Five Focus 2011

Welcome to 2011 everybody! I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year’s!

So it’s that time of year again when we make the obligatory promises to ourselves and if we’re lucky, they’ll see the other side of February. I was wondering how I could solve this problem, and I think I came up with a solution.

a new way of making resolutions

Most people would tell you that the best way to make New Year’s resolutions is to set goals like losing a certain amount of weight or getting a certain level of grades etc. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals to achieve, in fact, I think it’s one of the best ways to approach it.

However, setting specific goals and achieving those goals are separate things. Using the old method, you have to be responsible for setting the goal, then deciding how you are going to achieve it. A lot of people get to this stage, they buy planners, equipment and gym memberships but when it comes to actually doing it, their motivation runs out after a little while and soon they give up.

So instead, I’ve decided to do things a little differently. I will pick five things to focus on in 2011. And I mean really focus. Apart from basic living – eating, sleeping etc. I will dedicate as much of my time, effort, money and energy into five areas of my life. My motivation is less likely to run out this way if I make my life revolve around doing things in these areas.

why five?

The conventional wisdom is that you are much more likely to accomplish something if you focus only one thing. This is great, because it really means you’ll get it done, but it’ll only work for something like a particular project or measurable goal (“I will lose __ pounds this year” etc).

But if I want to be able to live out an entire year, it would be better to not be too narrow. And, it would also be better to not be so wide ranging that you end up doing a little bit of everything and not really achieving anything. Five is a great number, but if you would like I think three would work great too.

my five focus

1. Write. Back in October, I started 750words and now almost every day I log onto that site and tell it everything, from my daily life to my most intimate secrets. I use it to draft stories, blog posts and to answer Reverb10MMT and the mindfulist. I’m not worried about putting my thoughts out there, (I haven’t done anything illegal, don’t worry!) it feels good to get it out of my system, and speaking of focus, it helps me concentrate on my work and arrange my ideas into something tangible.

2. Learn. As a book-lover, there are some books that I feel guilty about having never read in high school. Of course I’ve read some classics, but not all the ones I always see on ‘books to read before you die’ lists. I got a brand new Kindle now, so in 2011 I will definitely concentrate on ticking them off. Also, this year I will really focus on learning Japanese and getting to the level of fluency that I really want to reach. I have my own measurements for this, but for my resolution, I would just like to say that I want to dedicate much more time and effort into it.

3. Travel. I still have the bulk of my year abroad to come in 2011, not to mention a very long summer break. During the last couple of days, I spent it touring Tokyo in all it’s early morning to nightlife glory. It’s been one of the best trips I’ve made in my life, let alone 2010, but I don’t want to leave it there so in 2011, I plan to do much more travelling all over Japan and Asia.

4. Health. I’ve made a lot of improvements this year, but I am still not at the level of fitness I would like. I run over 5km quite often now, but I hope to be able to double this in 2011. Also, after my year abroad, I hope that I would be able to go back to being vegetarian.

5. Minimalism. Finally, there’s being ‘more’ minimalist – which covers all of the previous four focuses. For ‘writing’, I will concentrate on growing Minimalist Student blog. In the past few weeks I’ve been a little busy with studying and travelling, but after the new year, I will go back to writing about minimalism in general, tips and so on. I’m always learning about minimalism all the time, and because of minimalism I’m able to travel as much as I do. Finally, it is no exaggeration that because of minimalism, I’ve managed to improve my health to the point it is at today, but in 2011 I am going to redouble my efforts.

So these are my Five Focus. With these, my daily life may include a run in the morning, studying and reading during the day and travelling on weekends and holidays.

how to create your own five focus

Ask yourself:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What skills would you like to develop?
  • What kind of person do you want to become this year?

I would love you know what your five focus would be! Please leave a comment, email or a link to your blogs, or hit me up on twitter. I would love to read them and perhaps even get some ideas!

I hope you all have an amazing 2011!

  • Nick Brook

    Thank you so much, your blog is just awesome.
    You are an inspiration to all the young people out there who are compelled to not follow the status quo and embrace a minimalist life!
    Keep it coming

    • Jessica

      Hi Nick, thank you very much! I’m writing for you guys, I hope you’ll enjoy the blog in 2011 too 🙂

  • Jessica, this is a wonderful and wise post. Your concept of focus is pure and simple, and the things you intend to focus on tell me so much about what a wonderful and inspiring person you are. I wish you much success in creating and living your five focal points. If I were to define them, mine are quite similar: writing, learning, health, minimalism (or simplifying) and connecting. So happy to be following such a bright, young woman. All the best to you in the coming year.

    • Jessica

      Hi Katie, thank you so much for your encouraging comments! They really lift my spirits, I’m very grateful for every single one of them. I love how much we have in common, I wish you the very best of luck achieving your goals this year, and I look forward to reading your blog in 2011 and feeling even more inspired than I was last year!

  • I can’t wait to read all of your posts, they’re always amazing. This year, I’m setting twelve habits (one for each month), all small ones, and each month, I will create a new habit. They are stuff like set MIT’s everyday, follow my morning routine, etc.

    Good luck, and happy new year!

    • Jessica

      Hi Luinae, thank you, I always look forward to your comments! A habit a month is a fantastic idea, I hope I’ll be able to read about them on your blog, let me know 🙂 Good luck!

  • gatorgirl

    Congrats on the success of your blog this year Jessica. I am 21 and also a college student (in the US) and I can relate to you through nearly all of your posts. This is my first time posting and I’d like to share my 5 with everyone.

    1. Earn my AA and celebrate the first part of my degrees!
    2. Achieve my optimal health
    3. Minimalism.. I have been on my minimalist journey for about a year and a half and am excited for an even more minimal year
    4. Independence.. Financial but also emotional
    5. And finally, FLOW. I will be very focused on achieving a state of flow in 2011.

    Happy New Year everybody!

    • Jessica

      Hey gatorgirl, thank you so much! I never get tired of hearing that there are people just like me out there and I’m not the only one in the world 🙂 Wow, your five sound amazing, I wish you the very best of luck in achieving them!

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