At the beginning of every year, I often think of a word that is my focus for the year ahead. Something that helps me stay in focus and fine tune areas of my life. This year, I could not hone in on just one word that really spoke to me. However, the word INTENTION seemed to come up over and over... and over again. I think my word found me. 

In my therapy practice, I have a couple clients who speak of how they are desiring to live with more intention, adding to my own value of what intention looks like to me. 

This past year, so many things have changed and been stripped down to the bare basics. Working is a luxury that many of us took for granted with daycare options and schools and even grandparents that were no longer options starting Spring 2020 and continuing on into 2021 for many. Having to refocus our attention to our families and our own well-being was critical. Refining schedules and involvement into our family's lives and schooling was high on the priority list. Family time and cherishing our moments with friends became high priority and extremely important. 

However, as we are moving into a phase of life returning to at least phases of normal, we all have to be very intentional (see? There is that word!) about what we are moving back into and possibly away from. 

What are the pieces that we have adapted to that we really want to continue in our lives? Values and learning that we need to continue for the sake of our children? Yes, working less and becoming the "teacher" was a new and stressful time for so many of us. However, I know I can speak to my own heart in knowing that I have cherished (most of) these times. And I know my perspective has changed about many things during this eye-opening time. 

I recently stumbled across a blog that offered this nugget of truth: “Don’t just drift through life. Live with intention and purpose.” I believe that is one of the most important lessons that a person can learn—and the sooner we get it, the better.

Living a simple life certainly requires intentional living.

We live in a world that is hectic, busy, and hurried, yet in the past year have seen what a life if simplicity looks like. We live in a culture that encourages selfishness and excess. And in a society that is rushing to gain more, satisfaction with less is counter-cultural. As a result, we have been taught that working more and having more is better. We have left our children in the hands of others to let others take over their education instead of being hands-on with what they are learning and how they are growing. 

Until now. 


To begin living with intention, we must begin by laying a proper foundation and then add practical steps on top of it.

First, Lay the Foundation.

  • Realize that your life is made up of choices. Every morning is a new day full of decisions and opportunities. You get to pick your attitude and your decisions. You have a say in what  you want the future to look like and how you want to get there! You do not need to be stuck in the same pattern of living that you have been for years… realize that every morning is a new opportunity.
  • Evaluate what is around you.  Living with intention will require you to take a step back and evaluate the culture you are immersed in to determine where it is headed, how it is affecting you, and if it is taking you in a direction you desire. Do you have negative influence or toxic people in your world? You can change that...
  • Examine yourself. I know this past year has offered me a gift in being able to grow and change by working on healing in body, spirit and mind. I am not done yet (are we ever?) and look forward to the ways I can thrive as a result. Give precious time and energy to this endeavor. It is one of the most valuable things you can do.

Second, Add Practical Steps.

  • Decide to live your life. Show up. You need to show up and be an authentic YOU. Showing up is HARD. Trust me. I am working hard on doing this task more and better. I hear it comes easier... The value that you have to offer is like no one else and it is to be cherished. 
  • Define a purpose. We all have a purpose. A way to serve others and contribute to this crazy life in a unique and valuable way! Find a passion to live for that is bigger than yourself. Write it down. It will bring new meaning to your life. 
  • Set goals. Goals move us and goals shape us. Set goals that are directly in line with your defined purpose. By their very nature, they will introduce INTENTIONALITY into your life.
  • Stay focused. We live in a world of constant connectivity and distraction. It is important to prioritize our time and turn off or remove what is not neccessary from our space. Look at the things (clutter, t.v., etc.) that are stealing your joy and robbing your energy so you can be living with intention.
  • Learn from others. There are a lot of amazing and successful people out there! They are invested in self growth and know a few things to take note of. They also possess the humility to learn from others. Identify people accomplishing your purpose and goals. Then, study them and learn from them.

The worst thing you could ever waste is your life. Instead, commit yourself to intentional living and living with purpose. What are the ways you are living with more INTENTION as a learning from the past year? 


“The quality of your commitments will determine the course of your life.” – Ralph Marston




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