2016 Intentions

2016 Intentions GraphicI love the idea of creating “intentions” as opposed to “resolutions” so I’m going to keep with that idea. It’s really the same thing and the difference for me is really only in the semantics, but I’m trying to focus on a new way of looking at things. Even though I don’t always accomplish all of my intentions, it does help to give me a focus for the upcoming year. I have different areas of my life that I want to focus on, and under each category are suggestions for how I can do that.

Here are some things I’d like to do:


I don’t have a lot of our travel plans figured out for the year, mostly because we were expecting to have another baby in May. Now that that is not happening, plans have changed and things are still very up-in-the-air.

  • Winter Wellness weekend in January
  • Train ride in French Lick in February or March (this is part of Felix’s Christmas gift from Santa)
  • Mumford and Sons concert in April
  • Weekend away with the kids
  • Anniversary weekend away
  • Family vacation – This would be at least a week and we have discussed a few different possibilities.


I definitely want to continue reading this year. I know I will read at least one book a month for my book club. I also just joined an online book community that has book events each month, so I may try to keep up with that one as well. Theoretically, reading this many books for the year shouldn’t be too hard.

  • Read 24 books
  • Read 2 music books


I am writing a lot more since I joined the journal circle, but I want to do a little more writing on my own. These goals will probably have to be adjusted once I start doing them and have a better idea as to what is actually feasible.

  • Daily Q&A – This is a book I got for Christmas. You are supposed to answer a simple question each day for 5 years, but the questions are the same on each day, so you can see how your answers change over 5 years.
  • Writer’s Book of Days – This is a book I have had for years but never did anything with. I want to read the chapters each month and use 7 of the writing prompts each month. I think the prompts are mostly meant for fairly long writing sessions, but in order for me to actually have time to do them, I will probably cap them at around 10 minutes each time I sit down to do one.
  • 500 Writing Prompts – This is a book I got for my birthday. I want to write 3 times a month using these prompts.


Now that I have finished reading the Bible, I want to focus on other things to do with spirituality.

  • Do a daily devotional written for Catholic moms – I got this book for Christmas and the devotions are very short, so I think it will be doable.


There is not enough music in my life. Yes, I use it every day in my work, but there isn’t enough music in my personal life. I really want to change that this year.

  • Create one new Singalong packet for my Singalongs (for work).
  • Learn at least 6 new popular songs on the guitar or piano.
  • Learn at least 3 new Classical pieces on the piano.
  • Start transcribing my original songs on notation software.
  • Find at least 5 new songs to use in music therapy sessions.
  • Work through Songwriting Without Boundaries (this is a book written by the professor who taught the online songwriting course I took in 2015). There are 4 total challenges in the book, so I’m hoping to do 1 challenge each quarter of the year and start one every 3 months (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1)
  • Listen to 10 classical music pieces. I also would like the kids to do this with me and incorporate some other activities with it, including things like learning about the piece and the composer, drawing to the music, creating a story to go with the music, etc.

Home and Organization:

There is so much we need to do around the house, but I really don’t even like to think about it, so I am keeping it kind of simple in this area.

  • Complete Bonus Room Transformation – This will include getting rid of/selling some of our things and then moving up the majority of the kids’ toys to make it a play room.
  • Go through Gmail account.
  • Go through and organize computer files.


Of course, I still want to do some fun things with my family and try new things, so I have a list of things we can do if we get bored.

  • Inflatable Fun Factory
  • CMoe
  • Putt Putt
  • Game Night
  • Movie Night
  • Gatti Town or Chuck E. Cheese


I want to continue to save money and to keep our spending in check.

  • Save a specific amount in Travel and Savings Accounts combined.
  • Keep track of “extras” earned from apps, credit cards, rewards, etc.
  • Keep up with a budget as best we can.


This area sometimes gets overlooked, so I want to continue doing things for other people. I think this also teaches our kids to think this way, too.

  • Do at least 6 service projects that may include volunteering, providing a meal at the local Ronald McDonald house, donating items, etc. This averages out to one project every 2 months of the year. Hopefully we can handle that challenge!


There are a few things that didn’t fit into a category so I am just putting them here at the end.

  • Write a new 101 in 1,001 list. The current one expires in May.
  • I have started a running list of restaurants I want to try and I want to eat at 12 of them this year.
  • I plan to cook 12 international meals this year or one international meal a month.
  • Finish travel school.

My overall mission for this year is Balance, and in order to balance, one has to give and take to make things work out. For that reason, I hope to re-evaluate all my intentions each quarter and edit as needed. This also includes me not worrying about the things that will not be finished this year. Life really threw me a curve ball this fall when we lost our baby in utero, so I know I need to have things to focus on, but I also need to be able to make changes when the rest of my life changes.

What are your plans for the year?


  1. Tammy Doiel says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby. I miscarried our second baby. I will pray for you as you heal. I love your detailed plans. It sounds like a fun and fulfilling year ahead.

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you for your prayers, and I’m sorry that you had to do this, too. I hope this year we can find a way to move on with our lives, though I know this is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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