Rather than making specific resolutions, I’m starting the new year by focusing on a single word. My 2022 Word of the Year is Intentional.
The last few years have felt like my life was on autopilot. I don’t feel like I was present for most of it. Some of my memories feel detached. And I honestly have no idea what I did with my days. I know I’m not alone in those feelings. It was a strange few years! And while the weirdness may not be over, I’m over living detached. Like Rapunzel, I’m done wondering “when will my life begin.”
Why I Chose Intentional as My Word of the Year
I chose the word intentional for my 2022 word of the year because I feel like I haven’t done anything on purpose in quite a while. And the definition of intentional is done on purpose or deliberate. The chores still get done. My family is still fed. But it’s been without a bigger purpose.
These feelings tie in a lot to my PMDD. I struggled to perform the most basic tasks during my PMDD flare-ups. But I’m learning to better manage it. I’m having a lot more “good days” lately. But so many days of not functioning have left me without a routine or schedule. I want to establish new routines full of intentionality and not just obligation. These routines will help me achieve my goals. They will also help me enjoy the moment. Instead of always worrying about what else I could be or should be doing, I can focus on one thing at a time.
What Intentionality Looks Like for Me
Intention as my 2022 Word of the Year is pretty broad. Living with intention may look different for everyone. For me, living intentionally means prioritizing my goals, my health, and time with my family. I believe those three priorities are best achieved through daily routines and time management. This doesn’t mean writing a big to-do list every day or having a rigid schedule. In my life, rigidity always results in disaster. But it does mean setting intentional goals for each day. These goals should be attainable and flexible.
I operate best on a schedule. It doesn’t have to be a detailed schedule where every minute of the day is planned out. Just a rough outline full of routines and stress-free habits. Since March 2020 I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. Between abruptly selling our house, living with family for a few months, and then moving into our new house full of problems, it’s been chaos. And I have felt every minute of that chaos. My routines suffered. I stopped meal planning. My diet is garbage. I don’t prioritize exercise. Household chores take days to finish. And my sleep is very off. I do not feel good about myself. I’m a mess. And my life feels like a mess.
Establishing an Intentional Schedule
My Morning Routine
I used to enjoy getting up early to have time alone in the mornings. Now I’m stumbling out of bed at the last minute and rushing to get my oldest to school on time. The key to establishing an intentional daily schedule is to get back to my morning routine. When I carve out a little time for myself each morning, my days are better. Plus, an unrushed morning means that I won’t start the day off yelling at the kids because we’re running late. That enriches the time spent with them too.
Setting Daily Goals
Daily goals include anything from cleaning, to exercise, focused playtime and content creation. Certain days and times are dedicated to certain activities. This ensures that they get done without feeling like I’m sacrificing anything else. Before the pandemic, I spent a few months working within a block schedule. The idea of block scheduling is to divide your day into blocks of time. Each time block is dedicated to a specific type of task. The blocks help guide your tasks for the day but aren’t so rigid that every hour of every day is specifically planned. And the blocks can vary by day or week. It’s a very flexible structure. I learned about block scheduling from Miranda Anderson’s podcast, Live Free Creative Episode 56.
I loved my block schedule and want to return to it! My blocks will include time for household chores, exercise, and structured play and learning time with my youngest. Plus, time for content creation, like writing blog posts, taking photos, or filming videos. I even want to include blocks for the weekend dedicated to intentional family time.
I hate cooking dinner. Actually, I hate deciding what to eat in general. I put it off until the last minute. Then I throw something together and am annoyed that it’s not that great. I used to plan out all of our meals for the week on Sunday evening. Plus, we prepared lunches ahead of time too. I always knew what we were eating for the week and made more health-conscious decisions for everyone. This year I’m adding intentionality back into our food. I plan on returning to meal planning and meal prep each week. Then we will always have healthy and delicious food available to eat. Meal planning doesn’t eliminate my hatred of cooking, but it at least takes out the stress of decision-making each evening.
My Evening Routine
My sleep habits are absolute garbage right now. I stay up way too late and don’t take the time to relax before bed. This results in poor sleep, which throws off everything for the next day. This year, I want to return to my relaxing bedtime routine. That means no screens after 10 pm, dimming the lights, and doing my full skin-care routine. A solid night’s sleep is the foundation to living every day intentionally.
My 2022 Word of the Year is broader than a simple resolution. There are so many facets to living an intentional life. And it’s not the most quantifiable goal either. There is no number at which I reach intentionality. Instead, living intentionally means getting the most out of each day. It means actively living the life I want. After years of just trying to survive the life I’ve been handed, I’m ready to take my life back. I’m ready to live life on purpose. Time is so fleeting. And I want to make the most of the time I have left.