Most people just pick a word of the year.
I, being either an overachiever or completely nutbars (or both, depending on whom you ask), like to pick more than just one foci, so to speak. A year's a long time, and while my word kind of lords over the whole thing as a lens with which to see and plan things, I kind of like using this arbitrary period as a container for other ideas, too.
This year, obviously, is EXPLORE.
But my other foci are things like:
Plant spirit: Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)These huge, pointy trees are native here in the northwest and grow tall and pointed, in whorls around the trunk. The sap and bark are used medicinally for all kinds of things, and young Sitka makes the best paper. Figures I'd be drawn in that direction. :)
Animal guide: MockingbirdMockingbirds are kind of awesome. Not only are they every bit as smart as crows and ravens, but they can imitate the calls of other birds so perfectly that sometimes, scientists can't even discern which is the real deal. They're also said to help with other characteristics like:
And they're all about finding one's true voice. This year, I'm exploring to find my own song, so it fit.
Stone ally: The Nine StonesInstead of focusing on a single stone ally this year, I'm looking for nine, to be used in a particular way. (Which I'll talk more about as the time gets closer to the stone month.) Typically, I pick one and go into some serious depth, but this year, it's about finding particular ones that speak to me in particular, rather than about learning through other people's research or trying to connect with just one. It'll be a fun year.
Doing all this focus picking at the beginning of the year doesn't always mean that I end the year with the same ones with which I started. I'm the first one to follow the Bunnies of Randomness down whatever rabbit hole into which they seem to be ducking...and to be fair, sometimes, that's how I find the best stuff. Sometimes, things really do happen for a reason...even plotbunnies.