My 2017 Word of the Year: Intimacy

Photo Credit: Brett and Jessica Photography

in·ti·ma·cy (noun): close familiarity or friendship; closeness.

Rather than setting any new year’s resolutions, for the past two years I’ve set “intention words” that guided my decision making through the year.

I’ve much preferred this mindset and it has really shaped my approach to life in a positive way.

Last year, in 2016, my word was FEARLESS.

Some of the ways that word manifested itself in my life:

  • I traveled to an isolated area of Costa Rica for two weeks on my own, surfing, tree climbing, and pushing myself in yoga
  • I ran a successful 6-figure launch of our online program, Paleo Rehab
  • I took a chance and removed my location filter on my online dating profile, and sent an email to a man in Ohio (who is now my fiancé!)
  • I pushed myself to challenge my strength and fortitude in the gym (more here)
  • I committed to more vulnerability and openness in my social media presence
  • I launched my new personal brand and majorly shifted focus in my business

Fearless was a great word to set an intention for, and at first I wasn’t sure what I most wanted to cultivate in 2017.

There are so many things I am working on right now, from my business, to my health, to my relationships, to my spirituality, that it felt like there were dozens of words that could have suited my hopes for this year.

However, I ultimately settled on INTIMACY as my word of 2017. 

The word INTIMACY brings up a lot of different connotations for me (and I bet they do for you too.)

The definition earlier in this post describes intimacy as “close familiarity or friendship” or “closeness”. My hope is that this year I will cultivate more closeness in many different areas of my life.

The first and most obvious area of intimacy that I will be working on this year is my relationship with my fiancé (soon to be husband) Joshua. While developing an wholehearted, intimate relationship has been a goal from the start, there are going to be two big changes that come to our relationship after our wedding in June.

First, we’ll be going from a (very) long distance relationship, seeing each other every 2-3 weeks, to living together. Talk about a huge increase in closeness! Learning how to live with another person in such close contact on a daily basis will take a lot of intentionality on both our parts.

I’m excited to have him be present with me for more than a few days at a time, and it will bring new challenges to our relationship that has primarily been phone-based to this point. We’ve learned how to talk openly and honestly about every topic you could imagine, but there’s something about day-to-day physical presence that will create a new challenge for our intimacy.

Second, as a Christian couple, our physical relationship will be taking a huge jump in intimacy after we’re married (if you know what I mean). While I’ve done a ton of work on my body image and self-confidence over the past few years, it’s likely that I’ll have to re-visit that topic once we take that next step in our physical closeness and vulnerability.

Luckily my fiancé is amazingly supportive and loving when it comes to my appearance and his attraction to me, but that doesn’t guarantee I won’t struggle with old demons.

Building healthy physical closeness with my husband-to-be is going to be a big focus of 2017, and hopefully a fun one for the most part!

These two major changes in my relationship with Josh are going to completely change my life as I know it in 2017. This is one of the biggest ways my pursuit of intimacy is going to define this year for me. And I’m feeling excited, nervous, and super impatient as I count down the days until our wedding this summer!

Intimacy with my husband-to-be is obvious, but I want this year’s focus on intimacy to go beyond my relationship with Josh.

I have friendships that I want to cultivate that, frankly, have taken a hit in closeness in the past few months.

Busyness, travel, and stress has pulled my attention away from those relationships recently, and I want to start prioritizing those friendships again.

Intimacy in adult relationships requires both a willingness to be vulnerable AND the prioritization of one-on-one quality time with those people.

My intention is to be persistent in pursuing those friendships, even when time is limited, schedules are in conflict, and stress is piling up. It’s important to me to be willing to put the first effort in when I feel my friendships are growing distant.

Finally, I intend to prioritize my intimacy with God in 2017.

This has always been a struggle for me. I believe in God, I trust Him to take care of my needs, and I know He loves me. But for whatever reason, the concept of intimacy in my relationship with God frequently escapes me.

Part of that is likely my inconsistency in pursuing my relationship with Him. I feel so much closer to God when I am reading the bible, praying, listening to worship music, and being mindful when experiencing the beauty of life (nature, experiences, etc.)

But I tend to lose focus and my mind gets bogged down by stress and worry, and I don’t prioritize these practices nearly enough. Honestly I should be doing these God-focused activities on a daily basis, and with my intention of INTIMACY, I hope to make these daily habits as often as possible.

While I could say “intimacy with myself” is an important intention for 2017, I believe that focusing on my relationship with God will give me clarity for His purpose in my life, and thus give me a better understanding of my greater purpose in life.

Knowing the plans my Creator has for me will help me create more intimacy with myself. This will be a lifelong journey, but I know it’ll be a fruitful one if I can stay focused on it when life gets hectic.

I’m excited to see what changes come in my life over the next year – I know there will be some major ones – and I look forward to seeing how the word INTIMACY shapes my perspective and choices over the next 12 months!

Do you have an intention word for 2017? Share it with me in the comments below!

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  1. Great article, Laura! I will be praying for your keeping intimacy with your fiancé, and especially with God. My words for the year are Momentum and Transform. These particularly apply to my nutrition business that I have just finished my first complete year. But they also apply to my personal health which had a great upswing in this past year, but I want to continue the momentum in 2017.

  2. I’m so excited for you and Joshua! And that you’ll be joining our family. I can’t say that I have one word that I’m focusing on for 2017, but rather phrases. “Search me,” is a phrase our pastor encouraged for the first 4 months–to be totally transparent before God. The other, which is also connected to my faith, is, “Do it afraid.” I’ve let fear of failure and insecurities keep me from taking the first step to accomplishing so many things in life and business.

  3. Love the idea of choosing a word for your year! Seems like a great way to be intentional without getting wrapped up in short-term goals. I just got married last summer and am figuring out how to prioritize both intimacy with God and with my husband (along with all of life’s demands, of course!) so I am looking forward to reading more about your journey with this!

  4. I don’t have a word, but this inspired me to think of one! I’m going through the same transition as you. I just moved in with my boyfriend and had a lot of the same concerns. Even though we live close to each other and saw each other 2-3x per week, I was afraid it was going to be really challenging to live together. But I wanted to let you know that I found that it wasn’t as challenging as I feared, and it made me love him even more! We were always very open and honest about the possible challenges, which helped a lot. We also bought the book ‘1000 questions to ask before you get married,’ which had questions about your daily routine that were really helpful!

  5. Laura,
    May God bless you and Joshua immensely in 2017. Your words are so refreshing and your goals are ones that everyone could benefit from. Thank you!