There’s something about January that brings a crispness in the air, and that’s not just because it’s cold and windy. There’s a desire to begin anew with a fresh start and a clean slate for the new year. This year, I want to start my year well. I want to have a picture-perfect Pinterest life. I’m sort of kidding about that picture-perfect Pinterest life with a healthy homemade diet, a perfectly decorated home and an incredibly healthy lifestyle where all of the sudden I’m able to run marathons. That’s not who I am though, and although it’s nice, it’s not what I want for 2018. I do want to invest in some key areas of my life over the course of the next year though.
My 2018 Word of the Year
Resolutions seem to die within a few days, so a few years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Instead, I decided that I’d jump on the Word of the Year bandwagon. I went back to the very beginning of last year and started sifting through posts, but I must have never told y’all my 2017 Word of the Year which is crazy as it completely drove everything I’ve done for the past year. What word would that have been? I chose the word ‘Intentional’. That word seeped into my life in ways that I couldn’t have imagined at this point last January. I’ve felt for the past few months that I’m not ready to give up on the word ‘Intentional’ just yet, but that I want to dig ‘Deeper’ into being intentional. This year, I’ve chosen to keep ‘Intentional’ and add ‘Deeper’.
Intentional + Deeper
I want to dig deeper into being intentional in my relationship with God, in my marriage, in my relationships, in my media intake, in decluttering and simplifying my life and in so many more ways. As much as I wanted to scrap ‘Intentional’ a few short months ago when things continued to be hard with that word, I’m so excited to see what is in store.
Are you a Word of the Year person? Have you chosen a word yet? If so, which word did you choose?
Resources I’m Using to Start My Year Well
Part of being intentional and digging deeper into that, I’ve decided to start this year with several different things. It’s tough to be intentional without some sort of plan. I started last year that way, and it went okay. I feel like I learned a lot and became more intentional in certain ways. To start off this year, I feel like I need to start with stating some intentionality in different areas of my life before fully diving into the year. It’s a lot for just a day, so I’ll be taking the whole month of January to really look at this year and decide what I want from it at the end of next December. These are the tools I’m using to help start my year well.
Making a Yearly Prayer
I’ve been thinking about the idea of doing an intentional prayer for 2018 for some time now. A prayer that I can lift up to God as worship and thanksgiving and pour my heart out about my hopes, desires, fears for 2018 as well as my current failures and shortcomings. I’ll be sharing more about how I’m doing this with y’all next week.
Media Clean Out
I feel over-saturated with media lately, especially when it comes to options. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been deleting my list on Netflix list like crazy. I’ve been asking some key questions like: Would I watch this right now? Is this still on my list just because I feel like I need to watch it? Does this add value to my life? I’ve been clearing out so that I can gain some margin back without falling into the black hole of Netflix. Similarly, I’m cleaning up my Pinterest as I get rid of dead pins, pins that no longer match who I am or my hopes and desires and ones that I know I’ll never reference. I’m hoping to also extend this media clean out to my list of podcasts soon as well as who I follow on social media.
No Hang Out January
I’ve decided to not hang out with anyone on weekends in the month of January unless it’s already on my calendar. This leaves open days to evaluate the next year as well as work on some much needed unpacking and organizing around our home. This idea may be the hardest one to stick with when fun stuff comes up, but I think come February I’ll be really thankful for the intentional month of rest and work on our home.
Creating an Intentional Reading List
You may remember my 2017 Reading List. Boy, was that an overreaching and unattainable list for someone who hasn’t read in the past couple of years. Out of the 29 books, I read 12 of them. In reality, those numbers are not as bad as they seem, especially since I read books that were off list like Christine Caine’s Undaunted and Carlos Whittaker’s Kill The Spider. I want to go about next year’s Reading List differently though. I’m still deciding on a few reads, although there may be some kept from last year’s list. Stay tuned to see what’s going on my 2018 Reading List and how I’ve decided to choose the books on it. I’ll share my final list in just a few weeks.
Starting a Devotional with Some Friends
All of my Accountability Group has acquired Annie Downs’ 100 Days to Bravery: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self over Christmas this year, so we are diving in together. I love this intentional piece for two reasons. First, I get to do a devotional written by a writer that I absolutely love. Second, I get to do it with three friends who have been walking alongside me for the past year – a group that was brought together in part thanks to words I read of Annie Downs’ years ago that spurred some major life changes and ultimately led me to doing life with these girls.
Starting a Prayer Journal
Prayer is something I’ve always wanted to have more self-discipline in, especially when it comes to written prayer requests and praises that I can look back on. A sweet friend got me this prayer journal when I was expressing to her how much I desired to get intentional in this area of my life. Somehow, it always gets pushed away though. When my friend surprised me with The Weekly Prayer Project: A Challenge to Journal, Pray, Reflect, and Connect With God by Scarlet Hiltibidal, she not only surprised me with a gift of one but she got herself one and another friend so that we can have some accountability along the journey. I love how simple this prayer journal is set up as an entry to prayer journaling.
Emily Ley’s 30 Day Simplicity Challenge
I love this 30 Day Challenge to jump start decluttering, organizing and cleaning out your home. Emily Ley posts the challenge on her instagram each day ranging from coming up with an easy meal list for stressful weeks to taking a trash bag around your home and liberally chunking things like receipts and other paper build up. Rick and I did this challenge last year. Honestly, it’s probably something I’ll do a few times this year as we unpack and settle into our new home.
Jennie Allen’s Dream Guide
This is something new that a friend sent me the other day that I’ve already fallen in love with. It’s Jennie Allen’s 2018 Dream Guide which covers intentionality and goals in 4 areas of your life: spiritual, relational, personal and work. We’re using the Dream Guide for this week’s date night as we work through and discuss our goals, hopes and dreams for this upcoming year.
What are you doing to kick off the new year with a fresh start?