Focus Word = One Goal

One Focus Word helps you set one goal, one focus, one thing to remember.

How do you choose a word?

I love words, and I love choosing one word to encapsulate my intentions for the season.

So, how do you capture your intentions for the season just in one word?


Want a guide to help you choose your One Focus Word?

Sign up here for Your Guide to a Focus Word

It’s a free, fun way to get weekly guides to help you find your One Focus Word.

All the steps are also included in this article as well, the guide just has fun examples to walk you step by step.

STEP ONE: Reflective Questions

Read the questions, then look over the word list and see if one of the Focus Words is a good match for you. Consider this particular season in your life and which Focus Word resonates with you.

Hint: download the word list right here

  • How do you want to feel this season? 
    Look over the word list and see which word(s) fit that feeling you want to have.
  • What do you want to accomplish this season?
    Look over the word list and see which one word or group of words describe what you’d like to accomplish.
  • How do you want to grow this season? 
    Review the word list and see what word(s) best describes how you’d like to grow. 
  • What is one area you’d like to improve this season? 
    Look over the word list and see if a word or group of words capture how you’d like to improve.
  • What do you want this year to be for you?

Write this out so you envision this year for you.  Now summarize your writing into one word or phrase.

How do I set other goals with a One Focus Word?

This is the fun part, you can set a One Focus Word for your:

  • personal life
  • business life
  • any part of you life that you want

This way can simplify things for you.

I usually choose One Focus Word for my personal life, and one for my business life.  Sometimes they are the same, sometimes it’s two different words.  Many times though, I love it when it’s the same word!!

How long does it take to choose a One Focus Word?

It can take as long or short of a time as you need.  I am in a simplifying phase of my life, where I need to choose one word to encapsulate my goals into one focus. 

So, I take a week to peruse over many word lists on Pinterest. Yep, I do this for fun!! Then I narrow it down to my top 3, and then choose my favorite one.

stones stacked with title "One Focus Word Intention"

Intentional One Focus Word

For 2020, I chose a One Focus Word over a New Year’s Resolution.

My One Focus Word was …


All year, this One Focus Word helped me be Intentional with my choices, my relationships, and my time.

To be intentional, I need to slow down more often than I used to, not push through or hurry.

This slowing down is good for my health overall, because I tend to go ninety to nothing and keep the pedal all the way down till I drop.  This is horrible for my body and my emotions, not to mention especially on my family and friendships.

Intentionality to me means that I choose wisely, I choose with a purpose, I choose carefully for a reason.

My One Focus Phrase for Business

I think in terms of phrases really, not just one word, haha!  Yes, after this whole article talking about One Word, I’m going to buck the system and choose a phrase of two words.

My One Focus Phrase… especially for business is…

Slow Launch

To launch slowly means to be Intentional about it, carefully planning, baby steps of progress, moving slowly on purpose. 

Slow launch is intentional.

Therefore, my One Focus Word & my goal = (Intentional) Slow Launch

I italicize the word “Intentional” because I imagine the slow launch is intentional as well.

What is Your One Focus Word or Phrase?

Take a few minutes or a few days to think about what you want this year to be. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, try choosing a One Word Focus or Phrase.

Look over the questions mentioned earlier in this article, they may help you choose a word or phrase to capture what you want for this new year: One Word Questions

This is your year, make it a great year to remember.

It doesn’t have to be anything too hard, it can be a baby step in the right direction you want to go.  Many of my goals have taken years to get there and it’s been so worth it!

Write down one word that is meaningful for you to capture this year. Or at least write down your ideas, your most meaningful words to help you guide this year.

Free Printable: 88 Focus Words

I love word lists, they inspire me, help me with my wording, and capture the very essence of what I’m trying to say.

So, I love Pintersting, reading over all the fun Pins on Pinterest!!

I’ve gathered One Focus Words for you that are motivational, passionate, and wellness-oriented.

Beth | MooreWellness.LIfe <– Pinterest page 🙂 

preview 88 Focus Words

If that would help you to see word lists, you can download 88 Focus Words here for free & checkout my Pinterest Board with more word lists. Both the free printable and my Pinterest link is at the bottom of this article.

Download this free printable: 88 Focus Words

Pinterest Board: Goals & Wellness

Want more word lists?? No problem, there are lots more on my Pinterest board.

Moore Wellness has over 25,000+ Pins about holistic wellness in mind-body-spirit!!

Check out my Pinterest board: Goals & Wellness.

preview of 88 focus words of intention for the year

Your Guide to a Focus Word

Would you like some help in choosing a Focus Word? Here’s a guide to help you choose your own Focus Word.

Well, we have this fun guide to help you walk through choosing a Focus Word.

Here’s a fun, free way!

Sign up here for Your Guide to a Focus Word

Review This Article:

  • New Year’s Resolutions Fizzle
  • Forming a New Habit Takes # Days
  • One Focus Word = One Goal
  • Intentional One Focus Words
  • Free Printable: 88 Focus Words
  • Your Guide to a One Focus Word

More Resources…

I’d love to hear about your goals & especially your One Focus Word or Phrase.  Please… shoot me a quick email or tell me about it on FaceBook.

  1. Join Moore Wellness Tribe today! <– Blog Tribe
  2. Moore Wellness Facebook <– FaceBook page
  3. Beth | MooreWellness.LIfe <– Pinterest page 🙂 
  4. Moore Wellness, LLC <– Instagram page 

Blessings 🙂 

Beth Moore

Source link: by Beth Moore at