So for the past couple of years I have started January by choosing my One Little Word, a concept I first found through the wonderful world of scrapbooking. Ali Edwards teaches a class all about how she started this tradition for herself, how you can find your own word that has personal meaning, and how you can use your word to help you keep sight of your goals throughout the year. In her own words: a single word can be a powerful thing. Although I haven’t taken her class myself, I have been picking my word and using it like a blazing torch to guide me through my year. I would say that my past few words have been more focused on helping me with my business; for example, last year my word was simplify, which was perfect for my transition to photographing just newborn sessions and to offer all-inclusive packages. My word actually helped me in many more ways, both business and personal, and I was glad to have it front and center when I had to make some tough decisions.
This year I knew that I wanted to choose a word that encompassed both work and life, as I see the gap between these two worlds closing in. One word quickly jumped out at me and fit like a glove:
Yes, intentional would be the perfect word to guide me this year, since I know we have a lot of exciting changes and big adventures coming our way that we will need to be deliberate about. Intentional also brings to mind this excellent course we took last winter from the Happy Family Movement called Intentional Parenting. I smile when I think about it and that is always a good thing.
Rewind to December 31st, 2013 – like a bjillion other people out there my thoughts were turning to making my New Year’s resolution(s). Then I had this epiphany (which by the way is a favorite word of mine), that I wasn’t going to make any resolutions this year at all! Just think about what a resolution is by definition: a promise you make to yourself to make some change, an act of self-improvement usually. Key word here is promise. So then when things go awry and you don’t “keep” your resolution you basically are breaking this promise to yourself and feel like a big giant failure. Yuk. Ok, so no resolutions, but I did want to start the year with some aspirations, goals, and direction. Enter my word for the year and ta da, I decided to create some 2014 Intentions instead.
You see, intentions are different than resolutions, they are not this concrete thing, but allow for some flexibility which is pretty awesome. Intention means that you are doing something on purpose, being deliberate, a course of action one intends to follow (but it is completely allowable if that course morphs over the year, taking you down whatever path you need to be on), and how you feel on your journey to reach your goals. Intentions feel so much more like a plan; I like plans. So here I am now, sharing my 2014 intentions with you all. Maybe they will spark something for you; I encourage you to share your intentions for the New Year with me in the comments below too.
My 2014 Intentions:
Visit small farms for some first-hand experience and insight into our future farm plans
Build creative/crafty time into my work schedule
Enjoy relaxed mealtimes together as a family
Spend some time each week disconnected from electronics/media/internet
Share more of who I am with the families I photograph
Attract like-minded people that I can help and serve with what I have to offer
Breathe, relax, and laugh when faced with difficulties