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Staying Focused and Being Present

I don’t know about you, but in all my life, I’ve never been more ready for a fresh start than I am now. With 2021 in full swing, I’m laser-focused on what really, truly matters. I’ve never been more invested in reimagining what is possible and acting on my intentions - and it’s been life-changing.


2020 left us all a bit burned out. Between politics and the pandemic, we’ve been bombarded with nonstop sound and fury that even noise-canceling headphones couldn’t block out. Although it seemed chaotic at times, for me, every day wasn’t total chaos. There were highly productive days, but moments where the noise got so loud that I found myself checking out.


I knew things had to change. The fresh beginning of a new year gives us all moments to reflect and make some well-intentioned resolutions. This year things had to be different. It wasn’t about making resolutions - I needed to be resolute about reflecting on what mattered to me. But first, I had to dig deep and turn down the volume.


The process was hard. It was challenging to hone in on what mattered. But I powered through with intention and did it on a consistent, daily basis. It taught me that people matter, relationships matter, helping others matters, showing up matters, and most importantly, I matter. It helped to revitalize my professional and personal life with intention and purpose. All the things that mattered started to quiet the noise and going into 2021, the volume is lower and I’m hearing life again. I’ve never felt more awakened, with more peace, clarity, and energy than ever before.


Starting with me first, just a few small changes are having a big impact. Taking just 30 minutes first thing each morning for mindful, energetic me-time time sets the volume for the entire day. Now when I sit down to start my workday, I see things and hear things more clearly. 


True connection is now happening for me, simply because I turned down the noise. With the pandemic, we thought video calls would keep us connected, but Zoom fatigue is real, and it seemed like we were just looking at screens constantly and connecting less. Now, I’m much more present for the people in my life. I listen with full attention, compassion, and empathy. 


We all have the power to transform our lives, to hear the quiet, and then to focus on and act on what matters most. By doing this every day with consistency, we can keep the noise in check and be productive, compassionate, and engaged. 


How about you? What matters most to you? What you’re focusing on can make a big difference in your business, your relationships, and your health. Take a little time to reflect and adjust the volume. It opens our minds and opens our hearts.


Janice Ross serves as the president of Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT), and is the founder and Managing Partner of Brand Fresh Management. With over 25 years of global experience in the consumer products and entertainment industries, she is a passionate and purposeful advocate for the advancement of women. 


This article originally appeared in The Toy Book, February 2021, and has been republished with permission.

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