Is it too late to say Happy New Year? (don’t answer that) Instead of writing a list of resolutions, I decided to choose a single word to encompass the way I want to live my life throughout 2018 – intentional. I looked up the definition of “intentional,” and all the sources I found came down to this – done by design or done with purpose. I want to live my life purposefully. I want to spend my days knowing that what I’m doing is meaningful and obedient to God’s will. This year my goal is to honor Him with my intentions. How can I live in a way that grows my faith and leads others to the cross? How can I work on prioritizing God in every aspect of my life?
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:6 (NIV)
Being intentional will require a LOT of effort on my part. This includes making the intentional choice to view the tasks on my to-do list as opportunities to serve others, to share the gospel and to worship God.
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY TIME.
“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” – Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
Instead of wasting spare time scrolling through social media (because, I mean, who doesn’t?), I want to spend my days doing things that will better myself, or at least make better use of my time. Our days on earth are numbered, and how we spend our days reflects what we value. Am I truly making the most of every day? Am I using my time to build God’s kingdom?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY THOUGHTS.
“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things” – Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
Our thoughts hold the power to drive our emotions, words and actions. When we dwell on something for too long, that can leave room for us to fall into the enemy’s lies. I want to capture any negative thoughts, lies or false hopes that could be clouding my mind, and replace them with the truths of God. Are my thoughts constantly growing me or dragging me down?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY WORDS.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” – Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
It is so easy for mindless chatter to turn into a gossip trap, but we can’t take back hurtful words. If we’re not careful, the way we speak can cause others, or ourselves, to stumble in their faith. I want to practice being slow to speak, and using my words to speak nothing but truth and love. Do my words encourage and build others up?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY RELATIONSHIPS.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” – John 15:12 (ESV)
Whether you just met someone or you’ve known them your entire life, relationships always have room to grow deeper. I want the conversations I have with people to be more than just surface-level, and the memories I make with them to be noteworthy. I want the relationships I have with others to illustrate the love of Jesus so that others and my own faith may grow. How can I cultivate both old and new friendships? How can I demonstrate God’s love in my relationships?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH THIS BLOG.
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples” – Psalm 96:3 (ESV)
Sometimes I catch myself scrambling to write a post because I haven’t in a month… but who’s standard is that? I never promised anyone I would write that often. I want to write each blog post with a purpose; a purpose to reflect Jesus. I want to share my own testimonies with those who I may not have the chance to have a conversation with. Is my primary goal to convey a message from God or write the perfect blog post?
I WANT TO BE INTENTIONAL WITH GOD.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve hurried through my day, only to skim through whatever passage in the Bible I’m at and squeeze in a quick prayer. I want to read God’s word and follow His will more intently. I want to take time to sit and rest at His feet when I’m feeling rushed. I want to learn from Him and listen to Him. Am I truly seeking God’s character?
I pray that this list encourages you in some way, whether you plan to be more intentional in some aspect of your life or you come up with your own word for 2018 – there are still 11 months left! 🙂
----- LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH -----
Subscribe to my newsletter HERE.
February 8, 2018 at 2:12 pm
Finally! Someone gets it…lol. Most New Year’s resolutions fall apart faster than we thought of them. Yet, being intentional in all our affairs can produce so much more!
Thank you so much for sharing.
February 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm
Haha, thank you! I like doing resolutions this way instead, because it’s a mindset to focus on instead of a list of tasks to check off. Thanks for reading!
February 9, 2018 at 3:20 pm
Another great read, Sis. Love you more.
February 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm
Love you too, Pop!
February 10, 2018 at 1:02 pm
Love this! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
February 11, 2018 at 10:26 am
I want to be more intentional this year also! It does take effort and focus on my part! But I do believe God honors it when we are trying to be more intentional with Him and He gives us strength! TY for this beautiful post! XO Donna
February 12, 2018 at 8:28 am
Great thoughts on being intentional – and it’s never too late to share what God is doing
February 12, 2018 at 10:23 am
It takes more time to be intentional but it’s worth every second, every minute. I want to be intentional too. Thank you for the encouragment.
