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“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.” Louise Hay 

Definition @ Merriam-Webster for intentional:

Done by intention or design; intended. 

Definition @ Merriam-Webster for intention:

A determination to act in a certain way; resolve; what one intends to do or bring about; the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered.

Instead of making resolutions I never kept, I’ve chosen a word for the year since 2012. Resolutions overwhelmed me, whereas a word seemed easy to remember, easy to manage, and easy to live up to. 

Here’s my list from the beginning:

2012 Incremental

2013 Ponder

2014 Content

2015 Revise, Momentum

2016 Love

2017 Self-care

2018 Simplicity

I have no idea how or why my word for 2019 changed abruptly from “release” that I decided on in October to “intentional” that popped in my head and stuck the week before Christmas. I don’t remember what brought “intentional” to mind, so I don’t have a cool story to tell about it. 

When a friend asked my word, I said, “I need to blog about intentional, but I’m not sure what to say other than it’s been chosen.” 

She suggested I write about my intentions for my book and baking cookies for her and our group of friends. I laughed about the cookies, agreed about the book, and began what was meant to be a short blog post.

I planned to keep walking daily and setting aside morning quiet time before writing and checking social media. Just like the second half of last year, I’d keep up my routine of journaling, reading from an inspirational daily reader, and finishing a few pages from whatever book was on my nightstand. I’m in the middle of and recommend Lysa Terkeurst’s book about her health and her husband’s infidelity, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered. 

In addition to a daily reader and a book, I added reading two to three chapters from the Bible, which was always an aspiration, but never a practice until about a month ago. 

Intentional things I’ve added since January 1stinclude going to bed earlier, eating healthy snacks, and taking a shower early in the day. Putting it off is easy to do since I work from home. 

This is how I expected my blog post to read the first go-round. However, when I started ruminating and rambling, it turned into a lengthy lament about how I wanted to be intentional in my relationships. I wasn’t being intentional at all, though. I wrote on and on and on. 

When my husband proofread it, he asked what was my point. I said, “I want to get on with my life … do the things I listed without people getting in the way.” 

He looked confused because I’d let people get in the way of my blog post. 

For those of you who follow me, you know my slogan for the past couple of years has been “Getting your own life while loving the people in it.”  

After hearing my husband read aloud my original post, I was pretty sure it wasn’t working. I carried on like a crazy person about a relationship that’d taken an odd turn after Christmas. I’m not sure I was practicing the loving part, but I was certainly making a point and straightening them out and stirring a pot that needed the spoon thrown out the window. My blog post was a kneejerk reaction, and just when I thought I was better. 

Since I’m a wanna-be-recovered codependent, I felt frustrated for days. I took off from writing a couple of those 24 hours to reevaluate what to do about relationships when I get into a panic about them. It dawned on me … take my own advice and get my own life, that’s what. Get my focus off of them, onto me and my purpose and my God, and live. This is the best thing I can do for all of us. 

Besides walks and quiet time and early showers, I want to be more intentional about howI feel especially when I’m around people and whatGod wants me to do besides fret about them. I want to keep in mind that if there’s anything to be done about people, it’s likely a kind word, a pie, and a prayer, not advice or a wagging finger or a pointed (no, I didn’t say poignant) blog post … not yet, anyway. 

I’m kidding … not ever, not ever, not ever. 

One of the days I took a break from writing, this anonymous quote showed up in my daily reading, “Daily vigilance will turn out to be a small price to pay for my peace of mind.” 

I took this saying to heart and as a sign that my best word for 2019 is intentional, which means living my purpose and living my slogan … 

With an emphasis this year on getting my own life.   

If resolutions don’t work for you, I hope you’ll consider selecting a word for the year. If relationships don’t work that well either, I hope you’ll consider getting your own life. It’s freeing when we practice it. 

We’d love to hear about either one if you’d like to share. I hope you will. 

In This Together, 


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