Tag Archives: three words

help yourself focus

One of my three words for the year is “focus.” In the post where I introduced the idea I asked, “What’s your focus? what do you want to make clear to others?” To answer the question, I started making calendars.

Some of you are thinking, “It’s about time Jon started using a calendar. He could use a watch while he’s at it.” But the calendars I’m making aren’t helping my time management much at all. They are helping my attention management.

The two words that we want to characterize our organization (a church) are “changed lives.” We use those words a lot, but I realized that we didn’t see them anywhere. And so I decided to make a calendar for January that had those two words. I made up a photo montage of faces (using the powerful photo editing capacity of … PowerPoint).

I put it on the top half of a page. I put a calendar of January on the bottom 3/5. And at the bottom I put part of the transcript of our pastor’s first sermon of the year where he talked about…changed lives. And I printed one for my office and one for home.

It was helpful.

I made a new one for February. By doing a new one each month, I have to think about the statement again. Twelve times a year I am committed to look at and for changed lives. This one has a bunch of our kids singing (including our daughter).

This one is now in our main office. It’s on the wall of a couple of our staff members. And I’m starting to look for the picture for March that will illustrate another part of our activity that is connected to changed lives.

I know that it’s no big deal. It’s just a calendar. That hangs by my desk. So that every time I need a date I look at it. And am reminded that I am wanting to focus this year.

It’s your turn. Follow the link in the picture to my flickr account where I’ve put a February and a March calendar. Download the calendar. Put your own picture on the top. Put your own passion statement or vision statement or three words on the bottom.

And focus.


By the way, if you actually make a calendar, let me know. I want to cheer.



Nancy and I try to walk every day. During the winter we walk at the mall. When we go walking before the stores open, we can safely put our coats on the many benches in the common area. When we go in evening, before the stores close, we put our coats in lockers.

Have you looked at lockers in a mall? Have you looked at the handle, at the instructions, at the need to list both the amount of money AND the denomination of coins necessary? Have you noticed that there are parameters on the front of the locker and instructions inside?

Have you noticed?

One of my three words for the year is focus. And even as I write that I think, “focus is one of three words?”

I need more than one word. But one of them, particularly this year, has to be focus. I need to identify what matters and then look closely. I need to pick that one function that I’m going to help people understand, that I’m going to understand myself, and then focus on it.

In order to protect your belongings you need a locker. In order to use the locker you need to know the cost and the procedure. In order for this to work, someone needed to focus on it and make it so simple that people in malls and bus stations and airports could somehow use these boxes.

I want to have that kind of focus so that others can have that kind of access.

And I’m curious. What’s your focus? What do you want to make clear to others?