Happy New Year, everyone! Like many of us, I am a little weary from the past two years and I would love some normality, but I am not going to sit around and just hope for that. Instead, this year Eric and I have decided that our family and business theme this year is to be: intentional. Intentional about preparation. Intentional about taking care of ourselves. Intentional about business. Intentional about education. Instead of letting this year happen to us, we are going to be intentional about our goals and our plans to achieve them.
Can we guarantee no surprises this year by being intentional? Unfortunately, no. There will always be unexpected roadblocks and detours, but the more prepared we are, the less these interruptions will affect our lives.
This year also houses a milestone birthday for me and something about decade-marking birthday makes us evaluate our lives. What are we getting right? What do we regret? Do we want the next ten years to be like the last ten years? With that in mind, we want to make some changes including fewer lost hours and more time intentionality. Like our money, we also want to tell our time where to go… instead of wondering where it went (a Dave Ramsey financial concept we love).
How about you? Would you say that you unintentionally waste a lot of time or that you believe your decisions are typically more passive than active? Does it seem like life happens to you instead of you actively pursuing life? If so, consider joining us this year in being intentional.
Here are some categories in which you can be more intentional:
- Health and Fitness
- Finances and Money Management
- Career Growth or Career Changes
- Making New Friends
- Keeping in Contact with Old Friends
- Bringing Friends Together and Expressing Hospitality
- Studying the Bible
- Praying More Diligently
- Scripture Memorization
- Getting More Involved in Serving at Your Local Church
- More Effective Communication with Loved Ones
- Cleaning and Decluttering
- Learning a New Skill
- Completing a Goal
- Putting More Time into a Beloved Hobby
- Pursuing a Romantic Relationship and Dating
- Learning More about Growing a Romantic Relationship
- Deciding Whether to Move Forward in an Existing Relationship
The above is just a smattering of categories to be considered; but, these are a popular twenty to get us started.
Which of the Above Categories are My Top Three?
- Bible Study, Prayer, and Scripture Memorization. I’m combining these into one of my “top three.” Lately, I have become increasingly burdened by how little time I spend seeking God and marinating in His word. As a result, I often feel emptiness and anxiety. Something specific in my life has been overwhelming me recently – almost to the point of obsession. The people closest to me have heard me talk and fret over this situation relentlessly to the point I am even tired of hearing myself talk about it. In these seasons of stress, I am reminded again and again that our peace comes from the Lord – not just if He answers our prayers the way we want Him to, but even in the waiting. During these moments which sometimes turn to days, weeks, and months, it is God and God alone who can provide peace which passes understanding.
- “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3, ESV)
- “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7, ESV)
- Health and Fitness. I hesitate to list this one only because it seems like everyone makes some sort of health resolution on the first week of January. However, a particular experience from this summer gave me a wake-up call (and I tend to press snooze a while!). After my friend’s dog (who had been left in my care) got loose and ran away, I frantically attempted running up a steep hill in my quest to recapture him. By the time I got to the top, I could barely breathe. Thankfully, a neighbor helped me catch him and all was well, but it made me keenly aware of how much I really need to get my health in balance. What if I ever needed to run somewhere in an emergency?! There is no need for crazy expectations or overwhelming workouts, but small intentional steps in the right direction each day gets us closer to our goals.
- Cleaning and Decluttering. There is a connection between peace, wellness, and order. My personality does not naturally crave tidiness like some do (talking to you, Mom); but, everyone reaches a point where they are negatively affected by their disarranged surroundings. In the last few years, I have fantasized about moving into an apartment with only the basics (fridge, bed, chair, etc.) and absolutely zero clutter. Another fantasy includes our taking everything out of the house, putting it in the yard, and only bringing back in what we absolutely need and love. A girl can dream, but neither of these scenarios are likely to happen, so I want to make an intentional effort this year to create a calm, peaceful, and clutter-free home. I cannot wait.
Which of the Above Categories are Your Top Three?
As with New Year resolutions, we can get overwhelmed if we try to change everything at once. Instead of declaring war on your entire life, we encourage you to pick three top areas you want to focus on this year and plan for how you will be more intentional in those areas. A goal without a plan is just an idea (as Eric likes to remind me).
None of us can know what the next twelve months will bring, but we can sit back and hope for the best (or assume the worst); or, we can decide to take ownership of our lives and go after what we want. What is your strategy?
This is one of the best quotes about intentionality and perfectly fitting for this coming year:
The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now. – Zig Ziglar
How will you and your significant other choose to be intentional throughout this year?