My One Word for 2020 #OneWord2020




I was going to switch this up a bit for 2020 but guess what? I’m not. This is (unfortunately) perfect:

Every year around this time I say, “It’s going to be different.” Well, gentle readers, it’s not. It’s quite the same. Which is to say, I let myself get caught up in a shitstorm of stress and overwhelm by choosing others instead of myself, by over-committing, by working too hard on things that don’t bring fulfillment or happiness, by helping everyone but me.

One Word for 2019 was: Move. Seriously. Like Move Yer Arse, Girl! Or, you know, something nicer, like, Excuse me but would you mind moving? Same, same. Getting unstuck was sort of the idea.

I’m still stuck but heartily sorry for it and flailing for a helping hand out of the pit.

my One Word for 2018 was: Self. It was a good choice. It worked. Some of the time. Not as often as I’d hoped.

my One Word for 2017 was Accept. I did not accept anything. I sort of UN-accepted pretty much everything. I faltered. Failed. Moved on.

Well. Isn’t that something? And here we are again. Another year, another word. Let’s get on with it, shall we?


I’ve noticed my blog has its share of posts about overwhelm. Just a few, really, not, like, dozens. Ahem. So I got to thinking about being overwhelmed. Too much. Too many things. So, naturally, I need to make lists. And prioritize. That will work. Except for the times it doesn’t. Which is to say always. Or never. Whatever.

I’ve got to sort out my priorities. This is more important than that. That is more pressing than the other. Things get put on The List, shifted, knocked down a number, back up, and so forth and, soon enough, nothing is done.

So, instead of putting my life on a piece of paper in order of importance, I’m changing my mindset. (FYI, this is always, always, a good idea. You should try it.) I’ve always sucked at multi-tasking but I’m not sure that’s what this is anymore. I’m thinking it’s more that I’m utterly unfocused.

So here is my ironic focus word for 2020:


I was at a cemetery last month and grabbed my phone to take a picture.

When I tapped on the screen to focus on the little pinecone in my face, the gravestones blurred in the background. And vice versa. Right? Because whether it’s a mobile phone or a fancy camera, it cannot focus on more than one thing at a time.

I hadn’t written my One Word post yet but, there, right then, in that cemetery, I wrote it in my head.

I’m not prioritizing the pinecone over the gravestone. But if I try to focus on both of them, they’re both blurry and I don’t get either one. If I tap and zoom in on one, I get an amazing shot. Then, *tap*, another great shot. Done.

Obviously, there will be times when something will demand my focus be drawn to that issue or situation but I will focus on it and move on.

If I’m constantly trying to focus on everything, then everything is out of focus.

Narrow my focus and, boom, I’ve got a clear shot.

As always, a definition (because I’m a nerd):





  • the center of interest or activity.

center, focal point, center of attention

Get me a spotlight, man. I’m shining it on whatever shit needs attention. Laser focused, my friends. 

  • the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.

clear, clear-cut, well-defined

Producing a well-defined, clear-cut visual? Please hold. Your patience is appreciated. The clear visual will be with you shortly. 


  • (of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.

Seeing clearly? Yes, please. Adapting and becoming able to see clearly are HUGE challenges for me. Two great goals.  

  • pay particular attention to.

give emphasis to, highlight

Dude, this makes me want to whip out one of those big, neon yellow markers and highlight the hell out of the book of my life. On it!


I’m going to focus this year. I know I said this last year but 2020 will see another book from me. The manuscripts are sitting here glaring at me. They are more patient than I.

Happy New Year, my friends. ❤ Here’s to your goals, aspirations, resolutions, or whatever floats your boat. Cheers! 🥂


Have you ever taken part in the One Word Challenge?

If you haven’t, why not try it? Or think on it a moment and leave one in the comments. What could your focus be this year? I’d love to hear what your One Word is for 2020.


