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Being Intentional in the New Year

Over the years, I have struggled to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions, so more than a decade ago, I gave up making resolutions.

Honestly, I knew that I would never keep them since I had a fairly consistent history of failing to follow through.


We live in a culture that idolizes success and overachieving, and it can be rather overwhelming trying to live up to other’s standards. 


I have decided that it’s ok to not have huge goals for the coming year and it’s ok to not feel compelled to live the “New Year, New You” philosophy. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having big goals or resolutions.

How would one get anything done without setting goals? Yet, it’s also ok to look for ways to gently lead our soul in generosity for others and feeding our soul. It’s about being intentional, and that is what I desire to lean into in my life. 

Every December, I do spend a bit of time reflecting on the past year and thinking about what I want to do in the New Year.


A blogger I followed years ago suggested that instead of making resolutions, one could choose a word for the year that represented something we wanted to work on in ourselves and in our lives. She called it One Word 365.

She suggested that we choose to live intentionally and use this word as a type of compass for the year. She also said we should ask ourselves if whatever choice is before us helps us achieve that word.

That year, my word was “connected” because I knew I wanted to be intentional about being more connected with my husband, my children, and building connections with others as well. 


In 2023, my family went through a lot of difficult things, and 2024 looks to be a year full of transitions.


I am graduating from Grand Canyon University in February, and I am looking for a job that is a good fit for me and our family’s needs. In the summer, we have an upcoming PCS to a new place, and that means a lot of new things coming our way.

I always find the first year after a PCS has me spending a bit of time grieving, and I just think of it as the PCS blues. Everything is brand new; new house, new surroundings, new services (doctors, dentists, stores, etc.), and new friends if we are lucky.


My word for 2024 is “expand”. 


From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to expand is to open up and unfold, also to increase the extent, number, volume, or scope of, to enlarge.

This word applies to what I expect my year to look like in so many ways. Including expanding my thinking, and what I know. I love to learn about a great many topics, and I have put off a lot of it while I focused on getting my degree.

Now I can read the books on my list and listen to more podcasts. I also want to expand my connections, and advocate more for our military families. There are just so many things that the word expand can apply to in my life, and I want to be open to the possibilities that this new year brings.

I plan to be more intentional in the new year with everything I do.  



Editor’s Note: We are in full support of Anna’s goal to “expand” and we are thrilled that she is including Mission:Milspouse in that choice! If you missed Anna’s introductory blog, you can read it HERE!




  • Anna Spafford

    Anna has been an active-duty spouse for 19 years while her husband has served both in the Air Force, and now in the Space Force. She is the mother to five children, two dogs, and two cats. They are natives of Michigan, but are stationed at Vandenberg SFB, California. They have also been stationed in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and Kansas. She is an online student at Grand Canyon University and is finishing up her bachelor’s degree in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing. She will graduate in February of 2024. She hopes to use her degree to write important pieces that challenge the status quo and encourage others, especially those who are in the military community. Anna is most passionate about her family and spent many years homeschooling her children before pursuing her own education. She is a Key Spouse and considers herself an advocate for military family issues like EFMP, mental health, and improvements to military family medical care. One way she does this is through volunteering with the Exceptional Families of the Military which she has worked with since May of 2023.


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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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