A New Year’s Intention

Thank you to Emily Sovich for this fabulous New Year’s post! May we all find our intentions.

I started taking yoga about a year ago, and every day (as soon as we were warmed up, but before we’d started the first real sequence) the teacher would prompt us to set an intention for the class. I liked being asked, but the truth is I was never very intentional about setting my intention. I just went with the first thought that popped into my head. Oddly enough, though, I had the same thought every day: Joy, I’d tell myself. I set an intention toward joy.


Looking back, it makes sense. A year ago, my husband had just come back from a series of long deployments. We hadn’t readjusted to life as a family; we’d barely readjusted to life in the United States. Not only that, but the girls were both in school. For the first time in my life, I was alone all day. I wasn’t doing very well, either. I wasn’t happy. I needed to reconnect with myself as myself — not as a wife, not as a mother — and I needed to redefine our family life, post-deployment.


A year later, everything’s better. As I struggled to find joy in physicality during yoga, I learned how to bring joy into my everyday life; and now, as my friends keep talking about setting their intentions for the new year, a new word keeps popping into my head during class. Pursue.


heart-milspouse-wordsLike so many of the women I know, I set aside my independent ambitions when I had children. Being at the head of a  family takes confidence and commitment, and when your children are young, when your husband’s deployed, or when you’re navigating life in a foreign country, it can take all the strength you have. For me, I gave so much of myself to my family that for a while I forgot there was anything else to want.


I’ve entered into a new phase of life though. My family is stable and whole, and I’ve rediscovered who I am on an independent level. My kids are older. My husband is home (at least for the time being). I have time to work, and I know what I want. If last year was transitional, then this is a year that calls for action. This is the year I’m going to pursue the dreams I’d almost forgotten, that heady mix of self and family. This is the year I’m going to draw closer to the life I want, to the person I am, and to the work I’ve always imagined.

What about you? What are your New Year’s intentions?


Emily Sovich
Emily Sovich

During her years as a military spouse, Emily Sovich has traveled through five continents and approximately thirty countries. She’s climbed the Great Wall of China, gone swimming with sharks in Australia, and ridden a camel around the pyramids in Egypt. She loves culture and adventure, but she’s happiest at home with a book in her hand, a child in her lap, and a cup of coffee on her bedside table.


10 Replies to “A New Year’s Intention”

  1. You are an inspiration!

    1. I wouldn’t go that far. But thanks! 🙂

  2. So beautifully put and so true. There’s no limit to what you can achieve once you’ve set your intention, and I love that you’ve set such a positive one. Go for it!

    1. Thanks! It’s starting out to be a really good year!

  3. i love single-word intentions. there’s lot’s of room to evolve throughout the year, yet the idea is specific enough to foster growth. there’s a lot of empowerment in yours!

    this year, mine is: “see”.

  4. I feel exactly the same way you do. I like the idea of having an open-ended intention that can evolve in unexpected ways, but that can also serve as a touchstone throughout the year. ‘See’ is a good one!

  5. If we’re doing one-word intentions, mine is “DO”. Last year was more of a “prepare” year along with “learn” and “research” – so it is now time to apply everything I researched, learned, and prepared for. GOOD post!

    1. “DO” is a great word, and I love how it’s a continuation of your intention from last year! I felt kind of nervous about the word ‘pursue’ at first because, like “DO”, it’s a word that requires action. I’m usually so much more comfortable in my head, but this year I want to stop thinking, stop preparing, and take the risk to move forward. It sounds like we’re on the same page there!

  6. I love this. I’ve never declared a word for the year, but you’ve got me thinking in this post. I’ll need to put some more thought to it, but right now “joy” is standing out for me this year. I’m slowly learning that I need to choose joy each day–it’s not just something that happens. It’s going to be an exciting year!

    1. That’s exactly how I felt last year. I never officially chose a Word for the Year, but ‘joy’ just kept popping into my head. And as I paid more attention to that, the idea of increasing my joy started guiding my choices. This year I’m trying to be more deliberate about it because, in some ways, the idea of actively pursuing my goals makes me feel nervous. We’ll see how it goes!

      Good luck this year! Here’s to joy!

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