New Year, New Intentions

New Year

There is something noble about writing down your goals, intentions, resolutions or whatever you call them, on the first of January, or even before the old year passes the crown to the new. I had always aimed for the same in the past seasons of my life, but I have also been learning this truth: that you get to choose your new year, your goal-setting period, that it will always feel new no matter what time of year when you have a change of heart. 

And so after the two weeks rolled by fast and easy, I hope the new year still feels new to you and encourages you to make that change, to write down the goals brewing in your heart, to try again.  Don’t let the sense of newness leave you. This precious life we have been gifted with is fresh and new every morning after all, for as long as God allows.

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Amidst the digital age, I still believe in the magic of writing down my goals, of penning my intentions into the paper of my little journal, of striking-through words and writing the new ones until I get them right, or they feel right. This process gives me clarity, no matter how messy my phrases and thoughts look like on the pages. More importantly, it provides a nudge, a signal to my brain to commit and do something about them; science says so.

Hence I write down my goals and intentions, old-school style. And I think you should, too.

This year, I’ve taken my time to make the goal-setting process slow and prayed for God’s leading. I fasted on social media to quiet the noise and have been digging deeper, my heart hungry for a change. This season of motherhood feels the right time to revisit the passions of my heart, the things I do which make my soul come alive. It has taken some time, but I am grateful to get here now.

New Intentions

Some of my intentions for the year and what I have been learning so far:

Calendaring of to-dos and vital dates – A piece of paper or a torn page of a calendar posted in the most accessible place does the work. It doesn’t need to be complicated as downloading an app synchronizing two people’s schedules.  The simpler the system, the better. We realize that things get actually done when you commit them to paper.

Fixing a “Me-Time” –  A once-a-week break from taking care of a little human being’s needs and wants is beneficial and therapeutic for my soul. And so on the calendar, it goes.  It’s even more effective when the husband marks it out in the schedule.

Waking up earlier – Almost three years in motherhood and admittedly, I haven’t established a rhythm for myself to be a better steward of my time. I realized I lacked the consistency thus never establishing a routine. It’s true that we have seasons—the pregnancy blues, the newborn stage, the breastfeeding phase, the not-yet-sleeping through-the-night season—when waking up early is out of the question. But I am past those seasons now, and maybe you are too?

This year, I have started reading The Miracle Morning and The Power of Habit and I can tell you how these two books are transforming the way I view morning and most importantly, the time I’ve been waking up. I have time after all to do the things which make my soul come alive if only I stay consistent and intentional enough.

Identifying one word, just one word to focus on for the year – I’m choosing the word SIMPLIFY this year as this has been the far cry of my heart for the past two years. The pull of this word is so strong that it has trickled down to every aspect of my life. I am excited to do more decluttering, purging and simplifying and I have big hopes to share this journey with you on this blog.

Pursuing minimalism – I’ve started my journey on minimalism two years ago when I was deeply overwhelmed and exhausted from all the never-ending cycles of clutter, the long hours it took to clean up a house with just three people who happened to own unreasonable amount of stuff.  (I used to own 200+ of clothing!)

My wardrobe, my home, and my life are still a work in progress but just two years of practicing minimalism and it has already profoundly affected our lives for the better. It has provided us direction on how we raise our toddler especially concerning toys. It has freed up time cleaning and organizing our home because we have fewer possessions, at least in comparison to what we used to own.

Getting outdoor time for the little one – I’m a firm believer of nature and in its natural ways to stir wonder and curiosity in the children’s minds. I grew up in the outdoors myself when smart touch phone was still an idea, when your playground was the whole of your neighborhood and when kids could make do of twigs and rocks and would make the best pretend play.

We are grateful we live in a country where we are able to bring our son outside because parks are abundant and nature is strictly protected. I understand this isn’t practical for others. If we live in a better part of the world, parents, let’s bring our children outside more often. Let’s get our kids seeing, touching, sensing the world.

Quieting down of social media to be fully present – When I turned on my screen time counter in my phone a month ago, I was ashamed of the result it showed me. The average hours I consumed social media could have been channeled to a more productive, more soul-uplifting activities. The time could have been spent physically connecting with people. The hours could have been offered to be simply fully present.

It has been said that we are what we consume. I’m hoping for a more intentional, more toned down use of social media this year.

Being childlike in raising a child – This article strikes a chord in my heart. I have observed this and have been guilty myself: In this generation, we fill our children with so many toys, so many gadgets, so many activities and lessons that we forget to be what they truly want us to be—to be like them, to be childlike. To quote:

What’s missing, and much needed, is us getting on our knees, getting messy, and being imaginative and spontaneous with our child; being silly, carefree, letting loose—being childlike. Being the things we wished our parents had been with us. ~ Vince Gowmon

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It is my prayer that your 2019 will be filled with intentions too and your faith goals will be ticked one by one as the days roll by.

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