2011 Word of the Year

This is the third year in a row I have selected a Word of the Year.

My  2009 Word of the Year was Joy.  It is still my favorite word and you will find it all over my house.  One of my favorite Joy quotes is “Man is that he may have Joy not guilt trips”  I remind myself that on a daily basis.

Daily Reminder Pillows

My 2010 Word of the Year was the prefix {re}.  I wanted to refresh, revisit, refocus somethings.

Daily Reminder Pillows

Originally I had selected the word Abundance for my 2011 Word of the Year.  Abundance is something that I had felt a lack of in 2010, in several areas of my life.

Too many times I allowed that lack of Abundance to overwhelm me.  I knew I had to change things.  I had to change the way I felt about Abundance and my definition of Abundance.  I thought I had my word.

But I was wrong.

In some reading I was doing last week I came across this quote by Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”

This quote made me realize abundance wasn’t my problem – my problem was that I was focusing on the wrong secret garden.  Instead of focusing on the abundance I was lacking in my life I needed to focus on the abundance I did have – a wonderful family, good health, amazing blog readers, pretty things etc.

I needed to change my focus.  Thus I discovered my Word of the Year for 2011 – Focus.

Daily Reminder Pillows

Focus – a thing or place that is of greatest importance, a guiding or motivating purpose or principle.

I needed to refine and define my Focus.  The focus of my life, my family and even this blog.  I have felt very distracted and pulled in multiple directions this last year.  I have a tendency to get involved in too many “good things.”  I have so many interests and things I love and want to do that I have found myself feeling fragmented and unable to focus on any one thing for any length of time.  There is always something else, or a dozen something elses to distract me.  I end up not doing any of them as well as I would like.

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” Tony Robbins

So here are some of the things I am going to do this year to be more focused, to improve my focus and to refine my focus

1. Begin each morning, not at my computer reading emails, but in prayer and scripture reading. Focusing on what is really important

2. Focus on my inner core strength and balance by continuing my yoga practice 2-3 times a week.

3. Create a specific focus for each month of the year – January’s focus will be my home and creating order.  I will share each month’s Focus Journey in my new Finding Focus posts.

4. Regain my focus each Sunday by having a technology fast – no computer, no T.V. etc. (I survived my first one yesterday and it was much easier than I thought and I loved the sense of calm and peace it brought to my day!)

5.  Improve my focus by taking additional photography classes and learning more about and improving my photography skills.

6.  Spend time focused on doing something I love to do – Read!  I want to fill my life and my mind with good literature on a regular basis.

7.  Focus on others by asking myself each day – “What can I do to help someone else today”

“When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.”  – Joel Osteen

I hope you have taken the opportunity to come up with your own Word of the Year – I’d love to know what it is.  Please leave a comment below and let me know.

I love to have my Word of the Year in constant view during the year.  It helps me to stay “focused” on my word.  This year I have designed and made a fun line of Word of the Year and Daily Reminder Pillows.  They are for sale at my Etsy shop and I’d love to have you check them out.  To get your own custom made Word of the Year pillow just click on either the Joy or Focus pillow and conv me through Etsy or email me what word you would like on your pillow.

In addition to personalized Word of the Year pillows I also have some fun “Daily Reminder” pillows.  Things that you’d like to be reminded of or maybe you’d like someone else to be reminded of.  I have some of my favorite “Daily Reminders” I have used with my children or if you have a favorite “Daily Reminder” I can make it into a custom pillow for you too.  Just head on over to my shop and check it out!

Daily Reminder Pillows

So what is your Word of the Year for 2011???

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

Latest posts by Leigh Anne (see all)


  1. says

    My word for the year is similar to yours. It is “heart”. I want to focus on things that are near and dear to my heart – my relationship with the Lord, my husband, my children, and things I feel called to do, not things I should or just could do. My verse to go along with my word is Matthew 6:21 “For where your heart is, there your treasure will be also.”
    Can’t wait to see your focus posts!

