Good Intentionals

I am NOT making a New Year’s resolution. I have found they don’t work for me and, in fact, cause more problems than good.

Yesterday in church Dan, our associate pastor, talked about taking off the old self and putting on the new self (Colossians 3: 5-11), which is a great scripture for this time of year. He mentioned three things that will help you reach your goal – whether a spiritual goal or a New Year’s resolution:

1. Pick only one thing
2. Tell someone your goal – someone who will hold you accountable
3. Don’t wait to start over if you mess up

I like this simple little list. It speaks volumes to me.

1. Pick only one thing

One of my biggest problems is becoming overwhelmed with everything I need/want to do. That desk I mentioned above? It’s a part of my sitting room/office which is an unholy wreck. I go in with the intention of cleaning it up but then I don’t know where to start. So I just leave. Maybe I should go in thinking I’m only going to pick up one thing. Or one category of things such as all the bobble heads, as an example. To my knowledge I don’t actually own any bobble heads. Then again, my office is so chaotic I might have a whole collection in there.

Now this concept isn’t new to me. Todd is forever saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” (Icky analogy if you ask me.) Yeah, yeah. I know. But I forget it a lot.

2. Tell someone your goal

This one is not a problem. I tell everybody everything whether they want to know or not. The issue is my lack of pride. So I tell you I’m going to clean up my office and then I don’t do it. Big woo. If you think less of me because I didn’t meet a personal goal I’d set for myself then so be it. No skin off my nose.

This attitude is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I never struggled with the whole, “if I only do this or that, then they will like me.” I’ve pretty much always felt like, “this is me. I’m a good person and if they don’t like me because I’m not rich/pretty/smart/skinny/popular/spiritual/fill-in-the-blank enough then I that’s fine. I’d prefer not to be wrapped up with somebody that shallow.” I can’t honestly say why I’ve always had this attitude and I wish with everything in me that I could transfer that to young girls. Of course, this isn’t to say I’ve never felt inadequate or self conscious or any of those negative emotions because believe you me, I have and still do at times. It’s just not the usual way of how I think.

How is this mindset a curse? Easy! The whole accountability part doesn’t work so well with me. Maybe if I was to ask someone mean to hold me accountable it would be better. I suppose I need a scary drill sergeant who will cause me physical pain if I don’t do it.

3. Don’t wait to start over if you mess up.

Hello! This is where my rationalization hurts me every.single.time. I start a diet on Monday and when I blow it on Wednesday I just go hog wild until the following Monday. Is it any wonder I can’t manage to lose weight?

Perfect case in point. I started Weight Watchers about 10 weeks ago. I was doing great! I was only averaging about a pound a week but that was okay. I’m in this for the long haul so I was pleased with my very slow success. Then I went to Akron for a week. I managed to get a good hour or so of exercise nearly every day I was there, but I didn’t keep track of my food or activities and I didn’t make it to my weekly meeting. Then the following week I was so busy with work and other stuff (like parties three nights in a row) that I dropped the ball again. And let’s not even talk about the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Besides, we had company and we had to entertain them. And entertainment always includes good food you know.

So this year isn’t any different than any other year. I’m not actually making resolutions. Except I think I really am. I’m just not calling it a resolution. I’m planning on being more intentional. Not just this year, but from now on.

There are two quotes that describe me perfectly.

Ignorance is bliss

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

The first quote I will cling to until I breathe my last breath. It makes my life, well, blissful. I’m not a fan of the second quote because I always have the best of intentions. I just have no follow through and I hate that about me. So I am removing it from my repertoire.

Instead of having good intentions I’m going to be intentional about my actions. Instead of saying “it’s my intention to write so and so a note,” I’m going to be intentional about sending a note to someone every Monday. (I just came up with that one and I kind of like it.) Or instead of thinking it’s my intention to lose X amount of pounds this year, I’m going to be intentional about following the Weight Watchers plan. Or instead of it’s my intention to read my bible more, I’m going to be intentional about how I spend my time.

I don’t know that there’s really any difference, but for some reason it makes sense to me. And in the grand scheme of things here, that’s what counts.
So here’s how it’s going to play out:

1. Pick one thing

I’m going to be more intentional. That’s all. I have a lot of goals and I’m going to be more intentional about how to meet them. I might not meet them in 2012 and that’s okay. Except for my office. I really hope I realize the goal of having my sitting room clean and organized and conducive to being creative and productive before the end of the month!

2. Tell someone your goal

Um, I think this one is pretty clear. But for those of you who are a little slow on the uptake, I’m telling you right now. I’m going to be more intentional.

3. Don’t wait to start over if you mess up

So when I blow it tomorrow morning I’ll just start back up tomorrow afternoon, take off my old self again and put on the shiny new self.

since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:9b-10


  1. gretchen on January 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

    For me, I often think: “I’d like to lose weight”. Well, yes…that’s a great thought. But there’s a world of difference (and, hell) between, “I’d like lose weight.”, and “I’m going to track my calories each day, keeping to x number.

    One of my friends says she doesn’t like resolutions, she’s writing action plans. Thought that was neat.

    Lurve you and your intentionality, babe. Consider me an accountability partner.

    • Jenster on January 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Um, does that mean you’re going to be a big, scary drill sergeant who is going to cause me physical pain? 🙂

      • gretchen on January 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        Um…no. You won’t either, right? 😉

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