2016: an intentional year

from my instagram:
“I love a new year! A fresh start. A clean slate. A beautiful spotless future. I’ve been doing this #onelittleword thing for 5 years now. I have focused, survived, thrived, and radiated. But this year is my favorite word yet: “intentional.”

Last year, I was along for the ride and literally flew by the seat of my pants, often coming home and crashing at the end of the day or spending time doing whatever because I was too tired to do something worthwhile, to do something intentional.

Well this year, I want to be more intentional about the time I have. If I’m working, I’m working. If I’m relaxing, I’m really relaxing. If I’m spending time with others, then my whole head and heart are in the game! Intentional is all about making a good life happen in the million moments that make a life! Here’s to a great year! A fun year! An intentional year!”

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And that you have it friends, my word of the year. I’m really excited about it! And I’m extra excited because for me, writing on this blog should be intentional. I think about why I started it in the first place…as a way to contribute good to the world. That means that this is meaningful time on many levels. 

First, it’s meaningful because it causes change within. Delighting daily changes the way you see the world. You find happiness and joy in the little moments. You appreciate the small things. You take opportunities you might have otherwise let pass by. Writing about these moments is powerful because in order to do so, you have to retain them and remember the impressions you’ve had throughout the day. You have the opportunity to look back and reflect on the day you’ve lived and to be grateful for what you’ve experienced.

Second, it’s meaningful because it’s positive change. A quote I recently ran across states: Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it’s the thief of everything. Keep your eyes on your purposeful path. Celebrate others. Celebrate progress, not perfection. Cultivate gratitude over comparison. Gratitude turns what we have into more than enough.” (Lara Casey) Cultivating an attitude of gratitude (thank you President Uctdorf) changes everything.

We live in a world where comparison happens almost below our radar, almost imperceptible. We look at social media with the mindset that we just want to stay up on our friends lives and know what they’re up to. I don’t know about you, but I know that that is my intent, but it can so easily fade into comparing their haves and my have-nots and I learned that it goes both ways.

So how do we recognize and respond appropriately? By intentionally delighting daily! We cultivate gratitude in our hearts for things that bring us joy. In this process we recognize God’s hand in our lives, the hand of kind neighbors and friends and we develop spiritual eyesight to see with greater perspective and appreciation all the countless blessings the Lord has provided for us. We examine our lives in a new way and see the world through a new lens. Our kindness grows, our compassion deepens and we find root in keeping our eyes on our purposeful path, contributing good to the world in whatever way that looks like for us.

Third, delighting daily is meaningful because it contributes good to the world. This is at the heart of why I delight. My life mission statement is as follows: “It is not enough just to be good, you must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you, must be spread to others (President Gordon B. Hinckley).” We live in a world where good and evil are polarizing and we’re all on the field, just deciding which team we are going to play for. The outcome has already been decided though (thank you God’s Plan of Salvation for all his children). With our actions, we choose what we will add to the mix. Will we add stubbornness and pride? Will we add pessimism and a bad attitude? Will we add joy and happiness? Will we add compassion and love? Will we add diligence and perseverance? I admit, I add a little bit of everything sometimes, but ultimately, my heart desires most to contribute something good. Be it a smile or a compliment, a helping hand or a hug. Even if it just provides people a place to read something and by the end feel uplifted, then I have contributed good.

My invitation to you is to join me. Join me here in the comments. Join me in your own blogs and social media ways. Join me by delighting daily, by intentionally contributing good to the world and by being a little kinder.

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