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With a new year, brings new intentions. Intentions are important because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. What you focus on is where your time and energy will go towards. You can be intentional about work, hobbies, relationships, etc. One way our team is setting their intentions is through writing them down! So, here’s the question we asked, “What’s an area of life that you are putting focus on this year?”

 

Heather: For the last three years, instead of crafting New Year’s resolutions or selecting one word to focus on, I’ve determined a theme that I carry out across all areas of my life. It comes from patterns I notice when I develop my annual goals for the year. In 2019 my theme was to Love Well Through Intentional Time. In 2020 my theme was to Be The Invitation. And, this year I’m stepping forward and claiming my theme to Unplug and Connect. Rest and a slower pace were two surprises that came in 2020 and, with both, I learned that maintaining those within my days made for a healthier Heather. I’m determined to unplug – from work, from devices, from distractions, from all the noise – and connect – with family, with friends, with nature, with my body, with God.

 

Kerry: I wrote in our last blog post about how I planned out goals for 2021 that would make a big impact on my life, not just goals that look good on paper. So, when I sat down to look at the stressors, dreams, and priorities in my life, the following goals floated to the top. I will prioritize my mental health by journaling, meditating, and managing stress. Plan something fun to celebrate five years of marriage. It will likely be delayed due to COVID, but we want to go to Ireland for our anniversary. We are slowly renovating our home, so I want to tackle the biggest house project still on our list, particularly those that impact our everyday life. And, I want to continue to pay off debt. This was a big focus of 2020, and I feel so much relief and excitement from the progress we’ve made.

 

Kristina: This year, I am being intentional in growing about my spiritual health. I lost my connection with God tremendously in 2020. After the tornado hit Nashville, the church we called home closed for repairs. With COVID close behind, it took some time for them to get things back up and running. Sundays went from church and lunch dates to talk about what we learned to days filled with to-do list items and football. I want that to change. I want to grow in my relationship with God. When I feel closer to God, my life feels full and whole.

 

Sarah: I have always known the order of self care for me must start with my relationship with God, then my family and then work. This year I am prioritizing all three of these things in this order and sticking to it. With young kids and growing in my career, work and family can become the front runners of my life and my spiritual life then takes the back seat. When this is the case I am more uneasy, less patient, less understanding and way more controlling. I work for my family and my vocation as a mom is my greatest call from God. Reading the daily readings and sitting in prayer for 30 minutes before I jump online is key to this operation and a practice I am determined to lead with daily.

 

Manning: This year I am focusing on my internal health and paying attention to how my body feels. For too long, I have focused on health in relation to my appearance but this year I decided to shift that focus. Listening to my body and showing myself grace where needed is something I hope to grow in throughout this year. It’s amazing how much better I feel about myself too!

 

Hannah: This year, I am focusing on my mental and physical well-being. For so long, I have let this slip through the cracks and made excuses for why I didn’t have time to set these things as a priority. This year, I intend to do more things that make me feel good inside, and out, and listen to my body when it says otherwise. I’m also focusing on being nicer to myself. My friends and family constantly tell me that I am too hard on myself, in almost every aspect of my life, so focusing on just becoming a better version of myself overall, is a main focus of mine this year.

 

Hayley: My intention this year is to enjoy the present. In the past, I have focused heavily on goal setting and reaching new milestones. This year, I just want to learn how to enjoy life and where I am at in the moment. I moved to a new city with my best friends this year and I am looking forward to exploring it. I plan on making new friends when it’s safe to do so, spend more time on hobbies, and learn to have productive rest.

 

Olivia: This year, I’m focusing on loving myself, listening to my body and mind and giving it what it needs. I will give myself grace and speak to myself as I’d talk to someone I love. I tend to be my own worst critic, though I know how detrimental negative self talk can be. I will be intentional with recognizing these thoughts and shifting the dialogue. I will also make time to move my body, continue to nourish it, and appreciate its ability to move.

 

Brittany: In 2021, I’ve chosen to focus on learning. I graduated from college in the spring of 2020 but I still have a spirit of curiosity that I want to explore beyond the classroom. While public relations is my expertise, history is a huge passion of mine! In fact, when I was in college, I took a history class every semester to add some fun into my everyday life. Post-college, I noticed that I’ve abandoned this interest amidst launching my career and moving across the country. So, this year, I’ve made a promise to myself to read at least one history book during every month of 2021. To make sure I hold myself accountable, I even made a visit to my local Barnes & Noble store on January 1 to purchase all twelve of those books ahead of time.

 

Tiffany: This year, I’ve decided to choose myself. I’m being intentional about pouring into myself the way I’ve done for others over the years. That starts with making the effort to spend more time with God in daily devotions, practicing positive self-talk, being intentional about what I choose to put in my body, consistent therapy sessions, and leaning on my support system a little more.

 

Brooke: In 2020, I had a wake up call in two areas of my life: my relationship with the Lord and my emotional awareness. That being said, I want to carry my new perspective into the new year. New Year, New Perspective! Am I right? (talley every time I said “new”) My goals for intentionality are to protect and prioritize time alone with the Lord. Secondly, I recently realized that I tend to push my emotions down and will be “fine” until things take a terrible turn for the worse. I am an external processor, so it’s hard for me to understand my feelings on my own. That said, I am making it a priority to intentionally write down feelings, gratitudes, and thoughts each day. Along with that, I am practicing sharing my feelings in the moment because expressing my feelings Does.Not.Make.Me.Hard.To.Love! Cheers to introspection and growth in 2021, sisters!

    AUTHOR: Heather Adams
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