I have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. (And yes, I’m a couple weeks late for a New year’s post, don’t judge me.) Don’t get me wrong, I sit and think of what I want to do better in the new year. Its like I’m staring at the blank page of a new chapter and want to make sure its better than the last. Maybe I think this is the chapter where I will get healthier. Maybe it’s the chapter where I save more money. Maybe it will be the chapter where I get more organized. My mind always goes through the possibilities with a desire to do something but I can never decide what one thing is important enough to warrant becoming a focus of my time, attention and energy.
Is doing more pilates more important than paying off debt? Is cleaning out the clutter worth more than cutting back on sugar? (For the record, the sugar thing is pure conjecture. My body runs on sugar. I wouldn't survive without it.)
As 2015 came to an end though I began to ask myself if I was missing something. Was I missing opportunities to better myself, my marriage or my family? By not choosing something to focus on was I not really doing any self improvement at all?
I am a big proponent of self-assessment. We need to take a look at our lives, the good and the bad, and make practical changes that will help us grow and mature. Be it physical, emotional or spiritual, we can always find ways to be better tomorrow than we were today. I spend a lot of time teaching this concept to teenagers. (They can vouch for the fact I say the whole better tomorrow line a lot. A lot.)
Long story made slightly shorter, I wanted 2016 to be a year of progress. New year’s resolutions about eating organic weren’t going to get it done. So I took a new route. For the first time, rather than pondering potential resolutions I prayed for just one word. I wanted one word that would become the focus for my year. (This isn’t a new thing but its new to me.)
My word of the year is INTENTIONAL.
1 done on purpose; deliberate."intentional wrongdoing and harm"
2 synonyms: deliberate, calculated, conscious, intended, planned, meant, studied, knowing, willful, purposeful, purposive, done on purpose, premeditated, preplanned, preconceived; rarewitting "intentional contamination of our food supply is a real threat"
I spend a lot of time prioritizing, working to do lists and calendars. I have a marriage, two daughters, ministry and the job of being a writer that all take a lot of juggling to keep them all functioning without losing my sanity. I don’t do a bad job at the juggling. But I know things slip through the cracks. Some of those things are too important to let slip but I don’t realize that until the ball was dropped and rolled down the hill and into a hole somewhere.
Then I am left frantically chasing down balls in hopes a situation can be righted. It's exhausting.
But it doesn’t have to be.
I want 2016 to be a year done on purpose.
This can seem like a daunting task. To take in every part of my life, the big and the small, and stare at it and judge it and evaluate it. But this isn’t about getting everything perfect. It’s really more about a mindset that doesn’t just go through the motions. My goal is not to make things more stressful but less. If I can understand what really needs my time and energy, what is really working and what isn’t, then I can better serve my purpose.
Already I have begun to put pieces of my day, week and month under the microscope and it has been invigorating. Why? Because I can see more clearly. I’m not chasing bouncy balls down hills. I am thinking ahead and strategizing. That has really developed more of a peace in my mind and heart. I mean, I’m only a couple weeks in so I still have overwhelmed moments, but I also know how to deal with them in a more effective way.
I am excited about what 2016 is going to bring as I live it with intention. And I want to share what I learn with all of you. Each month I am going to tackle one area of my life and how I am living it more intentionally. Maybe that will help give you insight into your own circumstances. Maybe you’ll just have a few good laughs. Either is okay with me.