Last year I decided to quit writing New Year’s Resolutions. I instead set a word to focus my year, and that word was purpose. It worked well as I prefaced all big decisions in my life in 2014 with the idea of “Purpose.”
I struggled to find a new word for 2015, as I now understand the power of the word you choose to set the tone of your year. One year I kept talking about how much change was happening in my life, that “This was the year of change.” and let me tell you, the universe provided more than enough upheaval that year, so I learned to quit saying it, and life did settle down. Coincidence? I think not.
So this year I set out to come up with a word that continued to allow me to clearly focus. I wasn’t unhappy with the word purpose, and after a lot of reflection, I selected a word that is a cousin to “Purpose” , and the word is “Intention”. Intention has a variety of meanings from a variety of sources. Intention according to www.dictionary.com
The idea of having a deeper meaning or significance is what struck me about this word. It allows me to look at the world with a few different lenses.
First, what are my intentions? When I make a decision or take action, what am I doing, and why? What will be the impact on myself and those around me?
Second, do I create actions that match my intentions? If all I do is sit and think about something, then nothing will actually be created and that is a waste of time and effort. When getting involved in projects, what are the intentions of others? Do they match my goals and values?
Finally, using the word intention really allows me to stop for reflection, something I feel is important and yet I struggle to find time to do. I get so busy in the day to day actions and reactions of teaching, peer interactions, family and life that I often lose sight of what really matters. I get to do lists so great that no human being could ever complete them with any sort of integrity. There are many things I want to do, but using the lens of intention, I hope to focus my thinking to set priorities that are meaningful both to me, and those around me.
I created this movie about my word that I will be sharing with my students. I will be asking my kids to complete this same activity, setting a word or perhaps a phrase that will help them focus on their year.
Word study with dual purpose, or intention. Hmm…