How to Live with Intention in the New Year

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For the new year holiday weekend, my family drove up to Marquette, Michigan to spend some quality time with my sister and her family.  A winter trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan might not sound like the thrill of a lifetime to some, but for us Marquette is our family’s little slice of heaven.

On the afternoon of New Year’s Day, we were slightly hung over and deep in a Netflix binge session.  Two mediocre movies and 12 holiday cookies later, my sister brought up an opportunity for us to exercise so we could rinse the lethargic shame off our bodies.

After a debate about whether we should just watch another sub par movie to go for the Netflix trifecta, we decided that we’d feel much better about ourselves if we pried ourselves off the couch and worked out.

The challenge du jour was “hot yoga”.  I enjoy yoga, but I don’t practice very often so hot yoga was new to me.  My sister and brother-in-law are skilled yoga-peeps so I knew they’d show me the ropes.  Either way, we all agreed that the 80-degree temperature in the room would be a perfect way to get the NYE champagne out of our system.

Our New Year’s Day Class at TULIVESI Yoga.

We arrived at this nice modern studio called TULIVESI Yoga and the room was filled with people looking to get their year started off on the right foot.  It was inspiring.

The owners, Nate and Jenn Taylor, were excellent instructors.  The session was challenging, super sweaty and surprisingly motivational.

Creating Fulfillment in Your Life

As the session concluded, Jenn gave us some parting words of wisdom which she dubbed MANIFEST 2017.  This New Year personal manifesto gave each sweaty yogi the opportunity to contemplate how they could “live with intention” in 2017.

She asked the group to ask themselves “WHERE can I create fulfillment in my life?”.  Jenn suggested the following areas to consider for improvement:

  • Family/Home
  • Personal
  • Career
  • Health
  • Spiritual

Once you select an area of concentration, you ask yourself:

  • WHY is this important to me?

    MANIFEST 2017 Worksheet from Jenn Taylor.
  • WHAT change do I wish to see?
  • HOW will I do this?

I snapped a photo of the worksheet that she provided to the class after the session ended.

Being the personal development junkie that I am, I decided to take Jenn’s challenge and make my intentions for the new year.

How I’m Living with Intention in the New Year

Family:  Focused Daddy-Daughter Time

  • WHY is this important to me?  The safety, the bond and the growth of my family is my top priority.
  • WHAT change do I wish to see?  More focused one-on-one time with my daughter Zoey so we continue to develop a loving bond with one another.
  • HOW will I do this?  Sign up for father-daughter piano lessons at our local music store.   It will be a new experience for both of us that will create some lasting memories.

Personal:  Become More Relaxed

  • WHY is this important to me? Having activities in my life that make me happy will help me reduce stress and become a better father and husband. 
  • WHAT change do I wish to see? Become a more relaxed, patient and empathetic guy for my family.    
  • HOW will I do this? Choose at least one activity per day that allows me to relax.  This can be through meditation (enjoying Headspace right now), reading a chapter of a fiction book, blogging or going for a walk. 

Health:  Run My First Marathon

  •  WHY is this important to me? By taking care of my health, I’m being a positive example to my children.  More is caught than taught they say.  Also, I’m planning on living a long life so I can spend time with my future grandkids and still have some pep in my step.
  • WHAT change do I wish to see?  I will complete my first full marathon this year.  It is a physical challenge only completed by less than ½ percent of the US population.  I’d like to be in that elite group of winners. 
  • HOW will I do this? I will commit to a 6-month training schedule.  I will listen to my body to ensure I won’t get injured.  I will enjoy the peace and freedom that comes from my morning runs.  
And since I’m a personal finance nerd, I’ll add one more category to Jen’s list:

Financial:  Become Completely Debt Free

  • WHY is this important to me?  Not having any debt payments will be a huge weight off my back.  It will also lead to greater opportunities for my family in the future.
  • HOW will I do this?  Throw as much extra cash as possible at the mortgage principal while still having a fulfilling and fun year.  Then, we’ll drive down to Nashville to visit Dave Ramsey and scream “We’re Debt Free!”

Walk to the Edge

I chose three out of the five areas that Jen outlined in her MANIFEST 2017 challenge because those are specific areas that I feel passionate about tackling.  I encourage you to take a moment right now and think about areas in your life where you’d like to see change in the new year.

If you’d like to go for all five areas, that’s great!  If there is one specific area you want to dominate in 2017, “walk to the edge” as Jen told our group, make a commitment and realize your dreams.

Take the MANIFEST 2017 challenge and report back on your intentions for the new year in the comments section below.

Although Netflix binge sessions can be extremely satisfying, I’m glad I got off that couch on New Year’s Day and got exposed to Jen and Nate Taylor’s inspiring session.  Thanks sis.

How are you going to live with intention this year?


Author: Andy Hill

Andy Hill is the host of the Marriage, Kids and Money Podcast which focuses on helping young families build wealth. This 5-star rated podcast was nominated as "Best New Personal Finance Podcast" by Plutus. Andy's advice and personal finance experience have been featured in major media outlets like Business Insider, MarketWatch and NBC News.

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