Setting Vision and Intents for 2017 : An Example

Setting Vision and Intents for 2017 : An Example

I know, I know, I’ve already posted plenty of things on vision and intents, but it’s 2017! And I thought it might be helpful if I shared my process as an example for anyone who has recently bought Pace & Pattern, or for anyone who is wanting to write a vision for 2017 and doesn’t know where to start.

(Also, before I jump in I should probably mention that I am having a baby in early April - three under three, pray for us - which plays into my intents and goals for 2017.)

The crucial "step" before the first step is settling in and getting comfy so you can relax and enjoy the process.

Feel free to take your time. It's better to take a week developing a vision and set of intents that feel like a good fit for where you are right now, than to rush to do it all in one sitting and end up with something that you don’t love. At the same time, don’t let the idea of ‘perfect’ stop you from starting at all; you can always adapt as the year goes on, and the beauty of pencils is that they come with erasers. 

1. Identify 5 major life areas or roles.

This step sounds simple enough, but when you sit down and start thinking about the major areas of your life that you want to focus on this year, it can be really tempting to add “just one more." Limiting the number to five (or fewer) takes some self-control and creativity.

Here are the ones I chose and what they include:


This includes personal growth in my relationship with God: prayer, time in the Word. It also includes ministry and serving in the church.


This one is all about money, time and keeping things clean.


This one is pretty broad, it includes all the important relationships in my life: marriage, parenting, family, and friends.


Is all about this blog and Pace & Pattern and possibly art-making.


This one sounds pretty cheesy, but I feel like I need it. It includes health in terms of eating well and exercising, as well as going to the dentist and getting my haircut.

These are areas that sum up my life right now. I combined ‘parenting’ and ‘marriage’ into ‘relational’ rather than having those two separate. Also, I probably could have included ‘self-care’ under ‘stewardship,’ but I decided its an area that I really need extra help to make happen, so I gave it it’s own category.

2. Describe your personal “why” in a sentence or two.

This one is huge, and can be daunting. Another way to think about it is, who do you want to be? For 2017, I’m sticking with my favorite personal “why” which I stole from the Westminster Shorter Catechism (whenever I try to write my own it just ends up being a more awkward and wordy version of this):

“To glorify God and enjoy him forever!”

3. Clarify your intents

Look at each of the areas of your life through the lens of your ‘why’ and sum up in as few words as possible what you want to see in your life this year.

Intents are NOT goals; they are orientations of your heart or big ideas that you will then use as filters to set your goals and plan your months, weeks and days.

Spiritual Intent: Rest in Him.

This intent is all about relaxing into God’s plan and coming to him when I’m exhausted.

I want to be rooted in God’s word and relying on him (not naptime) to sustain me through the sleepless nights and chaos coming my way.  

Relational Intent: Savor the Season.

This year I want to spend my time enjoying the beautiful relationships God has put in my life. I want to soak up the tiny baby phase and remember just how short it is. I want to go on fun dates with Joseph and relish every opportunity I get to spend time with family and friends.

Stewardship Intent: Be proactive.

I want to actually plan and do all those things that I’ve been saying we should do. I want to glorify God with our money by saving and giving more. I want to take care of all the good gifts I’ve been given, without whining … even if that includes scrubbing mold or handling paperwork. 

Passion Intent: Dig in.

This means saying “no” to my urge to start new projects and pushing myself to deepen and develop the projects I currently have going. It means being steady (even when I get bored) and trusting that big things can happen through small steps done consistently.

Self-Care Intent: Take time.

I never thought I would have to set goals related to general hygiene, but here I am in the land of small children and mysterious toothpaste in the hairbrush (that's where that minty smell was coming from!). This year I want to take care and appreciate the gift of my body. I want to protect time to be healthy (exercise, go to the dentist etc.) and feel pretty (get my hair did, shower). 

4. Put it all together.

Use your Intents to make a vision statement you can remember without looking at it. If your vision statement never makes its way into your brain, it's useless. Mine is pretty basic; feel free to do what’s needed to make yours flow.

In 2017 I will strive to: rest in God, be proactive, dig in, take time and savor the season!

I hope this was helpful! I’m thinking I may share my goals for the season in my next post…

Title photo credit:  Ashley Wittmer Photography

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