Monday, January 3, 2011

An Intentional Year

Very rarely do things just happen.  Actions are always a result of specific decisions. Even choosing not to act is, in itself, a decision. In thinking about the year ahead, whether or not one wants to call them "resolutions," it's helpful to envision what we hope to accomplish intentionally in 2011.

We can make intentional choices to better many aspects of our lives, including:
  • our spiritual lives
  • relationships
  • finances
  • health
  • home-management/efficiency
  • educational growth (subjects we wish to study, whether through classes or books)
  • learning new skills
To accomplish growth in our desired areas, we must devise an intentional plan. Hoping to do something, and seeing if it just happens to come to pass, will not bring it to fruition. Let's identify specific things we can do each day to bring about the growth we desire.  

The Power of One Thing: How to Intentionally Change Your LifeIf I'm in the kitchen in the afternoon, I enjoy listening to Intentional Living with Dr. Randy Carlson on my kitchen radio. His theme is "the power of one thing"--asking ourselves, "What is the one thing we can do today to yield a difference in our lives?" Each day, our "one thing" may be different, but there is always at least one thing we can do intentionally in at least one of the areas I mentioned above (spiritual life, relationships, finances, etc.).

So here are a few of my intentional goals for the year ahead:
  • Get dressed upon rising (harder to hit chaos first-thing)
  • Blog in the morning (or evening) and then turn off the computer for the rest of the day (allowing myself a quick computer check when 2/3 boys are napping)
  • Seriously save for my medical costs and the baby's
  • Print off some of the massive amounts of pictures stored on our computers and work on my boys' scrapbooks
  • Exercise, beyond normal active life with three little boys:), at least three days a week during my pregnancy
  • Continue to find ways to trim our grocery expenses while still eating nutritiously (or more nutritiously!)
What about you? What are some of your intentional goals/resolutions for the year ahead?

(linked to Frugal Friday at


  1. Hi Cheryl -- I have also been reflecting on this topic with the start of the new year. The two biggest things I want to intentionally change/do better at are: budgeting/financial planning and to saturate myself in God's Word. This is different for me from Bible study; more about getting a lot of God's WOrd into me each day so that it starts to ooze out in every practical situation.

    In fact, I was on the computer briefly this morning printing out some information on an intriguing Bible Reading Plan. I have struggled with some of these in the past, but this one has sparked my interest and after only 1 day, I am really liking the amount of scripture I am getting into. It's

    Just curious (and since you have a large blog following), what are some of your spiritual goals this year? I love the practical ones, but am always encouraged to see you point people into truth of God's Word and focusing on the power of the Holy Spirit.

    BLessings. Jodi

    P.S. Getting ready to start Proverbs Volume 2 Bible Study next week. Volume 1 was great and many new ladies have joined us this year. Puggles program for the kiddos (or there is always the night class). Just a thought and a little encouragement like Pastor Paul preached on :).

  2. For cheap meals, I recommend Mary Ostyn's book "Family Feasts for $75 a Week". The recipes are delicious and mostly healthy, can be made even more healthy by trading regular pasta for whole wheat etc. When I cook mostly out of this book, our groceries are much cheaper.

  3. I received that book for Christmas and love it!

  4. I like that book too! Those are really good goals you have. I ended up making a digital scrapbook for my baby's first year at shutterfly and it turned out really nice (and was much easier than doing the scrapbook work myself with little grabby hands around). Just an idea. Personally, I'm going to work on my posture, exercise more, keep up with my daily quiet time, get our legal stuff in order, and be present with my family. To do that, I'm going to turn the computer off right now. :)

  5. Hi Jodi,
    I looked at that plan. It looks great! It is somewhat similar to what I have been doing. Inspired by the One-Year Bible (but then using my own NIV Bible), I have been working my way chronologically through the Bible by reading a chapter or so of the Old Testament a day, followed by a chapter of Psalms/Proverbs/a wisdom book (and then repeating those), and then a chapter in the New Testament. It has been so neat to see how so many things in the Bible just complement each other so perfectly. I remember reading an OT section about sin and guilt offerings, the Psalm about blessed is he whose sins are forgiven, and then the NT reading that day was the Crucifixion. When it lined up that way, it made you really realize the burden of the OT law system Christ freed us from. It was very powerful.
    I also love to read the Proverbs each day. Whatever day of the month it is, I read that Proverb with the boys. There is so much wisdom to put into daily life in the Proverbs (and the rest of the Bible of course!). :)

    Katy-Anne, Amanda, and Bitterroot Mama, I will check into that book. Is the $75 for all meals of the week (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or just dinners?

    I actually started a scrapbook for my littlest on, two years ago :) I need to finish it :)

  6. I'm so excited to have found your blog! I hopped in from WFMW on We Are That Family. You have a lot of wisdom and I am looking forward to future lurking. :) Happy New Year!