February 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm
Excellent post, Sydney. I want to be intentional in all those places too. Blessings on your day!
February 12, 2018 at 1:49 pm
Sydney, this is so good! I completely relate to every point listed. Being intentional is seen as a timely matter but honestly it’s so beneficial and rewarding!! So pumped for you and your journey through this year!!
February 12, 2018 at 6:32 pm
Thanks so much! I’m excited to see how the Lord uses me.
February 14, 2018 at 12:02 am
Yes! Absolutely! This is so very encouraging. I pray that I will be intentional in all that I do for the Kingdom of God.
February 14, 2018 at 1:03 am
Most people don’t live their lives intentionally. For us to make the most of the fleeting life that God gives us, we must be intentional!
February 14, 2018 at 2:14 am
So agree with being intentional in all the areas you mentioned! Being intentional with my blog is something new for me this year.. may God honour our intentions and use what we write for His glory 🙂
February 14, 2018 at 9:20 pm
I love that it’s been on your heart as well. It’s amazing what God can do when we hand things over to Him!
February 14, 2018 at 5:48 am
Great post, thank you! Beyond just grand resolutions to intentionality and heart – which will carry us further and deeper. Blessings!
February 14, 2018 at 8:19 am
“Intentional” is a great word to focus on. I’ve often wondered if there was a way to actually measure how much time is spent doing activities, such as social media/surfing the web, and then compare it to more meaningful time spent with those we are in relationship with, that we would be so shocked by the amount of time and we would be more likely to prioritize. I’m feeling convicted as I type this, because I know that the numbers wouldn’t look good. I’m glad you’ve chosen intentionality as your focus. I’ve been working on it, too!
February 14, 2018 at 9:22 pm
There are probably websites or apps out there that can keep track of your time spent online. I’d be nervous to see what mine looks like! God can definitely work with the numbers, though. Thanks for stopping by!
February 14, 2018 at 7:59 pm
Love this! It’s so good! Thanks for sharing. <3
February 18, 2018 at 11:43 am
Came back to read this for a third time for some encouragement and motivation. This is too good, Sydney!!
February 18, 2018 at 6:17 pm
Wow Bekah, thank you so much!!!
February 19, 2018 at 1:37 pm
I don’t think I can LOVE this enough. My word of the year is simplicity, which fosters the same idea of being more intentional with things in my life. I am definitely on that journey this year as well. Thank you for sharing this, I know I needed the reminder!
February 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm
I can definitely see the way simplicity can relate; what a great choice and mindset to live by. Thanks so much for reading!
February 19, 2018 at 7:21 pm
Intentional is such a great word to live by for the year!
February 20, 2018 at 8:35 pm
I love this and specifically being intentional with blogging. I often put pressure on myself and it is unnecessary. God will lead me in my writing. Thank you for writing this post!
February 22, 2018 at 8:21 am
SO true! Thanks for reading! 🙂
February 20, 2018 at 11:16 pm
Being intentional is hard work, but when we truly work at it, it can carry a great purpose.
February 22, 2018 at 8:23 am
March 4, 2018 at 2:21 pm
What a great message! I want to be intentional in sharing God’s love with others.
March 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm
I love this, and so needed to read it. I made 2017 a year of being intentional, and have been way to lax about it in 2018. You are right, it takes work. But what a blessing when we put in that effort. Thank you for sharing this!!
March 30, 2018 at 7:45 pm
Thank you! I’ve already seen drastic changes in the way I spend my time.
May 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm
This is just a great post! It is extremely crucial for us to be intentional about every area of our lives. That’s how we consciously decide what gets to stay and what needs to go. What is working for us and what isn’t. Intentionality helps tremendously with living life on purpose. The way we choose to do so! 🙂
May 2, 2018 at 4:21 pm
Amen! Thank you for your sweet words!