One word: Intentional


What he saw:

I sat in the stuffed armchair and our daughter lounged on the arm. Both of my sisters-in-law sat near my feet on the floor while I spoke, all three of them fully attentive to my words, gathering my pearls of wisdom and stringing them like the jewels they are.

What they saw:

An empty space on the floor where the kids could play and they could monitor for carpet fuzz ingestion or bodily functions. I happened to be discussing something life changing such as the latest nail polish colors with my daughter, who was simply looking for an unoccupied place to sit, as far from bodily functions as possible.

What I see now:

A missed opportunity to invite a meaningful conversation among the women and girl I love. And also, in hindsight, I should have bought two bottles of Secret Santa by OPI.

It’s possible I am the least intentional person on the face of the earth. Don’t get me wrong, I plan for things. I plan how I will feel at the end of an uncomfortable conversation, what outfit I want to wear tomorrow, and exactly how many miles it will take to run off the cinnamon buns I just inhaled. But, much of my planning falls somewhere between accidental and serendipitous, with a little help from my innate need for emotional highs, beauty, and skinny thighs.

I have missed countless opportunities because of this. Countless times I might speak a word in season, countless times I might make a memory or a masterpiece or a difference. For a second year, I chose one word to place in the center of my 2014 universe. I tiny sun I orbit around throughout the year, one that sheds a soft light on my days and helps me see. This year, I chose the word Dwell. It felt fitting as I continue to adjust to my new/old life in my new/old town. I chose it, and every time I thought about it, I discovered I still had an itch that Dwell did not scratch. As most things do, my new word for 2014 found me.


Gag. No. Too ordinary, too overused, too cliché and entirely against the grain of how my heart and soul operate. (I apologize if “intentional” is your word too. We can share, I promise. I won’t even accuse you of copying me, something I have intimate experience with, if you ask my siblings.)

I will live 2014 with intention.

It is hard for me to write this. I tend to go whichever way the winds of my emotions blow, and this year I must think in a new way. I must say yes to examining my motives and how I spend my time. I will likely say yes to more people, to more opportunities, and to growth. I will say no to things that do not bear fruit in my life, or at the very least, explore ways to prune them in such a way as to make them bear fruit. My fear is that I will become a slave to the how-to and the to-do lists. My hope is that I will learn how to make them work for me and not me for them.

I will live 2014 with intention. Will you?


Did you pick one word this year? Please share it with me so we can rejoice or wallow in it together. If you have experience with living intentionally, could you share it or link me to something (anything) that will help me get started? If you’re on Pinterest, consider following Edie’s LIFE {On Purpose} board. It’s helping orient me to this alternate universe.


  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    Hmmmm . . . Intentional . . . I have to admit that one stresses me out a little, maybe because it’s usually followed (in my life) by a galloping stampede of “shoulds.” Good luck and grace to you with this one, Kimberly.
    I’m still watching what words glimmer for me, but feeling a pull toward “open” and “courage” keeps slipping in there two – I think the two are connected for me.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      It stresses me out too! I wish this wasn’t my word, I really do, but I know in my heart it is exactly where I need to be right now. Thank you for wishing me grace, I will need it! I love both “open” and “courageous”. They’re both words of gentle action, an embracing and strengthening all at the same time.

  • Mark Allman

    I’d like to make more of my days be days where I spend time thinking what intentional things I could do that day; that week. I shall print your word out and put it up in my office as a reminder to help with that. I wish you well as you do Intentional.

  • Sharon O

    Intention has conviction and power in it.
    That is why we push away from it but actually it is a great word. To do something with intention. Intentionality is graced with action, feeling and a will to go forward.
    it is good.

  • Mick Silva

    Ooh, I like this word. It sounds hard. And not just in the “try harder” way but in the way that means not fighting, not resisting something you know your body needs. Like broccoli.

  • Pingback: Un-word 2014: Expectations | find time for tea()

  • Brynn

    Present. This is my word. With so much going on, I constantly feel pulled in a million directions, having a difficult time focusing on where I am and what I’m doing. While I feel like I give everything all I can, I could enjoy it all more if I were present, right here, right now, with whatever that may be.

  • Fiona

    I also chose the word intentional. It’s also absolutely foreign to me, as I don’t plan anything, not even what I’ll wear the next day or what we will eat for dinner. Planning makes me hyperventilate. That being said, I’m tired of blowing with the wind of my emotions, or wallowing in the imaginations of my mind instead of getting stuff done that I’ve always dreamed of. It’s hard to be intentional, but we can do it! Hugs xoxo