I Believe In Abundance – Focusing On Intentions (Episode 335)
As we head into our second month of 2024 as I write this, it's time to discuss what we do every year - set an intention. When we are focusing on our intentions, it's amazing what "goals" then come to fruition.
Every year, we've picked a word as a family - I list them out below. We decided on our word this year in October - well before losing my father rocked our world.
The best gift you can give to a giver is to receive the gift well.
A Different Approach to Goal-Setting
When it comes to setting goals, there are so many approaches to it. Where some people plot it all out with checkpoints and exactly how much money they might make or books they will read, others might take a little different approach -
Yep, for some people, they are more inclined to live by John O'Donahue's quote,
"I love to flow like the river flows;
carried by the surprise of its own unfolding."
Nathan is definitely more wired to let life come to him as it flows, and embracing the moments. For me, I have a tendency to want to plan and plot out every path. What I've learned, however, is that being too prepared can box me into a plan that may not remain a fit as I'm moving forward.
Our goals are ultimately there, not to be the looming punishment, but to move us toward the feelings we want to achieve in life. Ultimately, is it really about the goal, or the feeling you experience with it?
When we went on our tenth-anniversary trip, we got sucked into the book I was reading - The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. In this book, she talks about getting to the true root of the desires and emotions behind the goals we set.
For us, that is way, way more important. Setting intentions around how we wanted to feel and who we wanted to be - that felt like a goal we could pursue no matter what life threw at us.
You want a goal of a six-figure income. What will that do for you? What does that look and feel like in your life?
You want a goal of losing weight - Why? Because it's nicer to see a lower weight on the scale? For your health? How would you feel if you lost weight - would you be healthier? Would your self-confidence shift? What is deeper than the weight loss?
Breaking it down to the steps to reach your Desire
We have an exercise we do with our children to help them better understand a growth mindset. We lay out something they have accomplished or achieved in their life, and then break it down to all the little steps they had to learn and do before they could make that happen.
The more you see that things are a process of taking those little steps forward, the more you can identify how to really reach those bigger goals by breaking them down into something manageable.
And, when you start to break it down to the basic steps,
with each step forward you gain grace for growth in your goals.
Yes, grace for growth. This is a critical component. Are you willing to course-correct? Are you willing to allow grace for the fact that you might gain new insights, and what you thought you wanted may change?
Remember Your Family Vision
A family vision is a way for each person to be able to share their dreams and desires for what "home" looks and feels like to them, and then to use that as a framework to create a common ground where the family can move forward as a team with a clear vision versus everyone in their own lane.
When we started with a family vision, we all got on the same page with our desires - what we all wanted in our lives in order to thrive. This helped us create a common theme that opened the door to what goals we wanted to create.
Explore, respect, listen, connect, learn & love.
Yes, that is our family vision in its entirety. It doesn't have to be complicated. It's to focus in on the theme of what emotions and goals we want to do to better connect - with ourselves and others. And then, instead of specific goal checkpoints, we focused in on a theme - setting our intention - for each year.
Our Words for the Year
So, for us, instead of specifically writing out all of our goals for the year, we started looking at what words could become a theme for intentionality in our year. Here are some examples (and links to dig deeper) with words we've themed our years around -
- Letting go of "one day" - (2015) - The constant theme of "it'll always remain 'one day' until you put a date on it" became a year of making things happen, not putting it off, and getting really intentional about what was truly a dream of ours we wanted to make a reality.
- The year of awe - (2016)- wow, was this a year to really focus in on the feelings behind the goals. The feeling we wanted to embrace - with so many goals - was an emotion of awe and curiosity, of being present and appreciating what was.
- Getting our FOCUS - (2017) - I really pursued clarity on what I was offering and coaching on this year, creating acronyms to keep me on track, and we had many conversations around where our focus was and what was serving us well, and where we might better direct our attentions.
- The year of "and" - (2018) - this definitely became a theme that has stuck, as it's rare we see either/or solutions in life. Our year of "and" opened up a ton of doors, and definitely pushed us outside the box of what we thought was possible.
- Unhurried Spaciousness - (2019) - looking back, how incredible that we focused on the themes we did, as each built on and better prepared us for the years to come. As we slowed down this year after some of our whirlwind travels, we were able to open the door to new opportunities, and experience some incredible things just by slowing our pace enough to make time to support others.
- 5 Senses to Break the Cycle of a Negative Mindset - (2020) - how fitting for us to have focused on our most basic senses as the way to walk through 2020...in a year of complete upheaval and uncertainty, and people actually losing their senses of taste and smell...we set the direction at the beginning of the year to truly focus on and find gratitude in all the senses - and yes, we don't take taste and smell for granted at all, and are truly grateful we were able to engage all of the senses to keep us steady through the storms.
- Nurture what is growing - (2021) - last year, we chose the word nurture, as we were looking at our new house purchase in Venice, Florida, and what we might create and foster there. We purchased a house in Florida because we were tired of the "campground shuffle" every winter when we'd come here in our RV. Yet, ironically, once we'd done that, a new door of opportunity opened with volunteering in the Florida Keys at the State Parks down there. We nurtured a different spark, and built beautiful relationships with rangers, volunteers and more down in the Keys. While our focus shifted, we implemented our word in a different way, and have nurtured an experience in the Keys that is so wonderful we committed to a full six months of volunteering there again this winter.
