I just got off the phone with my mom and before we hung up she said, "Ohhh my! That sweet voice in the background!! When we hang up, can you record that?! This time is so precious!!" She's right. So many days I stop and listen to what's happening in our house and smile, thinking about how blessed I am to be in this moment with these little people. There are also the days when they're running and screaming like mad men and I wonder what I've got myself into!! LOL!! It's not all saintly over here ;-) but so grateful!!
With the New Year I always set goals and kind of map out what the year might look like. I pray for God's guidance and direction in the coming months because I can plan my life away in vain if it isn't in line with His will. Usually I end up with a few words for the New Year so I wrote it in our planner: "Be Intentional - With Purpose - On Purpose - Decided"
For me, living every day "with purpose, on purpose" has been something I do in spurts. When I have a specific goal I'm reaching for or trying to achieve I'm super intentional but living every day like that (especially days at home with the family) takes a lot more effort! I fall into just letting life happen to me, taking it as it comes and drifting versus treating each moment as if it were supposed to happen (because it is!) and making decisions and taking active steps to reach even our simplest goals.
Here are a few things that are helping me to live more intentionally this year.
1. Realize Life is Made up of Choices
I think this is why affirmations are such a great way to start the day. It's a reminder of who we are and what attitude we choose to face the day with! I wrote mine a long time ago using a template from Zig Ziglar as a launch pad (click here to see that template). Still working on writing one for the boys, but for now I just have them each look in the mirror and repeat after me things like "I'm a sharing friend! I'm a nice brother! Jesus loves me!! I love my brother!" They get so giddy and always do the entire thing with a huge smile/laugh.
2. Re-Evaluate my Surroundings
Taking a step back to think about where my time has gone over the past two weeks is sometimes shocking! Take it all in. Who did I spend time with? Where did I go and what did I do? How much time did I spend on my phone or computer? The number of hours is shocking! This could almost be a monthly assessment to see where I want to change. Do I need to make some new friends who are more in alignment with where God has me right now?
One thing I have to keep reminding myself is that great changes will never happen if I'm doing the same things. It might be uncomfortable to change my surroundings but it may be crucial to my growth.
3. Invest in Myself
This might feel incredibly selfish if you're a mama like me but really this is less of a pampering session and more of a chance to get back in touch with yourself and your purpose. It could be as simple as reading the Bible, journaling or taking a walk alone. I've just realized that I'm a better person for everyone if I take some time by myself. This year I'm working through a book called, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and it's a game changer. There are assignments within the book that will push you to take time for yourself each week and it's such a therapeutic study.
4. Shift my Goals
I've already set goals but sometimes I need to shift them too. Life happens and sometimes my goals for the month of January get pushed back to February. Actually, Bryce has been a late potty trainer and one of my goals for January is to have him out of pull ups completely. I'm not really the one who has the final say on this goal! lol!! So I'm learning that it's not really an issue as long as I don't make it a big deal and just make adjustments as needed. The feeling of failure only sets in if I don't make it a priority anymore. SO many of my goals have had to be moved to another month or even another year in some cases!
5. Be Present and Stay Focused
These days, being present with the family is a decision we have to make. I'm trying to allot time in the day where I actually put my phone in a separate room, turn off all the screens in the house and play in the boys room, read and actually listen to them. This happened because during my "re-evaluation" I realized that over that week I hadn't really looked in their eyes for something other than getting them dressed, giving them breakfast or fixing their toys. We can go through our entire life like this if we're not careful!
Hope this helps if you live this year more fully!! ;-)
Thanks for reading!