Have you ever chosen just one word for your year in place of making New Year’s resolutions or goals? While I still make a hefty healthy list of goals for myself, starting in 2014 I adopted the practice of choosing to implement the One Word system, as well. And while no, I haven’t stuck with them or kept them forefront throughout the entire 365 days, these words have crept into my life and guided my steps.
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My One Word for 2018
I knew I wanted to choose a fresh word for the New Year, but had no clue which direction to take. It seems that in the past, the words have chosen me:
The clock was ticking towards 2018, and nothing stood out in neon lights. And for anyone who knows me, you know I like to do things the right way: goals and one word written in stone by January 1.
Then, in a conversation with some friends after church, it struck me: intentional.
Why I chose Intentional as my one word
According to the dictionary, intentional means “to do something on purpose, deliberately.” More specifically, Merriam-webster.com defines intentional as “made, given, or done with full awareness of what one is doing.” Some synonyms include conscious, deliberate, purposeful, and willful.
In many instances, we use this word negatively: to intentionally cut someone off on the highway, one child intentionally hitting another—you get the idea. So why did I choose this specific word?
Well, let’s go back to the definition and those synonyms. In fact, let’s go back even further to my previous three words. If you’ve stuck around the blog for a while, you may have caught the fact that I can often walk around in a mental bubble. I call it focused; others would call it distracted or unaware. It’s the very opposite of present.
Being intentional means directing one’s life instead of life happening to you. Rather than continually beating myself up over the fact that I have an extraordinary ability to focus on one thing (to the detriment of all others), I’m choosing a positive twist. By choosing to be intentional, I’m choosing to pause, step back, and assess each and every situation.
It also means choosing to plan ahead or, at worst, respond in place of reacting to people and circumstances. To be intentional, I need to have a goal and a plan for achieving that goal—even if part of the plan means asking for help in making the plan.
Examples of intentional everyday living
To live intentionally means to know your why for just about everything. I’ve talked about this in the past, specifically in these posts on weight loss and homeschooling. However, here I’m talking about even smaller “whys.”
The why behind getting up at least an hour before my kids.
The why behind teaching my son to prep his own meals and be self-guided in his chores.
The why behind turning off my phone and computer by dinnertime.
The why behind the foods I eat, the books I read, the entertainment I choose for downtime.
Here’s a real-life example from yesterday:
Reagan (5) recently began piano lessons after begging and pleading with me to start teaching him (more on this in my next post). Lesson one was all cupcakes and rainbows and lots of hugs and smiles.
Then the reality of learning a new skill kicked in. And there have been many struggles, tears, and outbursts. And every day I beg God for grace while refusing to let my son quit. Not because I’m a mean mom; it’s because I’ve made an intentional choice to use piano lessons to teach my kids to persevere in the face of difficulty.
And yesterday I told Reagan just that: we don’t take piano lessons to be amazing musicians (although that would be a huge bonus); we take piano to learn and grow into better, more responsible people.
What’s a good “one word” for your year?
Enough about me and my one word. How about you? Have you ever taken the one word challenge? What word would best serve and direct you through this fresh new year? I’d love to hear about it!