38 thoughts on “My One Word for 2020 #OneWord2020

  1. This is wonderful. I’ve never come across the One Word Challenge before, but now I want to do it. I totally feel you on the stress and overwhelm and taking on too much, and that gives me my word for 2020: no. I’m going to say no to things that I don’t have time for that aren’t important. I’m going to say no to letting the trivial get in the way of the things that matter.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I don’t like resolutions but saw this and thought it was a good alternative. Hasn’t always worked out as well as I’d hoped but I still think it’s a great idea. Also, I could be better at keeping my One Word close. Like taping it to my forehead or something.

      Oh, lady, I have SO many posts on stress and overwhelm but also on saying no. That’s a fantastic One Word! Have you read Sarah Knight’s books? Her first, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck is great but she has five out now, I think. Her latest is Fuck No: How to Stop Saying Yes When You Can’t, You Shouldn’t, Or You Just Don’t Want To. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • The problem with a word on your forehead is that you can’t see it without a mirror. I’m yet to find the perfect solution. A tattoo on the hand?

        I’ve heard of Sarah Knight’s books, but I hadn’t looked them up until now. A world of wisdom! I should print some of her flowcharts and tape them to the wall above my desk. Then when someone comes and asks me if I can do something I’ll have a handy reference. They can even watch my progress towards the decision of “no”.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Focus is a great ‘one word’, Sarah, and I enjoyed the way you discussed it. I wish you success in focusing and in completing your manuscript and getting your book out.
    I’ve never chosen a ‘one word’ before, but I did this year. It is linked to yours and you even mentioned it in your post. Mine is ‘prioritise’. There are so many demands on my time (mostly set by me) that I rarely accomplish them all and then berate myself for failing and feel guilty at having done so. I’ve decided that if I prioritise, I am deciding what is important at this moment. I will work on it and other things have to wait until they are prioritised. No more guilt. Or that’s my theory. Have a wonderful year, fully focused. 💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • I missed that post. I’ll go have a read. I hear you so much. That’s exactly what I mean. Too much going on, too many things demanding time and/or energy. It’s impossible to do it all and yet we get upset at ourselves and try it again. Bah! I feel like priorities actually slowed me down as I was constantly juggling them or trying to decide which ones to put at the top of the list. I’m hoping to be able to focus, click, move on, focus, click, move on. No more guilt is something I consistently work on. I hope to one day wake up and have it be gone. 💖 Cheers, lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. That’s what I call “overwhelm”. And I call it often. Like, all the time. I’m basically stalking it. “Survive” is a good One Word. We all need to do that. Though you seem pretty focused, my friend. Speaking of which, just saw you have another book out. Congrats! (I don’t like that they’ve taken my old dashboard away. This format is new and different and therefore unsettling.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • If it ain’t broke and all that. I don’t know why they did this but I almost lost your original comment so that sucked. Change can definitely be great, though, you’re right. We’ve got to keep changing or, you know, we’ll be dead.

        I will for sure see your promotions around the blogosphere. I can barely keep up with your releases, my prolific friend, but will catch up. Promise. 🙂


  3. This reminds me of thoughts I had while driving down the freeway near sunset about a decade ago. The sunset was gorgeous, a brilliant mix of orange to purple. But I also had a windshield splattered with bug guts. I asked myself, where did I want my focus? I could get caught up in the ugly in front of me, but if I did, I couldn’t see the beauty beyond.

    Of course, I focused on my driving because I didn’t want to get in a wreck, but you get my point.

    Did I choose a word already? I don’t remember if I did. If I did, then it must not have been a very good word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Huh. A gorgeous sunset and bug guts. Sound a bit like my life lately. But, hell yeah, that’s exactly what I mean. You can’t focus on both–you have to choose. I’m picking up what you’re putting down.


    • Yeah, well, that’s it, isn’t it? Always talking about the spreading too thin and trying to be and do everything. It’s impossible and yet we keep doing it. Bah!
      Here’s to words sticking. ALL OF THE WORDS.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh. Yeah. It is a struggle. But I really am pretty sure now that I was focusing, just on too many things at once. If I can shut my mind off to ALL OF THE THINGS, I can focus on one thing at a time. *fingers crossed*

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: My One Word for 2021 #OneWord2021 | Lemon Shark

  5. Pingback: My One Word for 2022 #OneWord2022 | Lemon Shark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.