The Art of Being Intentional

Drumroll, please! I’m sticking to the promise I made in my last post (found here) to tell you guys about my New Year’s resolution. The problem is, I don’t want to call it a “resolution.”  That word, in my mind, has come to have a negative connotation with it. I don’t know if it’s the countless years of promising to do something and stopping a week later that’s given me a bad taste in my mouth, or the genuine thought of only having goals because it’s a new year. Either way, count me out.

This year, I’ve chosen to start every day with a phrase. My mom first brought this to my attention when she said she just wanted to “be intentional,” when doing things. The more we talked about it, the more I realized how great of a goal this would be for my life. From simply being intentional about saying “hello” to a stranger to intentionally waking up and making it to the gym every morning, this phrase can be personal to everyone’s needs.

I’ve chosen to hold off posting about this daily goal until now because I wanted to make sure I was serious about it. According to the Today Show, January 17th is the day that most Americans abandon their resolutions. It was on that morning that I had woken up and intentionally dragged myself to the gym despite not wanting to go. When I got home and heard the anchors discussing being done with resolutions I felt so proud of myself. I didn’t do it because it was a goal for the new year, rather, I did it to be intentional about a healthy lifestyle.

Since making this daily change, I have told many people about how my mom and I have chosen to live. One friend of mine told me her friends’ experience with choosing a new word to live by every year. Through the word of the year, this friend has challenged herself to do so many things, for example, stepping out of her comfort zone in huge ways like skydiving.

This even stuck with my older sister, pushing her to write a lovely Facebook post. On the days where being intentional is hard because I’m stuck inside due to extreme weather, her post has added gasoline to my dying fire. Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 11.03.18 AM.png

The thought of “being intentional” hits everyone differently. It can provoke a new way of living for each person who is willing to change their way of thinking.

Like always, I have to say,  life is different for everyone. Some people have goals to lose weight while others want to socialize more. Being intentional makes you stop and think about what you are doing and the underlying reason to why.

Why did I stay in and watch a movie I’ve seen a thousand times rather than going out and spending money to see a new movie? Maybe I’ve saving to make my travel goals a reality. Why did I hold the door open for a stranger? Maybe it’s because human interaction is what I thrive on. It can be little moments like this, or moments thinking about something as big as your career, where we make a conscious choice to be intentional about what we’re doing.

So, what’s my daily goal for this year? Good days, bad days, and every day in between, I’m choosing to be intentional.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

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The Art of a Resolution

3, 2, 1. . . It’s officially here, the beginning of a new year! 365 chances to become someone better. It’s that serious time of the year where no matter who you follow on Instagram or Twitter they are talking about what they are going to change about themselves physically, mentally, or what they’re going to do better. We all have that small voice in the back of our minds saying, “This will be my year,” so we promise to ourselves that we will spend less money on stupid things, go to the gym every day while eating perfectly, or some other unrealistic goal with no actual plan. All of a sudden, after week one or maybe a month, you have failed to continue towards your goal, and you tell yourself, “There’s always next year.”

Another year, another goal that you just didn’t have time for, or it was really too hard. There are a couple problems with most of our New Year’s resolutions. For starters, they are usually unrealistic; are you really going to all of a sudden drop half of your body weight after never working out or eating well a single day prior to this resolution? Are you really going to spend less money on materialistic items after you’ve never paid attention to what you buy or how much money you spend? Losing weight or aiming to spend less money on things isn’t unrealistic, but losing a large amount of weight or cutting your spending habits cold turkey is. Instead of saying you’re going to lose weight, focus more so on smaller goals, for example, packing a healthy lunch every day versus going through the drive-through every day. These small changes can work up to a larger goal. When you think you have reached that small goal make another and then another, working your way up to that larger goal.

Another problem with our new goals is that we don’t hold ourselves accountable. It’s important to write down your goals or maybe tell someone who you’re close to what you’re working towards. Doing something small like writing your goal on a notecard and sticking it to your mirror so you can see it every day will help remind you of your goals each morning. Furthermore, after making a goal do you reflect on how well you’ve worked towards it each week? Mentally telling yourself what you did well towards your goal the past week or what you need to do better the next week (or physically writing it down) can be extremely helpful when it comes to reaching a goal.

Finally, another problem we have when it comes to the goals we make at the beginning of the year is that we don’t make it a habit to change. We often want the change to happen right when we decide it, so when we don’t see the change in the mirror, our wallet, our everyday environment, or any other place we expect to see a change, we often feel like giving up. It’s important to realize that everything takes time, and practice makes perfect. You can’t expect to drink more water each day if you don’t try to be consistent about it. Practice and consistency create habit. Once you create habit you will see a change; maybe not overnight, but little by little you will see it and feel it.

Overall, the new year is a great time to take a look at your life to make a change. No matter what you decide to change, whether big or small, be realistic, keep yourself accountable, and make a habit. If you aren’t going to be serious about your goal, do you even really want to make a change that badly?

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

 

(My) 2016 in Review

Hello all! I hope that everybody enjoyed their holidays and that they got everything they wished for! As for me, I got my wisdom teeth out three days before Christmas, so I spent the holiday in pain although I was surrounded by my favorite people; my family.

As with every year, once you make it to Christmas, the rest of the days fly by and it isn’t too long before everyone is boasting about how 2017 will be their year. I like to take the last few days of the year to chill out, enjoy my family and friends, and reflect on the year I had. Originally, I planned to get this out before the end of the year, but my procrastination got the better half of me.

I have been through and done a lot this past year, so I thought I would write an entry about things I have learned and where I hope the lessons will lead me.

I want to first say that I went into 2016 feeling better than ever because I knew I was only a couple months away from finishing high school. It was a little bittersweet for me at the time and looking back on it because everything I did was most likely the last of it. I tried not to wish away the year, but honestly the last months of high school flew by. By the time May hit (graduation month) I had such a busy schedule. I went to my cousin’s wedding out of town, watched my dad retire from 30 years of military service (it’s a huge deal), and then attend my own graduation, and my graduation party. I had a really busy last month of high school. I was sad to see it go, yet I was hopeful for what my future held.

Once June hit I was working 2 jobs, planning vacations and beach days, and trying to spend every last waking moment with the people I love. It was a busy summer to say the least. I blogged about most of my trips, so I won’t bore you with those details again. I loved summer. I really had to manage time between my family, friends, and work while gearing up for college. As the last days of summer began to wind down, I started to get emotional. It was the first time that I was going to have to work for the relationships that I wanted to keep, and it was very difficult for me at some points to even say goodbye. In the end, I had to leave no matter what, so I had to say my goodbyes while trying my best to stay in touch.

By the end of August, I was moved into Central Michigan University. The first week before classes began I attended CMU’s “Leadership Safari”. It was a great way for me to meet many new people, learn a lot of leadership skills, and get acquainted with my new home. It began with early mornings, long days, and even later nights. My first semester was all about new beginnings while learning the “ways” of college. Let me tell you, it was not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done, but I met some awesome people who helped me along the way. At the end of the semester, it was weird to say goodbye to people that I had spent almost every day with to come home to old friends.

Christmas vacation was the end to my year. I think that I have spent most of my time on the couch, doing nothing. I stayed in touch with some friends but not all. I definitely made some mistakes this year that I am not proud of, yet there is a new beginning after each new day to make things right and make a change. As with each new day there are new years to make new mistakes and chances to grow from them.

2016 was a really big year for me. It was filled with ups and downs like most years. I am confident entering 2017, and I am hopeful for what the year will hold for me and my loved ones. Cheers to 2016; hello 2017!

-Krystal, With a “K”