One Word: 2014

I’ve never been one for resolutions.  Well, that’s not true.  I’ve not lately been one for resolutions, because I never keep them.  In recent years I’ve renamed them “Goals”, but let’s face it – that’s like saying you’re “eating right” because the word “diet” sounds too difficult.

For some time now, though, I’ve been intrigued by the increasingly popular idea of choosing a word for the year – something you focus on, a lens through which to view all the things you’re doing.  So this year, for the first time, I’m choosing my “one word”.  I’ve thought a lot about it for the past week or two, and it’s one that’s been near and dear to me for a couple of years now without ever pinning it down.  Starting today though, this first day of 2014, I’m going to be intentional about it.

intentional purpose


“I intend to pursue a degree in marketing.”

“What are your intentions with my daughter?”

“The laws are intended to protect you.”

“We intend to go to the party.”

To me, the roots “intent” and “intend” – and all of the forms they take – seem to get used interchangeably, and without packing the punch they deserve.  I have been thinking this week about the idea of living with intentionality, and how I’d really like to define it.

My thoughts wandered mostly to motivation and purpose – the examination and recognition of why we do what we do.  The dictionary confirmed some of them (emphases mine) —

Intend: to design or mean for a particular purpose, use, recipient, etc.

Intentional: the end or object intended; characterized by design or purpose

Intention: an anticipated outcome that guides your planned actions


It was just as I always knew, without previously giving it much thought.  Being intentional is about so much more than choosing to do something.  It has so much to do with the motive behind your actions.  So for 2014, I am going to be intentional.

I want a more peaceful home?  I keep that in mind as I speak to my children and husband.  I keep it in mind as I (less begrudgingly?) do another load of laundry or dishes.

I want more time?  I keep that in mind as I say no and set boundaries.  I keep it in mind as I declutter and get rid of all the extra stuff that none of us need anyway.

I want to know God better?  I keep that in mind as I choose whether to play Words of Wonder or spend time with Him.

I want to be healthier?  I put processes in place to create habits instead of just saying, “Gee, I should eat better and exercise more.”

I want to accomplish more of my goals?  I keep in mind my reason for writing, taking pictures, singing in the first place.  That none of these things are a chore or obligation.  I reread (especially the beginning of) My Adventure List.


Because, you see, tasks that are just tasks are easy to blow off.  Some goals akin to “be more awesome”, however valid, are simply too vague.

In addition to just getting more things done that we’d like to accomplish in a new year, I think there is so much more to be gained from living with purpose.  I think we might find ourselves with more time to spend with the people we love and fewer regrets about what we did with our days, weeks, months, year.  I think we’ll learn more about who we really are.  I think we might discover community that so many of us long for.  We’ll connect with people in ways we never really thought about, or never thought possible.  We can discover what it means to live an abundant life.

Did you pick a word for 2014?  What kind of things are you doing in your own life to be more intentional?


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  1. says

    I love this for your very first “one word” <3

    That was mine last year, and coming from the other end of it, I can definitely, confidently predict good changes in store for you and those around you! This year mine is Letting Go :)

    Happy New Year, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer Kaufman says

      Thanks so much for commenting! I’m off to find your post. Letting Go is something I’ve written about (and struggle) with. Maybe I’ll keep being a year behind you on “one words” ;)

      • Shelly says

        This is my second ‘word year’ too. Wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it last year but i found that every time I heard or read the word it was a reminder. I liked it. Was more geared toward my spiritual life. Last year I chose grace. This year joy. Happy New Year!

  2. says

    Intentional is a great word! I love how you have applied it. This is my first year for selecting a word, too. My word is Unfetter. I want to free myself from unproductive ruts and reach out for new experiences. I’ve been very intentional on my planning for 2014. It’s been fantastic so far.

    • Jennifer Kaufman says

      What a beautiful picture the word “Unfetter” paints. I look forward to reading how it unfolds for you this year! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. says

    Intentional. I like it. I have a bad habit of saying, “Yeah, I’ll do that after I finish ______.” Or, “I’ll write that blog post another day.” Or, “I’m just not good enough to write the book, so I’ll just leave it alone for a while.” Well, that turned into six or seven months (maybe even longer) because I wasn’t intentional about sitting down to do it regardless of my emotions. There are so many things in our lives that we need to be intentional with, but we find excuses to not do so. Thank you for choosing this as your word of the year and posting it for us to read.
    Ami Adams recently posted…Goodbye to the old, hello to the new.

    • Jennifer Kaufman says

      Yes! I am guilty of the same thing. I’m being reminded so much lately that when we set a goal we need to make it a commitment – scheduled, something we do regardless of whether we feel like it. It’s far too easy to think of goals as fleeting thoughts, then look back and be disappointed that we didn’t get around to working them!

  4. says

    This is a great first word, Jennifer! Being intentional in all areas of our lives is so important!

    Last year was my first year doing it and I was so happy I did. It was nice to think about throughout the year and helped me to stay focused on my “goals” throughout the year.
    Corie Clark recently posted…One Word 2014

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