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Creating a Focus Board for the New Year

Some people do New Year’s resolutions every year—a list of promises to themselves, usually involving dramatic changes in behavior that seldom last past the first few days of January. There’s nothing wrong with making resolutions, if doing so actually works for you, but if it doesn’t, here’s another suggestion.

One of the core tenets of witchcraft and magical work is the importance of Focus and Intent. In order to create change (magically or otherwise), you have to know what you want (Intent) and concentrate on putting that desire out into the universe (Focus). And then, of course, you have to follow up with actions, but that comes later. Whether you call yourself a witch or not, here is one way to harness these things to bring about positive changes in the year ahead.


This is a variation on an activity that Blue Moon Circle and I did for years, with an added twist or two. It is fun and easy to do, and you can either do it by yourself of with a group of friends (or even your kids).

The idea here is to create a concrete manifestation of your goals and dreams for the coming year (intent) and also a reminder for yourself of what it is you’re striving for (focus). You can use whatever tools you want, and be as creative or as simple as you choose.

Basic supplies might include a piece of poster board (whatever size you want—we used to use large pieces, but I think this year we’ll stick to something closer to regular paper size, so it will be easier to find a place to put it once it is done) or you could use cardboard, or even a piece of wood. You’ll want to have pictures cut out from magazines, or printed out from online, plus pens and possibly crayons or markers, if you want to draw or write on your focus board. Don’t forget the glue. Plain old white glue usually works fine, and is safe to use with kids. You can also add anything else that appeals to you. For instance, if your goal is to go visit the ocean, you can glue on some shells. You see what I mean.

If you want, you can start by making a list of your goals for the year. These may be professional, personal, spiritual, or a combination of all of these. I tend to have one section of the board for each section of my life. For instance, you could have a quarter of the board dedicated to relationship goals (family, romance, etc.), one dedicated to financial goals, one to healthy goals (exercise, diet, etc.), and one for impossible dreams. There’s no need to limit yourself to only those things which seem “doable”. You never know what the year might hold, or what the universe might have in store for you! This is your focus board, and you can put anything on it that you want.

If you’re not a list maker, you can simply just sit down and start working, and see what shows up. If you have a list, then you can organize how you want the board to look by preparing things ahead of time, and then just laying them out as you go.

You can clip out words or pictures from magazines that embody your goals and dreams. I like to use words like joy, or success, or love, or health (usually clipped out, but if I can’t find the ones I need, I can use a marker or crayon, or print them out in a cool font on my computer) and then add pictures that seem to embody those words and goals. You can also use photographs of yourself, family, etc.

There is no right or wrong way to do your board—it is yours, after all. Just remember to focus all your energy and intent as you create it. If you want, you can say a spell for success when you’re done, or one for “Focus & Achievement,” like the one in my book, Circle, Coven & Grove. When you’re done, put the focus board someplace where you’ll see it, so you will be reminded of the path you’ve chosen for the year. (Although if things change, that’s okay too.) If you need to keep it private, you can tuck it under your mattress or into a drawer, but try to remember to take it out periodically, and check in on how you’re doing.

I  hope the coming year brings all your hopes and dreams to fruition!

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Deborah Blake is the author of Everyday Witch Book of Rituals (Llewellyn 2012), Witchcraft on a Shoestring (Llewellyn, 2010) as well as The Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (2010) and several other books. She lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.


  • david appleton
    david appleton Thursday, 02 January 2014

    Ms.Blake, I am so new to all this and do not know where I am or what im doing. All I know is whats in my heart. I have just joined this web sight and reading so many blogs felt like giving up until i saw a picture and your profile. MS Blake i dont want to bother you and I dont even know if this is the right way to contact you but as soon as I read about the cats my heart skipped a beat.Is there a way I would be able to ask a question or two or get some advice? Thanks for any and all help.Blessings

  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake Friday, 03 January 2014

    Hi David, welcome to the wonderful world of witchcraft! It can certainly be confusing when you start out.
    You can contact me on Facebook, or email me at magicmysticminerva at yahoo. I don't mind answering a question or two, but I suggest that if you are really serious, you get a few books and start reading, too!

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