I’m not really one for resolutions, especially when it comes to the New Year. There’s something so, well, resolute, about them. Resolutions don’t really allow room for error, or flexibility. Think about it, you resolve to do or change something…but how can we completely change overnight, with just a declaration?!
It takes time to break habits, or change patterns and behaviors. No matter how much I want it, I know I’ll stumble. So more than anything, I resolve to try.
But like a brand-new notebook on the first day of school, the New Year does present the opportunity for a fresh start. In the last few years, I allowed myself the time and space to slow down and reflect on my methods and behaviors of the previous year, and changes that could make a positive impact on my life, and therefore, those around me.
It usually boils down to one word…and it’s a word that comes barreling towards me and rolls over me like a freight train. (Be careful what you pray for, right?!) Two years ago, that word was RELAX. In every sense of the definition…relax my control, my grip, my expectations, my fears…it goes on and on. I needed to surrender.
Last year, I waited and waited, but no new word came to me. Clearly I needed more work on the RELAX part.
There were a lot of stumbles and missteps, and more apologies than I can count, but I do think I’ve learned to relax my white-knuckle grip. Reading over my last One Word post now, I can see a difference in my thinking and actions. Obviously it remains a work in progress, but I resolve to try to do better.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when over Winter Break a word came to me so clearly and loudly, I found myself looking over my shoulder to see if anyone else heard it.
Ironically enough, Websters defines ‘intention’ as:
- A determination to act in a certain way: Resolve
What?! My one word is actually a resolution?! But intention is also defined as:
- To have in mind as a purpose or goal
- To define for a specified use
- To direct the mind
- To proceed on a coarse
Okay, now I get it. Purpose. Direction. Intention.
Strangely enough, the first example that came to my mind when I really thought on this word, was working out. When I’m at Orange Theory (our workout class), I’m not doing one single thing except focusing on the class. And trying not to die. But that’s pretty much the same thing in this case.
I’m not juggling multiple tasks, or paying half-attention. I’m fully engaged and giving it my complete focus. I’m intentional about my workout. Mostly because what else can you do while trying not to die on the treadmill, right?!
But then I realized that workout is the only time I give anything my full intention. That’s a startling and humbling realization. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, business-owner…none of those roles ever really get my full, undivided attention. Not for long anyway.
And that makes me want to weep. No wonder the word came at me so hard and fast this year. I have work to do!
Like every woman, my plate is full and I’m a multi-tasking machine! But now I know that by never giving any one person or task my full intention, they aren’t getting the best I have to offer.
It’s one thing to make good use of your time, and another to dilute your time to the point of neither doing things well, or enjoying them. Most days I’m constantly on the defense, taking on tasks as they’re thrown at me. Allowing life to ‘just happen,’ instead of being intentional about my time and talents. We all have talents, but are we using them?!
The first step has been to limit my multi-tasking, which is difficult since I’ve always identified that as one of my strengths! But instead, think, ‘what is my intention with this task/event/block of time?’
The answer is usually clear…connect with my family, write a blog post, declutter my mind, empty my inbox, meditate, exercise…the list goes on. And in order to realize each of these things to their full potential, it takes purpose and intention.
The second is to create space in my life to be still and quiet my mind. That allows me to fill my reserve so that when life does throw me curveballs, I have more intentionality to surrender to each moment. And those moments are what provide the biggest area of growth.
For me, that usually involves getting outside and connecting with nature. Bundled up for chilly walks with my furry babes always makes me happy and brings peace to my day.
I have a choice over my actions, and how they’ll affect my life (and the people in it). I want to be clear in my intentions, and have my words and actions follow that path. I’m excited to see how that impacts my relationships, spiritual life, health, and work.
What is your one word or goals for 2019? I’m partnering with Backcountry to help challenge you to get outside, connect with nature, and try something new this year that you’ve always wanted to do!
I’m a proud ambassador for Backcountry, and grateful to partner with a company that allows me to dig deeper and share my heart with you. No matter the season, they are my go-to source for all things outdoors. Hiking, skiing, biking, or just walking the pups, I find everything I need to stay warm and dry. They offer a range of popular brands, along with their own affordable Backcountry brand.
I’m linking my Winter walking outfit here, and don’t forget you can use code SUGARPLUM15 for 15% off your entire first order with Backcountry!
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