My Word of the Year for 2016

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It’s the month for my annual tradition of selecting a word of the year – a word that will help guide my intentions and goals all year long. I have been doing this for four years and it has been really powerful. 2016 will be year #5 and I couldn’t be more excited about this year and my word.


Just to recap, last year’s word was Significance. My goal was to only do things in 2015 that had real significance to me. I was certain that 2015 would be a pivotal year, and if you saw my Year in Review on New Year’s Eve and my 4 new product lines, I think you may agree that a pivotal year it was! So what did I get right last year? Well, 3 biggies: I realized some significant dreams with my 4 product launches. I also spent some really meaningful and significant time with family last year, particularly my daughter. And we had our most profitable year in business in 16 years. So to say I am thrilled with my results is an understatement. I am definitely closer to my dream life today than I was 12 months ago!


My intention in 2015 was to say No to the “good” so I could say YES to the “best” and in many ways I accomplished that. Where I fell short was letting more “good” things creep in than I should have. And I fell short at saying yes to my health – or at least I didn’t make my health as “significant” part of my schedule as I had planned. Thankfully I didn’t lose ALL the work that I’ve accomplished in the last 5 years getting healthy, but I did lose some ground. That saying of “You can have it all, just not all at the same time” was so true for me last year. And launching 4 product lines and taking care of some of my biggest projects was about all I could handle and still allow me to be the best mom I could be.

So if I was going to give myself a grade on last year, what would it be? I’d say A-.  2015 was definitely a year of significance for me! But some of my top priorities, primarily my self care, suffered a bit in the process. The good news is that every day is a new page and I can make better choices each day this year.


It’s important to me that I improve and grow more each year. So when I started pondering back in October or November what word might best lead me to my goals and dreams in 2016 and make sure that I put myself and my health first, I decided to look back on what other words I had picked in the past. Before Significance, I chose Action in 2014 and I took a ton of action that year including, launching a new website, launching my first info products, launching my Tobi TV video series, teaching classes with CreativeLive, landing the April cover of Traditional Home and announcing my partnership with CR Laine. In fact, it was the year I sealed the deal for all my product partnerships and more. In 2013 my word was Inspire and I was definitely inspired to take some big leaps with a key new team member that upleveled my firm more than ever before, with a new Dallas office, and my husband and I bought our new house.  All very inspiring things.


Then back in 2012 my word was Discipline and that was the year I became most disciplined about my finances, meeting with my accountant every single week of that year. I also really tightened up our business systems so I could live my dreams AND make more money with less stress. Believe it or not, 2012 might have been the most important work of all because it set the foundation so I could accomplish so much more in the years since. So each of these 4 years were really important and have done so much to bring me to where I am today.



And where I am is this…

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2016 will be a year of FOCUS for me. Similar to 2012 when I turned inward and became extremely disciplined about what needed to be done to make a huge leap, 2016 will be a hyper-focused year of upleveling all over again. I think every few years you have to have a head-down approach to business and to life. So this year is it!


So what will I focus on in 2016?

I will forgo the good and Focus on the GREAT.

I will say no to many things that seem urgent and Focus on What Matters.

I will travel less so I can Focus on My Family more.

I will Focus on what I REALLY Want.

I will Focus on Change.

I will Focus on what I can Control.

I will Focus on what Excites me.

I will Focus on being Healthy.

I will Focus on finding Joy.

The Number 1 thing I will do in 2016 is Say NO! I will say no to so much more this year, so I can FOCUS on creating my best year yet. 

And I’ve noticed something funny. Focus seems to already be an underlying theme for this year.

I recently had to get glasses. I have hit that magical age of forty-something that most everyone hits where I need a bit of help reading those tiny words on the pages of my favorite books. So no-line bifocals made my avid reading habit much easier. I am thankful Warby Parker helped bring so much back into FOCUS while looking stylish, too.

It’s also interesting that I have been talking about taking some photography classes for years and last month, my husband gave me a series of them for Christmas. So I am about to leap into learning to really use my great Cannon EOS camera and hone my amateurish photography skills. So I will also be bringing the world into FOCUS with my camera in a whole new way.


In my consulting business, in my Mastermind group, and in my Designer MBA class, I consistently teach designers and creatives that I mentor to FOCUS on their Finances and to FOCUS their businesses on their Niche Strategy. I say it so much they probably get tired of hearing it. But I firmly believe this type of focus is the difference in a profitable small business and a not-so-profitable one!

So to make my word of the year come full-circle for all parts of my business this year, FOCUS is the theme for my Mastermind Group and my Consulting Business all year long. We’re going to help our members FOCUS our their original Point of View in Marketing and Social Media to make them stand out to their ideal clients. We’re going to put our Mastermind members’ businesses under the microscope and help them focus on their client experiences, design processes, project management, business systems and customer service to make their businesses great this year. And we’re going to help them FOCUS on new and exciting revenue streams, their finances, and particularly their cash flow for creating their most profitable year yet.

So I am looking forward to a year of focus my business, my clients and for me. 2016 is going to be a great year. Now tell me, do you pick a word of the year to guide you over the next 12 months? If so, tell me your word in the comments below. I love this inspiring exercise and I hope it inspires you to have your best year too!


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If you’re interested in joining my Mastermind members to focus on your business this year, let me know! You can learn more about the program here, or you can email me at!

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4 Responses to My Word of the Year for 2016

  1. pam durkin says:

    Tobi, Your post is right on point. A little planning and focus can go a LONG way. It is a great tool to keep reminding ourselves of what we really want and where we really want to go. It’s so easy to get distracted and off course. Daily reminders are the best way to keep pushing towards the goal, which will be finally realized! Great post! Best, Pam

  2. Julie says:

    Thank you for this inspiring post. I always have resolutions but seem to lose sight of them as the year progresses. “Focusing” on one word seems much more powerful and easier to maintain. My word this year will be courage. Courage to try new things, follow my inner voice and find success!

  3. Kimberly says:

    Focus is a great word of the year. I can’t wait to see how this manifests for you in 2016.

  4. Inspiring post Tobi. My word for 2016 is JOY. I choose each day to find joy in everything I do in my business and with my family. I will also be FOCUSING on all the business advice I learned in Mastermind this past year and be joyful for the opportunities I had in 2015 and going forward. Lots of good words but this year is all about JOY for me!
    xo~ Patti