It’s a new year and there’s always talk of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t do well with resolutions, they end of just being wishful thinking because I don’t actually take time to plan how I will follow through with those resolutions.

I’m going to aim for something different, I want to work on truly being intentional in the new year! This takes a little more time, but it will be worth it, if I actually want to make serious progress towards anything in the coming year!

Being intentional in the New Year takes a plan!

I’ve put together some resources to help you in some of the common areas of interest as you kick off the new year! I hope they help you as you plan for the year ahead!

Tools for Intentional Planning:

Let’s start with overall planning. Start with some sort of list of what you want to accomplish.

Below are two good resources to get you started:

Jennie Allen’s Dream Guide

Jennie Allen has a heart for the Lord and for women to thrive… I love what she does with her Dream Guide each year! It is a great tool for evaluating your previous year and looking toward the new one!

being intentional in the new year
5 Questions to Evaluate Your Year by Ron Edmondson

My friend Ron Edmondson is one of the most intentional leaders that I know. He leads and loves his family well! This post on evaluating for the new year is a great resource.

He also has an incredible series of posts on writing a Life Plan that are excellent!

Tools for Spiritual Growth:

Check out this post on my favorite apps to help me get into God’s Word each morning!

Spending Time in God’s Word Before Getting Out of Bed

Here’s how I’m kicking off my year using a couple of the apps mentioned in that post…

I’m planning to do the She Reads Truth – John Study. You can use the app or you can purchase the printed book online.

I’m also going to join with If:Equip to participate in their 20 Days of Prayer beginning on January 9th. You can join in too for FREE on their app or website.

I’m also excited about starting this prayer journey with my husband, I just got these two books in the mail this week!

Tools for Healthy Living:


Eating Healthier has been a journey for me. There are a couple of things I did in 2016 that helped me have a healthier relationship for food.

One good way to do a post Holiday reset is with a Whole 30, I have done a few versions of this over the years. Each time, I am reminded how good REAL food is. I don’t know that it’s completely sustainable to eat like this forever, but it serves as a good way to discover how your body reacts to food. As well as to cut your cravings for sugar and processed foods. Every time I do this I’m amazed at my true love for REAL food! 

Here’s some resources to get you started on a Whole30…

Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed website is so valuable for those wanting to begin the “clean eating/real food” journey.

Here’s a few of my favorite posts and her books are excellent resources!

Whole30 Resources Roundup

My Top 16 Whole30 Recipes of the Year

Another thing I experimented with this fall with Trim Healthy Mama. There is a learning curve for sure, but my family has enjoyed the food & overall I like the way I feel eating this way. Verdict is still out for me on whether I can totally make the THM switch permanently, but might be worth looking into if you are looking to eat healthier in the new year!

Here’s some resources to get you started with Trim Healthy Mama.

Meal Planning:

Getting dinner on the table each night also doesn’t happen without a good plan.

Let me share my secret with you… I LOVE the Meal Planning tool called Plan to Eat!

Let me tell you why…

  • Unlike other meal planning programs, I can use all my own recipes!
  • I get most of my recipes online and I can import them into my PTE recipe book with a simple click of a button.
  • I can easily drag them into my PTE calendar for my weekly meal plan.
  • PTE automatically generates a shopping list that I can access on my phone.

It has taken all the hard part out of meal planning for me and it’s so easy!

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


Another way to move toward healthier living this year is establishing an exercise routine. I am NOT an expert on such things, so I don’t have many tips here! One thing I have discovered is that to incorporate movement into my day, I need to be able to do it at home or it’s not likely to happen.

So here’s a few resources to get you started at home…

I am no runner! But I used this Couch to 5K Plan to motivate me to try my 1st 5K a few years ago and am planning to use it again as I work toward another one this year. The first time around I found that I actually could push myself more than I expected. Believe it or not, I actually began to enjoy my running time.

I have always enjoyed Pilates and it makes me feel stronger. I love the Balanced Life workouts that you can do at home. You can try the 30 day beginner course HERE. There is also a great monthly plan called The Sisterhood, if you decide you like it!

I also really love Zumba, but I don’t love anybody watching me do Zumba 🙂 So here’s an option to “shake your groove thing” in the privacy of your own home!


Tools to Organize Your Life:

It’s always fun to start off the new year with a new planner. I love these options because they all have a spiritual element to them as well which is super cool! Now to decide which one I want this year…

If you aren’t a “paper planner” person, there’s a great digital planner app for families called Cozi! It incorporates the whole family and has list options and much more!

Sign up for Cozi!

Tools to Incorporate More Reading into your Year:


One of my favorite ways to grow each year is through reading… I often hear how do you find time to read? I read any free moment I get… when I’m waiting in car line, eating my lunch, drying my hair waiting at an appointment. It’s so much better than mindlessly scrolling through my phone. I’ve also tried to replace much of my channel surfing at night or Netflix binging with reading time. I also sneak in a chapter or two before bed as much as possible.


A couple of ways to incorporate more reading this year…


Add the Kindle reading app to all your devices: This is the #1 way I fit in reading time! I have the FREE Kindle Reading App on all my Devices. Everyone in my family has this app on their devices. You don’t have to have a Kindle to use it, it can be downloaded on most phones and tablets. All you need it an Amazon account. We get most of our e-books for FREE from our local library and download them to our Amazon account to read on the Kindle app. I also keep an eye out for when Amazon is running e-books for cheap!







Listen to Audio Books: This is something I have really gotten into more this past year. This is a great option if you really feel you are too busy to read. Invest in a set of wireless headphones and get some audiobooks, I find myself listening to books while I drive, exercise, cook dinner, wash dishes and fold laundry. It makes those menial tasks around the house more fun!


Purchasing audio books individually can get expensive, so I would suggest checking to see if your local library has an option to check out audiobooks through the Overdrive app on your phone. Another option is to try Audible by Amazon and Get Two Free Audiobooks










Join or Start a Book Club: This is what got me back into reading after many years of putting it on the back burner. Gather a group and read a book together, it is such a good way to connect and grow together!




Here’s a few options:


How do you kick off a NEW YEAR? Share your traditions in the comments below:



Founder of The Praying Mom

This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world! 

Popular Posts: