My Focus Word for 2019

Hey there, friends! Happy Thursday!

Have you ever chosen a focus word to drive you throughout the year? 2016 was the first time I did it. My word was nurture. I talked more about why I chose that word in this post. Since then, I’ve kept my words to myself but, since I’m especially excited about this year, I thought maybe I’d share the word I chose for 2019.

First, some of y’all may be asking … what’s a focus word? And, why do you pick one? So, a focus word is essentially a word that you choose to help drive your decisions throughout the year so, there’s a stronger potential for your year turns out a little more like you want it to. I think picking one can help you be more intentional about having the year you have in your mind!

I’ve shared a lot of personal thoughts with y’all lately [like in my 2019 New Years’ Resolution post and my London Q&A] and, if you read those, you know that I’ve struggled with really listening to what I want and going for it. You also know I’ve been struggling with prioritizing my happiness over chasing success. With those in mind, I decided that my focus word for 2019 is YES.

In this day and age, I feel like a lot of people are trying to focus on the word NO, ha! A lot of us already say yes to everything and then feel overwhelmed by all of the commitments you then find yourself trying to tackle and satisfy. And, I can be guilty of that sometimes. I’m not deciding on YES because I say no to everything. I decided on YES to remind myself to say YES to all things that make me uncomfortable, nervous or may disturb the peace that, as a Peacemaker, I am always trying to keep internally and externally.

Some of the things I’m being intentional about saying yes to this year, and have said yes to so far, is:

Going to therapy every week – No newsflash here … therapy can be uncomfortable. However, I’ve found myself getting really negative about certain things that I’ve been really, really annoyed and frustrated by [ha, real human right here!] and I was tired of feeling that I was constantly complaining and never really getting to a healthy place or perspective which, I always say is EVERYTHING. I think our friends are there for us but they can only HELP you so much, you know? So, I’m really loving therapy. I am going every single week for a while. Thankfully, we have found a day that – even with travels – I will be able to see her mostly every week until the Summer.

Inviting my parents to be a part of my immigration process – My Dad has always instilled in me that, if you want to go after something, you need to ‘do your research’. He’s definitely more pragmatic, realistic, and information-seeking than I am. I just want to do. I’m a dreamer. So, growing up, this was always an annoying piece of advice to hear but I am thankful for it now because I do know, understand and believe that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’, especially with certain things, like a move from the U.S. to the U.K. 😉 During my ‘research’ phase of the immigration process, I realized that I was trying to understand things that are just not my strength but there were so many aspects to that were HIS strength. I was really nervous to ask him for help because I was afraid he was going to think I was skimping out on doing my research. However, after some great conversations over the holiday break, he told me that he was really proud of me for doing as much as I had and that he would be happy to be ‘in’ on all the calls that I take in regard to this whole visa thing from now on. Truth is, he has so much more experience in complicated business structures and taxation than I do so I’m really glad I said YES to – what was initially – an uncomfortable thought!

Going after a U.K. visa – I’ve already shared far too much about this whole topic so, if you’re new here and would like to learn more about this endeavor, be sure to check out THIS post for the whooollleee story! 🙂

Decreasing the number of blog posts I crank out a week – I have been really mean to myself over the last year. Even when I travel, I try to get as many blog posts out as I can and, most of the time, the number that I get out isn’t ‘enough’. This year, there will be weeks where I can and will share five but, I have to say YES to being more realistic about what’s REALLY do-able. I can continue to do five to six a week but that means less time spent with the boys and loved ones, less time de-cluttering and putting things away around the house, less time to go and take everyday style photos to share on Instagram and less sleep. I’m not a lazy person but I am tired of doing ‘all the things for work’ and letting other areas of my life suffer. This will especially be true when I get to London. I will continue to blog, of course! But, I want to say YES to having friends over for dinner, going to events in the city, going on dates, etc. and, with so many other aspects of this job to do, getting five blog posts out a week is really unrealistic. Quality over quantity! It’s something I constantly have to remind myself 🙂

So, there’s my word! What’s yours?

Be sure to shop this outfit below! I’m obsessed with this tunic. Also, random side note – TULA has released a new product I’m excited to finally share with you! It’s a cooling and brightening eye balm! Put it on before you apply your foundation and it will brighten up those tired eyes!! I’m loving it so be sure to check it out + enjoy 20% off with code ALYSONHALEY! I’ve been using the little white brush in this skincare brush set by Sigma, that I got for Christmas, to blend it in nicely after rolling it on. But, you can also use your finger. However, the brush set is pretty amazing if you don’t like transferring oils from your fingers on to your face when applying literally anything to it, so … something to consider!

