How I Created Focus for 2016

January 25, 2016

Although we’re more than halfway through January, it still feels like this new year is ripe with possibility! After the rush of the holidays and flurry of family gatherings, it’s a refreshing change of pace to be back in the studio, dreaming up new ideas and preparing for the months ahead. With that in mind, I always strive to prepare myself mentally for the onslaught of to-dos and dozens of emails that inevitably come after a few weeks of holiday sabbatical.

Going into every new year, there are always goals we want to accomplish as big dreaming boss ladies, right? Our agendas are filled to the brim with ideas, and every day feels ripe with possibility! But if we enter into 2016 already feeling like we’re playing catch up, we’ll waste precious time before we even get a chance to start. Which is why focus is always my top priority as I enter into a new season.

How I made 2016 my most focused year yet (and four steps you can take towards a more focused life today!) | b is for bonnie design

But let’s be honest for a minute here, friend. The hustle and bustle of the holidays isn’t always conducive to that laser-like focus that often enables us to hone in on our goals and rock them with ease! So I intentionally decided that this winter break would be different. This time around, I would build practices, activities and periods of rest into my time off for the holidays that would be a breath of fresh air to my tired spirit.

And friends, it made all the difference. Less than a month in, and I’ve already been able to make 2016 my most focused year yet as I hone in on what truly matters, and invest my heart into projects that are truly worthwhile. And it was so much easier than you’d think!

Give Yourself A Break

First of all, none of this would’ve been possible if I hadn’t taken a few weeks off to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my sweet husband. Creating focus in the midst of a busy work schedule just isn’t feasible for me! Even if you can carve out a full afternoon in the thick of your hectic schedule, it’s absolutely worth that extra effort to thoughtfully analyze what areas of your life require more focus, and how you can go about creating it.

Filters Aren’t Just for Instagram

I knew that in 2015 I allowed too many things into my life. Even the best of projects, collaborations and work engagements can quickly eat away at the precious little time I have with my family if I’m not careful. In order to enter into 2016 with more focus, I knew I needed to get seriously intentional about what I allowed into my day-to-day, but more importantly, what I allowed into my life.

Through email lists, social media accounts, projects and even some relationships, you have to declutter. Clutter isn’t just for your closet anymore, friend! It can be anything that takes root in your heart, your day and your life that distracts you from the life you really want to be living.

So I unfollowed people on Instagram. I unfollowed a lot of people on Instagram, y’all. And it wasn’t anything personal! Most of the time, it was accounts that made me want to buy more stuff, none of which I ever needed. Or it was simply a matter of realizing that following that brand or person no longer brought me joy. And really, what is the point of allowing things to take root in your mind, heart and life if they don’t bring you joy of some kind?

I filtered out subscriptions, weekly appointments, and unnecessary commitments that weren’t life giving. And by clearing space mentally, I made room for more of what matters most.

Ask for Help

One of the most transformative decisions I made was to delegate more. Earlier this month, Karis, our new office coordinator joined the team and has been a huge blessing in such a short amount of time! I’ve interviewed bookkeepers because heaven knows finances are not my love language. I’ve made the move to check my pride at the door as I ask fellow boss ladies and leaders in the industry for advice on important, pressing issues. And every little decision has reminded me that we’re never alone in this creative journey, and that asking for help along the way lifts another weight off your shoulders, not matter how small the burden.

Write Yourself a Permission Slip

And lastly, friend, I gave myself the permission to cut out the excess in my life. I gave myself the freedom I needed to unfollow, unfriend, and unsubscribe. I allowed myself to make space in my head, heart and on my to-do list in order to better focus on the things that I truly want to accomplish. I knew that some of those decisions would mean I’d be less busy, less  in-demand, and even less popular. But knowing what I stand to gain, not just professionally but also personally, was worth that trade-off.

What mental, or even emotional, clutter is holding you back from the kind of focus and clarity you need in order to pursue your big dreams, friend? I’d encourage you to give yourself the space to take a hard look at the root cause, and then intentionally cut them out.


Are you seeking to create more focus, hone in on your life’s most authentic work, and form the strategy for designing the life you’ve always dreamed of this year? Then join me for our springtime illume retreat this April 25-28 in beautiful Austin, Texas! Registration opens tomorrow at 9am CST, and for the first 48 hours, your all-inclusive seat for this three-day, luxury experience is just $2,700. And payment plans are available! Set your alarm for 9am CST tomorrow, friend, because we’re already down to just 10 seats.

  1. Ivana @ The Charming Avenue

    January 25th, 2016 at 7:54 am

    This post couldn’t be more timely for me! Ever since I returned back to work this January, I’ve been struggling to keep my focus: there are simply too many things competing for my attention right now! I loved reading about the steps you took, and I’ll be definitely taking some notes on my own quest to a focused 2016. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Friday Favorites

    February 26th, 2016 at 7:56 am

    […] How I Created Focus for 2016 {B is for Bonnie Design} […]

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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