Happy New Year! Mark and I are spending the start of this year down in Florida with my mom, and it has been such a special start to the year.

Today, I want to talk about intentionality.

Every January, the focus is goal-setting for so many of us. We set goals and resolutions for our health, parenting, career, finances, marriage, etc. In fact, the fresh start is one of my favorite times of year!

However, for so many of us, those goals remain exactly that: Goals. We struggle to keep momentum and, in turn, struggle to make progress towards those things.

I don’t want that for you this year! And here’s the not-so-secret truth about making your goals happen: Intentionality.

Let me give you a few examples:

Someone recently asked me how to keep a marriage from growing stale. My answer was, “Intentionality.” You plan fun together and make it a priority, literally putting it on the calendar as a recurring event.  You also have intentional conversations that connect your hearts together, listening well and resisting the urge to fix and instead committing to feel and tune into what your spouse is feeling.

All of that takes intentionality!

Another person recently asked me how to move from parenting kids as a group to parenting them individually. My answer was (yep, you guessed it), “Intentionality.” You intentionally work to listen more and lecture less. You see them as the unique person God created them to be. You set up one-on-one time with each kid–putting it on the calendar–so you can focus on just them. Each of those intentional actions makes a difference!

In my own life, I’ve been challenging myself to do better with meal planning. What’s made the difference? Intentionality. I made a decision (intentionality) to use a meal planning service so the decision of what we’re having for dinner has been easier. I’ve now been thinking about dinner in the morning as I’m working to eat at home more and eat out less.

Too often we lament that things aren’t different in life from what we want them to be, but change doesn’t just happen because we want it to.

? Change happens because we intentionally respond differently.

? Change happens because we intentionally put our priorities on the calendar.

? Change happens when we intentionally look at our thinking and how it might be getting us off track in some way.

? Change happens when we intentionally ask for help from God and from others who can mentor, coach, counsel, and help us make the transitions we long for.

Intentionality is the difference-maker. Today, I want to encourage you to take your goals and think through what intentionality would like for them. What does it mean to eat better? What does it mean to prioritize your marriage? What does it mean to take more time for yourself this year? What does it mean to get closer to God this year?

Let’s start this year with intention!

I’m curious: What does this look like for you? What do you need to be intentional about this year?

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