New Year. New Focus.

It’s still hard for us to believe, but towards the end of 2017, we celebrated our fourth year as The Busy Bee. FOUR years, friend! In some ways, it feels like a dream, especially since we had never intended on working together or pursuing the same goals in our 25 years of sisterhood. But, somehow, someway, the stars magically aligned and here we are setting our annual goals and launching our newest endeavors as we plan out the next four years of our journey together.

While we don’t exactly know what the future will hold, we do know what the past four years did and that is humble beginnings, unexpected failures, considerable achievements, a few heartaches and above all, our greatest joys. We’ve learned to say “no” to fear and “yes” to the things that fill our hearts and not our time.

2017, in particular, was a year filled with strategic planning, intentional goal setting, careful pruning and meticulous refining. It was a season dedicated to creating more white space in our daily lives in order to work on the specific callings placed on each of our hearts. And as we crossed off each day on our calendars and placed dreams on hold because it just wasn’t the right time to pursue them, we learned a whole lot about patience and perseverance. And friend, we’re here to attest that hard work does pay off and dreams do come true!

If you believe the truth that you are enough, if you set your own definition of success and not others, if you always strive to be your best and serve others well, ANYTHING is possible.

With that, we are looking ahead to 2018 with eagerness and excitement, and as we head into this new season both professionally and personally, we’ve each dedicated a word to live by for the next twelve months; a word to define our intentions and clarify our goals; a word to help us both live our lives on purpose.

 

From The Desk of Jenna:

Each time I enter a new year, I choose a word to focus on. Resolutions never worked for me but having a single word to go back to when I wonder if I’m sticking to my goals and/or bettering myself, allows me to have grace for myself and refocus my thoughts. A single word keeps me motivated rather than feeling like I have a whole other to-do list to add to my current one.

In years past I’ve chosen the following words: Less, Peace, Jesus and Live and this year I’ve chosen to Cultivate.

Cultivate: (verb)

1. to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
2. to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.

3. to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine:

4. to promote the growth or development of (an art, science, etc.); foster.

7. to devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.).
While my original word was PRESENT for 2018, I found myself going back to cultivate, but I’m hoping I can grasp tight to both and not only be present in my every day life but improve, develop and devote myself to the specific areas of my life that make my heart beat faster. In years past, I focused so much on what others had planned for my life, or tried to climb out of the chaos of busyness and clutter, and this year I’m saying “NO” to all the extras and “YES” to deep relationships, work that makes me excited and building a heart that continues to love to give back. I’m passionate about people, creativity and loving others through hard seasons, and it is my hope to cultivate those passions by giving them my full attention, fostering deep relationships and devoting myself to each of my crafts. This year I’m letting go of perfect by being present, I’m cultivating what matters and simplifying each area of my life so that I can live a life on purpose and for a purpose.

From The Desk of Shannon:

If you follow me on Facebook, then you probably already know, 18 has always been my number. (Isn’t it funny how a number can be attributed to positive aspects in life?) Anyways, I’ve been anticipating 2018 for quite some time.

Last year, as we looked to where we wanted to grow as a business and as individuals, something on my heart kept telling me 2018 was going to be a big year. While 2017 was productive in many ways for the business, I look back and can remember too many days marked by lost time with loved ones and too few days spent pursuing personal passions. And that’s not how I want to remember this year, nor how I want to remember my life.

While I pondered and I prayed over my focus for the year, there was one word I just couldn’t shake: Useful.

And I’ll be honest, the word itself didn’t really appeal to me when it first came to mind, but it was the only one that made the most sense for the season I’m currenlty in. Quite frankly, I’m tired of wasting precious time on fruitless activities and ready to make good use of each gifted day that equates to spending more time in good company and on creative pastimes.

But the word Useful has more meaning to me this year than Webster Dictionary defines for us, so here’s how it will look for me in 2018 and (hopefully) beyond:

 

Less late nights. More early mornings.

Less excuses. More exercise.

Less scrolling. More reading.

Less noise. More quiet time.

Less stalling. More doing.

Less last minute. More planning ahead.

Less perfectionism. More grace.

So tell us friend, do you make traditional resolutions for the year or do you choose a word to help you stay focused on specific areas of your life? Please share in the comments because we love to hear what others are pursuing.
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