Hope y’all have a great day! xo.


Editor's Notes



  1. Erika wrote:

    Love the look! My focus word is: Courage

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  2. Jennifer wrote:

    In 2013 my word for the year was YES. I was single and had become a bit of a hermit. I never went out with my friends. I was a homebody. So I decided I needed to put myself out there. So if was invited to something I said YES. I ran a half marathon that year. I saw the Blue Man Group when they came to my area. I had weekends in New Orleans with friends. And because I got out of my comfort zone it changed my life. I lost 50 pounds that year. And I reconnected with a guy from my home town and we are still together today. My year of YES was the best decision.

    This year my word is COURAGE. I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut. So I’ve set myself some big goals. And I want the COURAGE to go for it. I’m so afraid of failure that I don’t even try.

    I feel like I’ve written you a novel. But I love this post. I hope you keep us updated how your year of YES goes!

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
    • Colleen wrote:

      Hi Jennifer (and Alyson!)

      I love that you are having COURAGE this year. That is so awesome. I can totally relate to your 2013 dilemma of being a bit of a hermit. I am dealing with a breakup right now (we live together so it’s been a bit messy to get out of, but luckily we care for one another and are continuing to live in our house together until we figure out the deets) and have been feeling blah and not wanting to do anything with friends. I might have to add YES to my 2019 list!

      The word I chose this year initially is DEDICATE. I am doing a 30 day yoga challenge through Yoga with Adriene (check her out on YouTube, she’s amazing) and the theme of her program is dedicate. It stuck with me when I think of all the goals I want to achieve this year. I want to DEDICATE time for myself. DEDICATE more quality time with friends and family. And this year I want to DEDICATE to more charitable organizations that I care about.

      Happy New Year to all!!

      Published 1.17.19 ·
    • Liza wrote:

      Love this! I am experiencing the same thing (self-professed hermit) and probably need to get out more just for my mental health!

      Published 1.17.19 ·
    • Lauren wrote:

      Crazy! I just finished commenting and then went back to read the other comments- my word is COURAGE too! So great to hear how your word changed your life.

      Published 1.17.19 ·
  3. Cathy J wrote:

    Love this! My word this year is VINTAGE. What that means is really being more picky about what I choose to do in life, especially with my family, not just trying to fill my calendar but choosing the things that help me slow down, and create great memories. It came about because I realized that my own best memories from childhood are NOT the big flashy vacation etc but the everyday, nostalgic moments. The walk on the beach, the favorite ice-cream etc. It also applies to my wardrobe, I want to try to invest in quality, well made classic pieces that last years & years. I love your word!!

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  4. Taryn wrote:

    I had never thought of assigning a word to my year before reading your post but I have to say I really love the idea! I think it might in some ways add a level of accountability for myself to really stick to my goals for 2019. I often struggle with wanting things to be just right that I often never get to doing the things that I want to or set out to do in the first place. With that in mind, I think my 2019 word will be TRY. The only way I can fail at this is if I don’t even give it a shot, right?

    One last thing, to your point about decreasing blog posts, I think that its important to do what you need in order to have the most balance. I encourage the less is more idea and focusing on the quality vs the quantity. Your content is great, but I don’t think anyone would be disappointed if we have three longer posts vs six shorter ones.

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  5. Roses for Fridays | by mia wrote:

    Being healthy and having health is everything in this world … anything is possible with health. This year I love ♥️to treat myself to more positive energy, good food, happiness and get out in the nature. One great way to reflect on your mind and soul and wellbeing. Always a great post!

    ??ROSES FOR FRIDAYS ??| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  6. Liza wrote:

    My word this year has been my word before, just a different focus for 2019: environmentalism (I’m a 1, so I’m always trying to make the world a better place). In the past of focused on food (supporting local farms, avoiding CAFO animal products) and reducing overall consumerism. This year I’m focusing on fashion; my goal is to “shop my closet” more often instead of getting sucked into whatever new trend is happening. I want to scale things back, work on more of a minimalist/capsule wardrobe, and only make purchases from ethical fashion brands. Along those lines, it would be awesome if you could occasionally highlight some of those brands! (But I’ll continue to follow you regardless)

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      That’s amazing, Liza!! I think you would definitely enjoy following my best friend, Whitney! She is very conscious of a lot of environmental causes lately and has been taking action and sharing it on her Instagram stories. Her instagram handle is @blonde_atlas! She was talking about the negative affects of fast fashion yesterday and how we should all be a little bit more aware about the ethical makeup behind the brand and who they’re willing to hire to put these clothes together. I definitely believe that I will be challenged to have a more simplistic and capsulated wardrobe once I head to London. I simply won’t have the space that many Americans have to sore everything so I will definitely make that a part of what I share while I am over there!