  2. Joanne says

    It’s funny. When I was reading your post yesterday the first word that came to mind was FOCUS! I wanted something more fun and inspirational. But it kept popping up all day and even in my dreams. It was my first thought this morning and I had decided to keep it. Then I saw this post and had to laugh. I too have felt all over the place this past year and was just talking to my husband about our joint need to focus on what we want for the future of our family. I guess it’s here to stay so i’ll embrace it. I’m going to check out your pillow too!

  3. Heidi Marie says

    I’ve decided my word for the year is FLOURISH. Instead of just getting by with life I want to flourish. In my marriage, as a mother, in my calling with the Young Women, my fitness and on and on (:

  4. says

    While I was in the shower this morning I was mulling over some of the words I have considered for my “word of the year.” Finally I decided on one…and believe it or not, I had decided on Focus. Like you, while I do a good job at surviving and accomplishing what I need to accomplish, I feel I need to focus more to make my life easier and to make life easier for those around me.

    I need to focus on some areas of my life that once were such a hugh part of me but have slipped by the wayside over the years. Time to focus more on what truly is important and what bring joy!

  5. Renee S. says

    I loved reading your post today. It truly spoke to me! Focus is a fantastic word choice and I can’t wait to read your focus posts. Yesterday I chose the word ‘others’. All year I want to make sure I am taking the ‘focus’ off of myself and putting it on ‘others’. Thanks Leigh Anne and Happy New Year!!

  6. says

    Thank you SO much for your post today. I absolutely LOVE your word choice. I hope you don’t mind if a borrow this word for myself. I struggle with ADD plus Gluten and Adrenal Fatigue issues which has lead to a live of being overweight. I’m tired of feeling like I am being pulled so many directions and yet never getting there.

    My children are also growing up and in a few short years, my daughter will be leaving for college. I need to provide a home where I am able to focus on them.


  7. Dana says

    My 2011 word chose me!!! After having 3 years of fear and sorrow; (a cancer scare and the loss of both of my parents) I knew, my 2011 word would be something to do with brighter days ahead. In looking towards 2011, over Christmas break the word SHINE came to me over and over; that’s how I knew SHINE was my 2011 word! I want to shine in 2011. I want to be a better person, friend, and wife. I want to do more to help those that helped us while we dealt with our assorted tragedies. I want see more, do more, learn more and be more….I want to SHINE!!! PS Love your blog, your ideas and your tutorials… because of your darling fabric cake banners, I finally took the step and learned to sew last year! You are inspiring!

  8. Nancy says

    This year my word is “aware.”. Aware of my time and how I am using it. Aware of others and how I can help and aware of each day and the blessings it brings.

  9. says

    I love your word and your plan of attack :) I’m a bit of a scatter brain myself. So focusing would be a big undertaking for me, but totally necessary. I find that I want to do too many different things and most of the things I want to do, either don’t get completed or never get started before I’m on to the next project or maybe I should say “thought.” So many people don’t really know how to be still………..now-a-days it’s known as boredom. If we gave our full attention to every project and saw it completely through to the end, I believe we would feel much more content. At least, I would. I have to ponder my word for the year. It’s an important word if it’s going to guide me through 2011!! Thanks for the encouragement.

  10. Gretchen says

    Joy, is what true abundance and being successful is about, right?! I’ve never had a word of the year – that’s a new concept (I’d like to adapt it!). Funny the word focus correlates with photography and what you do. Your focus sounds like vision and living in a more conscious way. Very inspiring!
    Love your monthly focus and thanks for sharing your intentions!

  11. says

    Reading through your comments, it looks like “focus” is a popular word for the year, but I think it sounds just about perfect.
    I am thinking my word or focus for the year will be peace.

  12. Holly Ledingham says

    The word of the year that has chose me is “GRATITUDE”. A couple of years back I kept a daily journal in which I would quickly jot down 5 things from the day that I was thankful for. I miss doing this exercise. It made me happy inside even when there were days I had to think a bit harder as to what I was grateful for. Most days it was the little things we all experience everyday that brought me true joy. In 2011 I am going to take a few moments to reflect on what made me smile, laugh, pause and simply be appreciative to be alive. Each day is a gift! I want to treat it as such.

