The last time I did any sort of resolution for the New Year, I said I was going to lose 5 pounds. I ended up gaining 7, so you can see how well that worked out.

Somehow, something feels different this year. I don’t mean the weight (as of this morning those 5+7lbs of extra fluff were still waiting to greet me). What’s different is that for a month or more, I’ve had a word plastered across my mind and heart. I believe it is the word God has given me for the coming year.


I’ve heard of people choosing a word to define their year, but I’ve never done it. The words always felt too forced, so I never let the idea go past the initial thought stage. This time I can’t get the word out of my head.

It mostly stems from a realization that I unintentionally waste a lot of time. No judging here y’all, but sometimes I spend way too much time playing Candy Crush. Or scrolling Facebook. Or taking a nap.

These aren’t bad things, but when I let these simple little indulgences eat up my time, they get in the way of the bigger goals I have. Goals like, connecting with Jesus, writing consistently in my blog, updating my website, keeping up with household responsibilities, being a pillar for my children and my husband, serving my church, being available for my friends, etc etc.

None of that can happen while playing Candy Crush.

My other problem is that I haven’t been very good about writing things down. Say, for instance, both children are happily (!) working on their school during our homeschool hours. I usually have quite a lot of things I could accomplish, but because I haven’t written any of it down, I spend this unexpected free time trying to figure out the best use of the free time. And suddenly, my free time vanishes like my money in Target.

So far I have intentionally done two things to help me be intentional with my time this year:

  1. I enlisted a friend to read one book a month with me. I like to read, but sometimes I get distracted by little what-nots on my phone, and before I know it my time to read has vanished. I’m already 75% through my first book, and we haven’t even officially begun yet. Just knowing someone else is doing this with me helps me stick to my goal and gives me a desire to see if I can accomplish even more than my original number.
  2. I bought a planner. This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve owned a planner, but I never seem to know what to do with them. I tend to record appointments each month, and then just glance at it every now and then. Not very helpful. What I’m excited about in this planner is the goal tracker. Each month I can write down specific goals and record whether or not I’ve met them. Knowing myself, I’ll be much more intentional with my time knowing it’s going to be recorded in ink.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t find time to write, but the truth is, I may just have to buckle down and write in the less convenient moments of my life. I’m not saying it will be easy, or perfect, but I do believe that by being more intentional with the cracks*, I’ll be able to make headway on the greater purpose I believe God has for me.

What word would you choose for this coming year? What strategies have helped you be intentional in the past?

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Phillippians 3:12-14 (The Message)

*writing in the cracks is a phrase I’ve seen used in my hope*writers group. Can’t claim that one for myself!

2 thoughts on “Intentional

  1. I have picked a word for the year the last since 2014, some years working better than others. A quick rundown:
    2014: Beauty … I intentionally looked for the beauty in things, and tried to in myself. It was a strange year, but focusing on the broader aesthetic helped.
    2015: Brave … a lot of big things happened, that required me to be brave. So that was a very very appropriate word – I just didn’t realize how appropriate at the time.
    2016: Believe … originally chosen to remind myself to believe the promises/that there’s more going on than meets the eye, it ended up being a reminder to believe in myself – to believe I can, and so do. I wear that phrase on a set of rings daily now. It’s still a work in progress. Very much a work in progress.
    2017: Thrive … spoiler: I definitely did *not* thrive. I floundered. I struggled. It was a horrible year, and I still feel like I only barely survived.
    2018: Wander & Soar … after the fiasco of 2018, I just wanted to wander the world and soar on the wings of the wind. Didn’t happen, but I did indulge in a LOT of wanderlust-driven daydreaming, and M and I have been adding to our list of Places To Go One Day.
    2019: Lionhearted … I struggled to find just the right word for this year, and I really almost went with “bada** warrior queen”, LOL! But lions kept coming to mind, and I heard the phrase “the daughter of a lion is still a lion” which resonated DEEP in my soul. So I was *thisclose* to picking “lioness”, and then realized – lionhearted covers it all. The lioness, the warrior, the queen … I’m getting it stamped on a ring to add to the “she believed” stack, so as I face the challenges (not all bad) that await me this year, I face them boldly and full of courage and determination – as the Lion Daughter of a Lion King. ❤


    1. Love your list of words!! I especially like lionhearted! Not sure if you’ve read it, but “Lioness Arising” by Lisa Bevere was a life changing book for me a couple of years ago. I would highly recommend it!


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