Column: Good Intentions

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Just about everyone knows of the online phenomenon that is Pinterest. It’s a whole world of out-of-the-box craft ideas, design and fashion inspiration, to-die-for recipes and a treasure trove of wedding ideas that is a bride’s dream come true.

I’ll admit that I spent many hours browsing Pinterest this summer. I discovered some pretty neat “pins” that spurred me to tackle a craft or test a new recipe. And some of those animal pins are hilarious. Who doesn’t love a good puppy picture now and then?

But even with the puppies and recipes, I realized that my Pinterest boards represent countless good intentions that never come to fruition. There are recipes that are never tested, cute outfits that are never bought or worn, crafts that are never cut, glued, tied or painted.

Pinterest, despite all its positive aspects, highlights the all-too-common human tendency of failing to act upon good intentions.

How many good intentions did you have this summer? Did you begin the month of May excited about what you would accomplish, learn and experience, only to suddenly realize that August had arrived, and your summer to-do list was buried beneath a pile of books and running shoes?

That happened to me this summer. I wanted to read more, write more, run more and pray more. Yet sadly, not all of those good intentions were realized.

“There’s a deep freeze of sorts for all good intentions — a place that you store your plans to make changes in your life when you know you’re not going to make them at all,” Jeffrey Kluger, a senior editor for Time, once said.

Kluger has a bleak outlook on good intentions, yet his statement rings shockingly true. If we examine our lives, we find that goals are unmet, kind words are sometimes left unsaid, prayers for the struggling are forgotten, or lifestyle changes never quite materialize.

I know it’s time that I stop viewing life as a grand Pinterest board. Those ideas and goals I’ve stored in my mind and heart can’t stay there like cute little online pins. My good intentions must turn into realities if I’m going to accomplish anything worthwhile.

So as we venture into this fall semester with high hopes, lofty goals and lists of must-do’s, we shouldn’t let the Pinterest syndrome of failed intentions rule our actions. Let’s be practical goal setters who accomplish much and use the time with which we are blessed.

Here’s my advice to all the die-hard pinners: you can still browse for that next great idea, but remember that life is about real-life actions, and not the dream wedding board full of good intention pins.