- And again, Nurture (2022) - The word "nurture" was there all along, yet we didn't know what all would show up for us to nurture that year! While we thought we'd nurture Clara's love of herping here in Venice, we jumped at the opportunity to work in the Keys, and we nurtured a deep education not only on snakes (yes, she added to her snakes for a total of five and has plans for breeding), but also working with the bird rescue in Marathon, tracking, rescuing and learning all about sea turtles, learning about Keys life and the ocean world, steps toward SCUBA certification, and many relationships down in the Keys meeting people of all walks of life and differing perspectives, and nurturing growth and support in relationships. When I asked Nathan what the word meant to him on this podcast episode above, he said, "nurture means all those little spaces in us that we've forgotten about that need our attention. Now is a time to dig and sit with those and see what comes out of it. It's amazing when you give something that might have been neglected/forgotten about a little attention and to see what truly blossoms."
- Drive - (2023) - This was both literal and figurative this year, as we took off on another RV adventure across the country and dug deep into looking at the next season of life together. We traveled from Venice, FL to Ocala to release songbirds, over to Big Bend State Park at the TX/Mexico border, released hummingbirds and saw the largest reptile sanctuary and rattlesnake zoo in Arizona, explored Joshua Tree in CA, saw family in CO, over to St Louis and then more family in Nashville, TN, then back down to GA and then back to FL. We spent four months traveling and then shifted to volunteering at the Florida State parks. We volunteered at St Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Oscar Scherer State Park in Sarasota, and Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key. And wow did we have talks about our future and a whole new chapter in our story for 2024.
2024 - Setting Our Intention
We decided on our word of the year back in October as we were volunteering down in the Florida Keys. We have gotten to a place in our travel adventures where, if we want another investment property, it would behoove us to look for some other ways of income.
We chose the word Abundance. Little did we know the importance of this and how critical it was for us. Let's go back to Venice, we said. Let's look for some job opportunities in that area and stick closer to Mom and Dad for a while, we said.
We made our decision, and came back in December, ready to focus on new ways to create abundance in a new chapter of our lives - staying a bit more stationary for 2024 and seeing what savings we could build up.
And then December 7th hit us like a ton of bricks. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - and now, not only was I losing my father, our primary source of income was in danger.
Focused on Abundance
Abundance isn't just monetary. An abundance mindset has carried us - from December now into February and for all of 2024. In December, we looked at an abundance of "what does this make possible?" - my father's favorite saying.
I went from thinking our company Dad and I ran together was all over, to seeing potential abundance in new ways we could serve others that would still bring in some income.
We experienced an abundance of love in our family as 22 of us gathered together to be with Dad and share our last thoughts and memories. It was a beautiful time of a family choosing love over any other agenda, and living in peace together, cherishing the vulnerability with respect and consideration.
And in January, we saw such an abundance of support as Dad declined and friends flew in to see him, food, flowers and gifts poured in, his tribute page filled up with incredible notes, and people donated through GoFundMe to help the family out.
We anticipate more abundance in our lives - in support, in love, and yes, financially as well, as we get creative with our daughters about ways to generate income, and helping them explore their first jobs as well.
Your Weekly Challenge:
What is your focus this year? What do you want to accomplish? Can you truly identify the feelings behind the goals and desires you have?
Have you explored what the point of money is in your life? Of your work? your relationships?
Are you setting goals that allow grace for growth, so you aren't doggedly sticking to something that no longer aligns with the new insights you've gained?
Remember the point of goals. It's not to bog you down; it's to move you forward. A goal is to fuel you forward to the next step of growth. And with every step forward, you have the opportunity to assess those goals and your intentions, and if they continue to align with the growth you have along the way. Give yourself grace for growth, and keep your goals and intentions as support to move you forward; not lock you down. Nurture the roots you want to establish that bring forth your best fruit, and celebrate along the way how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
- Raising Good Humans: Four Tenets (Episode 211)
- The Unschooling Parent (Episode 194)
- To Build Empathy, Whatever You Do, Don't Do This... (Episode 33)
- Holiday Abundance (Episode 81)
- 4 Tips On Abundance To Make Your Holidays Shine
- Don't Be A Scrooge - If you want abundance, give it away (Episode 31)
- Finding Gratitude - Logsdon Family Virtual Campfire Chat (Episode 122)
- Not Just A Hallmark Holiday - An Attitude of Gratitude (Episode 79)
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- Get your free download of "Success Secrets for Home and Work" here
- Have Life Seasons Got You Stuck In A Funk? (Episode 179)
- The Seasons Of Life (Episode 3)
- Does Your LIFE Have Seasons?
- What's Left Unsaid - Nonverbal Cues (Episode 192)
- Which is More Important - Skillset or Mindset? (Episode 218)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
- Ashley Logsdon, Relationship Coach
- Personality Styles
Questions or comments?
Ready to create a life you don't want to escape from?
From personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, entrepreneurship, minimalism, travel, and more...we cover it.
What is pressing on your mind? Reach out and ask or comment - we may cover it on an upcoming podcast as well as respond by email.