I’ve always been better at making New Year’s resolutions than actually keeping New Year’s resolutions.
Take last year for example. I was super excited at the idea of reading 12 books throughout the course of the year, but after barreling through my first two books, I lost steam. Life started getting in the way. Somewhere around the month of March, I just chucked the whole idea.
Or, what about when I resolved to stop obsessing over having a clean house? It’s almost like resolving to do so had the opposite effect. I somehow became even more OCD about mopping the kitchen and living room floors three times a day.
Oh, and then there was also that whole I’m going to spend more time playing with my children plan. Sure, we played more games of UNO than I can count over the school holidays, but I didn’t consistently and voluntarily carve out time to play with them throughout the year . So, there’s really no way we can count that one as a win either!
Looking back over the years, I’m faced with the grim reality that, more often than not, I either abandoned or just plain failed at
many most of my resolutions. Sitting down and writing out a long list of New Year’s resolutions may be a good idea for some, but my rather embarrassing track record proves it’s absolutely not the right strategy for me.
With that being said, I couldn’t just slide right into 2017 without having formulated a new goal, something to strive for, a master plan for self-improvement and progress. So, instead of a list of resolutions, I decided to pick a word of the year for 2017. This one word will help guide my decisions and actions for the year. I guess you could say that it’ll be like the proverbial true north as I navigate this trip around the sun.
For the sake of sounding poetic, I feel I should make some vague allusion to the hours of soul-searching that went into choosing my word for the year of 2017. But alas, the word came to me to me with such rapidity and such clarity that I knew my search was over almost before it had even begun.
So, without further a do…
My word for 2017 is INTENTIONAL. As I go throughout this year, I will not act out of habit or comfort, but rather out of intention.
I will be intentional in determining what gets priority in my life and thus in how I spend my time. This will inevitably mean saying no to things that don’t line up with my priorities. After all, in order to say yes to our priorities, we have to be willing to say no to something else.
I will be intentional in tending to and growing my relationships with my husband, my children, my family, and those dearest to me. This might, for example, mean voicing my admiration for my husband more often, sending a hand-written note to a friend, or taking the time to engage in meaningful conversation with my children when possible rather than giving them an easy time-saving response.
I will be intentional in how I fuel and care for my body and mind. From making healthy eating choices, to consistently exercising, to seeking out ways to engage my mind in critical thinking, I will be thoughtful in how I treat my body and mind.
I will be intentional in growing in my faith and in helping my children grow in theirs. We won’t mature in our faith by just showing up for church on Sunday and listening to praise and worship around the house. While those things are obviously a great place to start, they aren’t enough. I will be intentional in my spiritual life, digging deeper in my faith and being a witness to others, while encouraging my children to do the same.
I will be intentional about my attitude. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to let a sleepless night or a cross word determine our attitude. Just ask my husband! I’m sure I’ve ruined more than my fair share of days being a scrooge just because something didn’t go my way. And yes, while momentarily getting frustrated over a broken dishwasher or a school strike is human nature, it doesn’t have to set the stage for my day. When it comes down to it, my attitude is my decision. I will be intentional in choosing to maintain a positive attitude, even in the face of setbacks or frustrations.
This year, I’m taking my life out of auto-pilot mode. This year, I will live an intentional life.