Word of 2020: Intentional

Bespectacled woman covering her mouth with green book

I love the month of January because it’s a clean slate, a new beginning feels so refreshing. It is a time when I can reassess habits, and overall wellness. Though, every year has its challenges, successes and goals, I look forward to experiencing all of it. So, this year needed a word that would speak about new plans and endeavors which also included what I learned from 2019’s year of Consistency. Mr. DD and I decided on Intentional  as our word for year of 2020. Intentionality is important because we want to be purposeful in all aspects of our lives.  

Last year we chose Consistency as a word that expressed and guided our yearly mission. In my personal life, we focused on buying our first live-in investment property. Our focus was on paying down debt, saving money, and tuning our steps toward living debt-free. We also had unanswered question in 2019, “What happens after we achieved our goals?”

In 2019, I believed that it would be easier to stay focused when there’s one clear goal in mind. Typically, this advice is what we are told is best. But then I realized, I had no clue about what would we do after we achieved said goal?

What were we really prepared for?
What about unexpected house repairs?
What about buying new house furniture?
How were we going to make time to do everything?
How do we prepare financially for starting a family?
We felt a little confused and out of whack because we hadn’t planned for what comes afterwards.

More planning was needed, so we broke down our priorities into four easy to follow categories that worked well for us. Using these four planned out and necessary groups as guides, we organized our lives around 2019 Consistency and 2020 Intentional. Our initial goal was buying a home and paying off consumer debt. Over time, our focus became about planning our time, organizing a budget and creating a space for giving and travel.


Time is my number one priority and is a helpful priority for you too. Why? Because you’ll want to be Intentional about how you spent your time with family and friends. It also tells us when it’s the right time to give back to your community. Time is a super important for me and my life focus.  Spending quality time  with people I love and on relationships that are precious to me takes some organizing. I feel good about organizing my time; it is truly rewarding to make time for things that matter. Not saying that we should feel pressed or rigid about how we spend our time. But prioritizing how and what we do with each moment is a mindful and natural structure of life. Just think about how you budget your money every month. Time should be budgeted too.  

What works for me?  I budget my time just as I would money. I understand that I will need free time for unexpected events. It also takes the rigidness out of a very tight schedule.  An example of the unexpected…my husband is a creature of habit and doesn’t like steering away from his routine. I on the other hand, love spontaneity and hate when I’m on a rigid schedule. I believe our differences balance us so well. Yet, we must compromise to make things work, such as making a point to talk about time and money issues.  But compromise is part of what helps us accomplish amazing things each year. This year, we both agreed that by being Intentional with our time and money, we can successfully attain each goal we set.   


Personally, we’ve been budgeting consistently since late 2018. Managing our monthly budget has become ten times easier and more fun than worrying about unpaid bills and other financial inconsistencies. As we go along, our budget will be defined and redefined as life changes. Remember, there is Intentional focus behind every dollar.


Two categories were add to our personal budget in 2020. Giving and Travel. I love giving back and helping others, hence the reason for my career passion of finance coaching. The majority of my giving is volunteering Intentional time to those wanting and even needing to get their finances in order and helping DACA recipients. I began this work in the year 2019, the year of Consistency. I planned on sponsoring a DACA recipients by providing for their renewal fee. DACA is the acronym for: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. I believe that children, undocumented individuals, and the preservation of human rights is a worthy cause to support. These are two of my crusades but the point I’m making here is the importance of structuring your budget and making time to support community. DACA is my way of budgeting my time and money in a consistent and Intentional manner.


Yay for travel! My husband and I began talking about travel planning after becoming debt free and it’s been so exciting! It’s definitely helped us to have something to look forward to while on this debt free journey. To help keep expenses low during our travels, we totally want to try travel hacking. Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to share my travel hacking experience!

Side note:

If you are interested in knowing more about DACA or Travel Hacking, please look at the website provided in my blogs. Currently, I’m looking for a 2020 candidate. If you know of a DACA dreamer in financial need you can learn more here.

Picture of Valery Vargas

Valery Vargas

Valery is a 30 something millennial, Latina, entrepreneur at heart, first time mama, real estate investor, bookworm, board game enthusiast, and dreamer.

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