  13. kari says

    After some consideration, my word is Finish. I have so much that I need to finish – my thesis, our basement, too-many-to-count crafty projects, organizational projects, decorating projects…
    I was going to go with organization because that’s a big part of my to-do list, but then I thought the word Finish actually encompasses it all. So that’s the word. And you know, getting up this morning with that word taking the forefront of my thoughts, I was able to get some things finished – albeit little things, but still.
    I hope you find your focus and that I get things finished!

  14. Suzanne says

    I truly appreciate your blog, and the time and effort you put into all you do. I just read your word of the year post, Focus is word that came to me this morning as I was thinking about this New Year. It is so true the many directions we are pulled in these days with; family, children, work, charities, committees, and all else, it doesn’t leave much time for us. I did not have a plan on how to support my word, but I think I will work off of yours if that is alright. I hope you have a fabulous year and look forward to hearing from you everyday in my in box. Thanks again!

  15. says

    I had a similar experience as you this year – too busy doing lots of good things. It’s a good, better, best sort of a thing. I feel like I neglected important relationships in favor of a million other things, all of which were good, but not the most important. Therefore, my word for the year is “connect”. And that’s connect to people, not the internet. I think the technology fast is a good idea…I’ll have to see if I’m strong enough to do it ;).

  16. Katie says

    Thank you for Sara’s quote. Every year I read her book “A Daybook of Comfort and Joy”. Usually I can get to late October before our family schedules make opening the book a sometimes thing.
    I would love to use your yearly word for my year as well. One of my resolutions was to focus on time management as full time work, DH’s crazy work schedule, 4 kidlets’ worth of activities leave little time for upkeep of our home and a little “me” time that I find I am desperately craving.
    Also I love your pillows!! I’ll have to check out your shop.

  17. Lory says

    Your post was such an inspiration. My word for 2011 is Free. I want to Free myself of negative thoughts and influences, I want to Free up my time to spend more of it with people that matter to me and I want to enjoy the Free things in life like the beauty of the outdoors. I discussed your post at dinner last night and Jenny decided her word is Connect. She wants to Connect with the people she knew before but maybe hasn’t made the time for them and wants to Connect with new friends in high school and eventually later this year in college. Thank you for helping us think about this!

  18. Nancy Saller says

    I am 66 years old and although I’m not planning on leaving this world soon, I must admit I have too much “stuff”. I don’t want to leave all this for my children to get rid of so I must SIMPLIFY my life and get rid of things I have not used for awhile and be more considerate of their time…so my word for 2011 is SIMPLIFY! This is a great idea and I love your blog!

  19. Linda M. says

    Thanks for your thoughtful post today Leigh Anne! My word for 2011 is Release. I have decided I must release clutter from my home, release some pounds from my body, release some anxieties and stress that weigh heavily in my heart and head. I would like to not take everything so seriously, so releasing that will be good too!

  20. Cathy B says

    Leigh Anne, you could have written today’s article just for me. When I read it to Mike, he said that’s you! Meaning me, of course. I’ll be ordering me one of those “Focus” pillows very soon. Great article!

  21. tarae says

    I have just started reading your blog and love it! If you have not read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin I highly recommend. It sounds like it would fit right in with your monthly goals and your focus for 2011. She has a lot of great ideas. http://www.happiness-project.com/
    I’m now going to try to think of my word…..

  22. Megan says

    My theme for this year is “Everyday Fulfillment” — meaning finding fulfillment in everyday things and also choosing to do the important things that will leave me feeling fulfilled everyday. I like the idea of having my theme posted where I can see it everyday as a reminder. =)

  23. Wendy says

    Well after reading your post and thinking about a word for the year, nothing came to mind so I just decided that I would continue to work on those little things I wanted to improve and not worry about a word. Then as I was cleaning upstairs this morning it hit me – HEALTH! That is my word to work on the health of my relationship, making my financial situation healthy and facing my health head on instead of bearing my head in the sand. Thank you for this challenge! It awoke something in me that need a nudge.

