Throughout the month of December as we approached the start of a new year, we were seeing many fellow photographers and creatives post online about choosing their word of the year for 2018. Up until this year, we had always discussed having a word of the year but we either never got around to choosing one or we didn’t stick with it past the first few weeks of January. This year, it was heavy on my heart to choose a word that Michael and I could focus on in several areas of our life. After praying about it for several days, I had felt that God was continuously telling me to be more intentional and He was pointing out areas of my life that I wasn’t as intentional as I should be. Not only our business, but in my friendships, relationships and in my walk with God. I was not giving of myself in the way that I should to the people and things in my life that God had blessed me with.
After talking with Michael about choosing a word, we both agreed that INTENTIONAL had to be our word for the year and we were determined to apply it every aspect of our lives. We couldn’t think of any other word that we wanted to keep in the forefront of our minds that would potentially accomplish all that we wanted it in our lives for the year.
What does INTENTIONALITY look like in our lives?
For our business:
- More client lunches/dinners, just to get to know our couples
- Investing in more education than ever before to continue to expand our knowledge as photographers and business owners
- Developing our existing relationships with fellow vendors in the wedding industry
- Evaluating our client experience to look for areas for improvement
- Sharing more about our personal lives so that our couples get to know us better
- Being more adventurous in our techniques and with our goals
For our relationships with family & friends:
- Spending more quality time with our families
- Taking my mother-in-law to lunch on a more regular basis
- Having friends over for dinner that we haven’t seen in awhile
- Working to maintain existing relationships by inviting friends over for dinner
- Building on new friendships by doing more lunch/coffee dates
- Praying over our friends specific prayer needs
For our marriage:
- Doing a date night at least once a month
- Answering our “Q&A Journal” each night
- Talking to one another about more than just Isaiah & the business (this is harder than it sounds)
- Making an active effort to love each other in our love language
- Allowing one another free time to do other things that interest us
- Praying for one another every day, before we start the day
Our relationships with God:
- Spending quality time with the Lord daily (even if it’s only for 10 minutes while Isaiah takes a catnap)
- Praising God before we make prayer requests
- Listening to podcasts of Christian leaders in the car, rather than overplayed radio music
- Reading scripture to Isaiah
- Speaking to others who may have questions about having a relationship with God
- Trusting God and choosing not to worry when things are uncertainFun fact about this photo: When I was looking for a photo to include on the blog for this section, I thought of this photo I took over 2 years ago of my friend Alexis holding open her Bible, but completely forgot that it included her journal, which ironically says, “Live every day with intention.” God has a funny sense of humor sometimes.
Although we definitely have not excelled in all the above areas so far, we are consistently mindful that INTENTIONALITY is our goal for the year. If we are living each day with a mind that is INTENTIONALLY focused on our relationship with God, our friends and family, our business and our marriage, then 2018 might just be our best year yet.
Having a word of the year to focus on keeps us mindful, not only of goals for the future, but that each day is a chance for us to INTENTIONALLY excel in an area above. Somedays, we don’t excel at being intentional in every area of our lives. For instance, when Isaiah is being especially fussy and it would be easy to let our frustration out on one another, we have to INTENTIONALLY choose not to to show we value our marriage more than our pride. When our morning starts off unexpectedly and the day gets away from us, we have to INTENTIONALLY choose to do our devotion for the day (even if it’s 5pm when we remember to). When life is really busy and we are tired from a long day, but a friend needs us, we have to INTENTIONALLY make time for them (and not just say, “let’s get together!” and then never make actual plans).
Focusing on our word for the year each day gives us clarity on what is truly important, and that is to be INTENTIONAL in every area of our lives that we can.
Do you have a word for the year? We’d love to hear it!
Michael & Chelsea