Living Intentionally, without Resolutions

There’s nothing quite like the sight of a fitness center during the first couple weeks of January.

No place to park, no empty cubbies to store keys, and every cardio machine is taken by a new gym-goer in cute, matching-from-head-to-toe, color-coordinated exercise clothes.

It is a live showing of “The New Year’s Resolutions.”

Look around and you’ll spot the regulars, trying to wait patiently for their favorite machines, telling themselves that if they just give it a few weeks, the New Year’s resolutioners will fade away and they can get back into their normal, daily, workout rhythm.

Don’t hate me for being cynical.

I bring up the typical January-gym scenario because I, too, find myself hitting the ground running with my resolutions at the first of the year, only to fade away and stop exercising my self-promised-life-changes by about mid-March.

Then usually May comes around and I remember the resolution I made back when the new year promised change and beginnings and pinky-swearing myself I’d finally accomplish X, Y, and Z — and I realize that I started working on X, never got around to Y, and what was Z again?

So I try to refocus and get back into an I CAN DO THIS mindset, but a couple weeks later I’ve forgotten again, and the whole New Year’s resolution thing doesn’t pop back into my head until December 31st.

Because of this pattern, I’ve decided to begin 2019 in a different way.

I love beginnings and the hope of something new. I love setting goals and the refreshing feeling of change. I love the promise that comes with starting fresh, with taking the first step toward something.

I do not love the fact that every year I resolve to do/change/begin/try and not only do I not do it, I usually forget altogether.

So this year, instead of a resolution, I’m setting a word.

A word for myself for 2019.

A word to focus on in all areas of my life, in all roles I play, in all of the work and play I am a part of, in everything – everything I do.

My word for 2019 is intentionally.

Everything I do, feel, think, try, experience this year… I want to do, feel, think, try, experience intentionally.

The big and the little.  The easy and the hard.  The challenging and the fun.

Do it all intentionally.

That’ll look different depending on each day, each experience, each moment; however, I believe by setting a word for 2019, rather than a resolution, I am setting a purpose for every moment of my life this year, rather than a goal that looms over my head until I forget about it altogether.

I also plan on finding ways to make the word visible so I see it all year long. Perhaps a piece of engraved jewelry, and putting it on the front of my daily planner, and framing it and hanging it up in my room…

Any way to remind me to live 2019 intentionally.

So we’ll see how it goes with having a New Year’s word, rather than resolution.  My hope is that I find myself loving and living and feeling and thinking and knowing and breathing every moment of this new year with a purpose, with a focus, with a presence like I’ve never had before.

Which means I may or may not end up at the gym come May…but if you do see me there, you’ll know I’m on that cardio machine sweating it out and jamming to Pandora intentionally.

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Jessie Peele
Jessie is a happy-hour-loving, cupcake-eating, running-obsessed, reality-tv-addicted single mama, currently living in Carrollton, GA. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC, attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!), and taught elementary school for about ten years in Winston Salem, NC. Life brought her to Carrollton in January of 2014, and after four years in Georgia she's still getting used to living in a small town. Jessie was a stay-at-home mama for 3.5 years, but when life took an unexpected turn, she became a divorced mama who found her way back to the classroom. With three kids in tow (Cameron Kate, 7, Everette, 4, and Brooks, 2), she is now a full-time elementary school teacher and a part-time skincare business owner via Rodan + Fields. In the nooks and crannies of her day, she loves running (bonus if it's WITHOUT the stroller!), binge-watching on Netflix, baking and eating anything sweet, drinking a good craft beer/vodka cocktail/cold margarita, and blogging about all things mama-hood on her blog Cupcakes & Running Shoes: