The first Monday of the New Year is, in my opinion, the most energetic and purposeful day of the year. For many of us today is the day when our resolutions really start. We're going to finally do that thing that we've been meaning to do or make that change that we've been intending to make. It's going to happen. This is the time to make it so. We're motivated by the energy of all of the other 'resolutioners' around us; an army of idealists who are all hyper-focused on the tasks at hand.  
    However, underneath the festive enthusiasm, we all know the truth about resolutions. By the end of the month, most of us will have thrown in the towel. Done. Did really great that first week, but by week two?  Forget it. This seems to be the yearly ritual, doesn't it?  Every December 31st we eagerly await that day when we can finally lose those pesky pounds or run that marathon or change our lives forever. Every January 1st we wake up giddy with excitement and determination. Maybe we can hold out for that first month, but by February.....what was my resolution again? 
  I've been a resolutioner in the past.  Finding myself all too often caught up in the peer-pressure of having the most epic of New Year's To Dos.  The last couple of years have been different, this year possibly the most of all.  Something clicked and I realized that these resolutions were similar to fad diets. They offer the illusion of hope and success, but in the end, they just don't work.  They may get me started but they don't have the staying power to create a real change in my character or in my life in the general sense. Resolutions won't get you through the tough stuff. They don't hold up when you get sick, or when you experience soul-crushing losses. Resolutions are quickly snuffed out by fatigue, depression and anxiety.  They are forgotten when real life responsibilities require your attention. Why is this?  It is because New Year's Resolutions aren't real. (For the most part. There are always exceptions, but for our purposes let's stick to the general sense of the idea.) They exist to help us get over our disappointments from the year before and to help us feel like we have purpose going into the next. 
   This year, I am trying something different. I chose a theme word and a Bible verse that cover my goals for my family and my business.  I wrote it out and posted it on my mirror, on the bulletin board in my office, on my fridge and in my car so that I am surrounded by reminders of my focus for this year.  Below is my word and my verse:

INTENTIONAL: adj. done on purpose; deliberate, conscious, meant, studied, knowing, willful, purposeful, preconceived
— Merriam-Webster Dictionary
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9

    Being intentional will be a big deal for me this year.  I found myself sick for almost half of 2015 and felt like the weeks just flew by with me grabbing at moments here and there. Fumbling around trying to create order out of the madness only to have more waves of chaos crash down on me. No more of that nonsense. I will be intentional in my prayer life. I will be intentional about strengthening my marriage and ministering to my husband and children. I will be intentional about keeping my home and about being with my family. I will be intentional about cultivating and caring for my friendships. I will be intentional with my 'yes's' and my 'no's'. I will intentionally choose joy and contentment.  I will intentionally serve in my church and community and will be intentionally generous in my giving. I will be intentional with my work hours and will intentionally build a solid business.  Over all of this, I remember 2 Corinthians 12:9.  My weaknesses are many, and let me tell you....I'm tired. I am always fighting against myself and an, at times, overwhelming sense that I am nothing more than a glorified failure. This year, I will work to set aside the guilt and the worry and the feelings of failure and will instead, focus on God's grace and allow it to flood into all of my brokenness. Oh to feel that peace! 

     What about you?  What goals or focuses do you have for this year?  

  Side note: In my efforts to be more intentional with my time, I will be doing things a little bit differently business-wise beginning this year.  The ordering process for all wedding items and for custom artwork will be changing and I will be also be changing my class format and offerings. My blog format will also be going through a major overhaul (happening this week). The plan is to launch the new offering catalog by the end of January.  

Blessings, Jessica