Intentional

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.

Intentional.

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!

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I Resolve…

I Resolve..

It’s that time again. The time to decide on our resolutions as we begin a new year.

I’ve never been much good at the whole idea of making a list of resolutions. After all, if I don’t have a list, I don’t have a way to fail. Right? I’m not particularly a fan of failure, so my strategy to overcome this disdain for failure is to avoid the possibility of it altogether.

Alas, there is always a flip side. If I “fail” to make a list, I’m also keeping myself from the opportunity to grow and improve. The most successful people actually use their failures as learning experiences and do better next time. I get it. I just often wish I could bypass the failure process as a whole and get it right the first time, every time.

So it seems, this post is really just me trying to convince myself to write out that not-so-silly little list and then DO IT.

Without further ado (though with much hesitation), here are my resolutions for the year 2016:

Health & Fitness

This year, I resolve to lose, and keep off, 5 pounds of stomach fluff. This may require that I turn down a cookie here and there. Or actually participate in some sort of physical activity. These are both things that I dread with a passion. Every time I think I’m ready to accept the new, fluffier me, I begin to think about how I really would rather have a happy medium between the old and new versions of my body. I’m not even going for pre-baby. Just a little less fluff in the ol’ midsection.

Blogging

Basically, I want to keep it up. My most realistic expectation is to post every other Friday. I’d like to throw in some extras here and there, but instead of focusing on quantity I want to make sure I’m posting quality. My primary goal is to create a space that encourages women. I want it to be a visually beautiful space that acts as a reflection of what God sees in the hearts of His daughters. While my math brain wants a numeric goal to work toward, I’m not going to set one. Whether 15 or 1000 people read a single post isn’t actually the point. The point is whether I’ve allowed God to use me as an avenue to spread the life we can find in Him. He can get it to the right person.

Spirituality

Priority and consistency are the terms I think of here. I want God to be my first each and every day. Certain little girls in my life make this difficult, and sometimes impossible. My plan of action is to set my alarm and get out of bed. I would like to work through a study – whether on my own, with friends, or small group. My most productive quiet times seem to be when I am writing things down. The practice of writing helps me to remember what I’ve read and what I’ve learned; making it easier for me to recall truths when things start to get a little dicy during my day.

Mindset

I tend to be a slightly emotional person. Often, I lean on the side of positivity, but I can just as easily slip into a state of negativity and complaint. It is my goal, during this year, to have at least one moment each day where I call out my own negative behavior or attitude and reverse it. My hope is that by the end of the year I will be a pleasanter person via facial expressions, posture, thoughts, words, and actions. No huffing and puffing to do something just because I’m trying to be nice, but actually finding joy in doing the nice thing. I want to give credit to my hubby for this idea. I’d encourage you to listen to this message  as it explains the concept to a much greater degree.

What are some of your resolutions for this year? What goals do you want to accomplish in 2016? Let’s encourage each other to keep it up and make this our best year yet!