  24. Tamara says

    My word for the year is LOVE. As I show LOVE to our Father in Heaven and Savior, things will fit into place more easily in my life. I want to be more loving to my new husband of less than two years. I want to LOVE myself and get myself as healthy as possible this year. I want to reach out to family and friends and show them more LOVE.

  25. Linda J says

    I love the idea of a word rather than resolutions. My word for the year is PREPARE. Not sure why it is, but it is. I’m trusting the Lord to prepare me and help me prepare for whatever comes my way.

  26. Harlene says

    I love this idea! I, too, have been pondering different ways to “focus” my efforts this year. While reading in the New Testament I came across Mark 9:17. This may sound crass, but the scripture spoke to me, as I often feel my teens and young adult kids have brilliant minds, but dumb spirits. I felt the scripture was glowing on the page and that the Lord was very aware of me and my concerns for my family. Further on, the father in the story asks the Savior to “help thou mine unbelief”. I realized I needed that in my life. I needed to rely on the Savior and have Him help me believe in all things. Believe I can, believe my family will, believe the Lord will help.

  27. Ashley in PDX says

    My word for the year ( This year!) is FAITH. I have been so inspired many many times this past year by the scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6
    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.”

    I would really like this on a pillow- but I’m not sure if that is possible?

  28. says

    My word “found” me today as I was at the temple: HAPPY! I especially want to be better at showing my kids how HAPPY it makes me to live the gospel. Thanks for the great idea!

  29. says

    Leigh Anne, may I use this post as my R.S. lesson in three weeks? It says everything I wanted to teach! I feel like the sisters in my ward are going a million different directions and are overly busy. I need to steal (borrow) your word “focus”! I haven’t found my word of the year yet, but I’m looking for it!

  30. marti says

    My word for the year is PRESENT, as living in the present, not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. I want to not be so distracted by things in each day, like the computer or reading or tasks, that I don’t stop, do some deep beathing and be present in the moment. I have so many blessings and so many wonderful people to love that I don’t want to not be aware of that at all times. Life is so precious!
    I also am reminding my grandchildren of G.B Hinckley’s words: “Try a little harder, to do/be a little better”.

  31. Lynette says

    I have followed your word for the year, these past three years. My first word was “opportunity” as in all of life is an opportunity to grow, learn and heal. Last year was “breathe.” This became a practice to root myself in the present moment and just “be.” This year my word is “connect.” I want to be emotionally present to those around me. So I choose to practice connection in all my relationships. I love this practice. This year I have also shared this theme/affirmation for the year with several friends. I am looking forward to hearing their words too.

  32. Robyn says

    Hi LA – I loved your post, and have enjoyed reading what other people said would be their word and why it would be there word of the year.

    This year the idea of a word of the year seemed like something I might want to try. But I really had no idea what was something that seemed appropriate and something that I could even somewhat commit to on a regular basis.

    On my way home from my moms today – it hit me like a ton of bricks…Health…it is something that I personally need to focus on, but also something that can be taken into consideration with others. For instance..is this behavior healthy for me personally, for my family, for a friendship, etc..

    It seemed fitting that it struck me today – when I spent the day with my mom who has health issues associated with her back and hip and is compounded by being overweight. I see what poor health has done to her and I don’t want to go down that path.

    My dad puts alot of focus on his health – but just yesterday he had to be in the hospital overnight as in just 7 months his stent had scar tissue forming and it was blocking his artery, causing chest pain.

    And then today we had to ‘be a responsible pet owner’ and have one of our horses put down – due to health issues.

    So my word of the year is health – I want to focus on my healthy, my family’s health and be there for my friends and encourage them to do things for their health.

    Thanks again! You are such an inspiration!

  33. says

    It only took me half a month to find my word (yes, I’m slow), but today in Sacrament Meeting it came to me. My word for this year is courage.
    Courage to take on whatever comes, courage to keep giving my best, courage to have a good attitude everyday! I’m glad I found my word- I just needed to “focus” on it for awhile! :)


  1. […] There are only a few days left until my year of Finding 50 is complete – can you believe it? It has been a wonderful and pretty journey.  The only downside to it being over is that it means I am a year older!  I’ll have my last pretty post next week and then we will be onto Finding Focus! […]

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