      Published 1.17.19 ·
    • Liza wrote:

      Thank you! I actually do follow Whitney, always look forward to her Worldly Wednesdays!

      Published 1.20.19 ·
  7. alyson wrote:

    I absolutely love this word! I’m a HUGE believer in saying no… because it REALLY means you’re saying yes. Saying yes to you, to your family, to your passions, to cultivating what’s important around you. Thank you for sharing.


    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      OMG, yes. This. is. everything! I so agree!

      Published 1.17.19 ·
  8. Brett Harper wrote:

    Can you link your ring?? I love it!

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Hii, yes! Sorry – I’ve linked it a million times and must have just missed it in this one: – it’s the amethyst / hematite color combo!

      Published 1.17.19 ·
  9. Lauren wrote:

    So I recently saw someone do a vision board which I think centres around a focus word? I decided I wanted to do something similar, I still have to do some research, but the word “courage” came to me right away. I have done a lot of stuff on my own recently- got a pup and a house, and it can feel like A LOT- I almost feel like a single mom working full time. There are still things that I want to achieve, and like you said, they can sometimes take you out of your comfort zone. I just want to keep thinking to myself “courage!” and have myself go further!

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
    • Jennifer wrote:

      Great minds think alike! I wrote COURAGE all over my planner so I can keep it fresh in my mind. I think it is such a good word to focus on. Good luck in 2019. Our goals are too important to be afraid of!

      Published 1.17.19 ·
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Yessss! You are brave and you can do it! xo.

      Published 1.17.19 ·
  10. Diana wrote:

    Love your sneakers.

    || The Neon Factor, by Diana ? ||
    ? ?

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  11. Julia wrote:

    Valiant is my 2019 one little word of the year! 🙂

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  12. Andi wrote:

    I’ve been thinking on this the past two weeks but haven’t found a word that resonates with me just yet. Great post and wish a year of rest!

    Published 1.17.19 · Reply
  13. Victoria wrote:


    Published 1.18.19 · Reply
  14. Heidi M wrote:

    Happy Friday, my dear…
    just a word of encouragement for you on the number of posts you do each week — be kind to yourself! Your readers always appreciate good content so if that’s 2 or 3 times a week instead of 5 BRAVO!
    Wishing you a wonderful year of fruitful “YES”!
    xo Heidi

    Published 1.18.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Thank you so much, Heidi!! I think I just need to stop comparing myself to other influencers in the industry that are able to do that many and so much on instagram – while that works for them, I know what it costs me to do that much so it’s just not worth it for me, personally, so that’s what I’ve been realizing lately 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement!

      Published 1.18.19 ·
  15. Emma wrote:

    Your past few blog posts have been so inspiring for the new year, and I love it! My focus mantra/word of the year is: Embrace Change. I’ve always been uncomfortable with major changes and last year I went through a lot of good and positive major changes (new job, new city, new dating scene, making new friends), but instead of letting myself become too comfortable with where I am at, I am trying to still open my introverted self up to the opportunities that bring about change and instead of shying away from them, embrace them! Thank you for all that you share with us through your posts. 🙂

    Published 1.18.19 · Reply
  16. Andrea wrote:

    My word is Focus (with a side of re-focus). I’ve used power sheets this year to hone in on the three areas of my life that I want to work on this year. The last few years I’ve been running in all directions and getting no where fast. So I have my laser focused on what’s important!

    Published 1.19.19 · Reply
  17. Just love your style and your high spirits! Quality over quantity is doable and more than good enough I assure you! B8g hug from Lisbon which I know you adore! ☀️❤

    Published 1.20.19 · Reply
  18. Christianne wrote:

    My word for this year is “Abundance”
    I can get bogged down in what is lacking or what I perceive as lacking that I can forget about what I do have which is more important. 🙂

    Published 1.22.19 · Reply
  19. Arianna wrote:

    Your pullover is so adorable! It looks so cozy!❤️

    Arianna |

    Published 1.31.19 · Reply