#BestLifeBy35: Intentional Time

HAPPY 2018 to you! I hope this post finds you well-rested and motivated to crush your 2018 goals. I have about 813 goals I want to achieve, and my biggest problem in New Year goal setting is overwhelming myself by setting too many goals and trying to make them happen all at once. I hope to change that in the New Year by starting slowly…

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In an upcoming post, I am going to show you how I’m approaching goal setting in the New Year, but today’s #bestlifeby35 post is all about intentional time.

The phrase intentional time is a loaded one with ambiguous meaning. It could mean taking a look about how you spend your time and asking yourself what your intentions are in this activity or that activity. That’s actually a really fruitful practice that I have done in the past and that I plan to do again very soon. But I also take intentional time to mean my morning “clarity” time. I intend to focus my day during the first 20-30 minutes I’m awake by setting myself up for success.

FORMER ME: Hmm…let’s scroll through social media for 30 minutes because I know I have to be awake, but I don’t want to get out of bed. Oh, let me just go ahead and compare myself to that stylish and beautiful lady I’ve never met in real life…AHHH. How can it be 6 AM already? I still have to get ready, pick the kids’ clothes out, pack my lunch, and do a million other things in like an hour. I would then make myself (and my family) miserable each morning because I felt so rushed. Then I would get to work feeling agitated and stressed BEFORE seeing any of my students! UGH…I’m not proud of it.

I had to take a long, hard look at my practices and decided that I needed more focus and perspective in the morning. Ultimately, I cut out most of my social media time, replacing it with quiet time. It sounds very kindergarten, but just stay with me.

Here is a closer look at my morning intentional time:

  1. Get up before everyone else in the house. OK, you can totally roll your eyes at me right now, but I am going to suggest you wake up 30 minutes earlier than everyone in your house to create space in your day for intentional time. Over the years, I could not STAND IT when people told me I needed to wake up earlier, but here we are. Then I make myself a cup of coffee.
  2. Go downstairs into a QUIET space, away from all distractions.
  3. Since I’m a Christ follower, I like to start my time reading The Word. I suggest something focused so you don’t have think about what to read each morning. Planning ahead will maximize your morning intentional time. Right now, I am almost done with Havilah Cunnington’s study I Do Hard Things. (Side note: I will be writing a review of this study upon completion. I am 75 percent of the way finished. I am a Truth to Table member, so I have access to her studies for free. Check out Truth to Table HERE.) I will watch her video, read that daily section in the book (via PDF online). I will reread scripture and journal about key concepts. Then I will go into quiet prayer time.
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Truth to Table is amazing. If you are a Christian working mom, there is nothing out there quite like it…so many ways to access Biblical teachings on a time crunch.

I end my intentional time by planning out my day, making lists of everything I need to get done in all areas of my life. (More on my planner choices for 2018 coming soon.)

I often finish my intentional time in the car on the way to work by listening to an uplifting podcast or listening to worship music. I often listen to Havilah’s podcasts, but most recently, I have been listening to Elevation Church podcasts.

I know…I know. You are most likely annoyed that yet another person is telling you to wake up earlier. But do you know how much my quality of life has changed by this simple practice? My head feels clear, and my heart is prepared for the day. I feel like I can conquer the day – and as most of you know, my day is pretty full in that I am a mom of two little ones (ages 3 and 6), a full-time high school English teacher, and a LuLaRoe Retailer. Even when my schedule is completely full, I KNOW without my intentional time, I won’t be nearly as effective. Now, I’m not perfect, and sometimes I miss a day here and there. Let me say that I feel a difference when I don’t have my intentional time.

I would love to hear your thoughts on intentional time…what are your favorite ways to set the tone for your day?




  1. Carrie Sutherland January 1, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    In 2017, I allowed the busy of life to suck the intentional out of my days. I’ve been praying asking God for direction in 2018 and the word intentional keeps coming up. I kicked off this first day of 2018 with about 30 minutes of reading the Bible and praying. It is 8:14 am here. So far, so good! Happy New Year, Heather!

    • rockstyleteach January 1, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      Off to a great start!! Happy New Year, Carrie!

  2. Lara Prachar January 1, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Pre-puppy my mornings were similar to yours. But that’s gone out the window lately. I did just sign up for Havilah’s book club that starts on the 16th. Are you doing it?

    • rockstyleteach January 1, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      Yes! I am actually on the core launch team for the book! I’ve been reading it since I got an advance copy! Would love to dialogue about it once you start reading!!

      • Lara Prachar January 1, 2018 / 7:17 pm

        That’s awesome! It will arrive next week so I will let you know.

  3. Miranda Mercrury January 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    Please tell me more about Truth to Table. I am always looking for Bible plans. In the new year I went back to my standby of reading the Bible cover to cover.

    • rockstyleteach January 1, 2018 / 9:46 pm

      Hey there! Truth to Table is Havilah Cunnington’s website where you can access all of her Bible studies with a monthly membership fee. It’s totally worth the fee because you get access to a daily teaching video, multiple Bible studies, and all of her Bible study books via PDF files. She has several studies, and the one I am doing now is I Do Hard Things, which is a 20-day study. I have learned more than I can explain from her teachings! Well worth the investment, which is minimal, in my opinion. You should try it and tell me what you think!

      • Lara Prachar January 1, 2018 / 9:50 pm

        When I clicked on “membership” they said they aren’t currently accepting new members. But you can go on a waiting list. Just FYI.

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