What is Intentional Living and is it Really Possible?
There were many mornings when I woke up feeling absolutely overwhelmed, exhausted, and hopeless.
I had a good life in so many ways however, I felt like I had no control over it. I did my best to keep my house clean, carpool to school and sports, volunteer, and meal plan. On rare occasions I would write. I somehow got it all done (with the occasional mishaps) but I really didn’t do anything well.
The values, beliefs, and expectations I had for my family got lost in the shuffle of our modern-day suburban life. I found myself in a rut of just surviving, getting through the week.
Plus, I had a long list of creative ideas that I never pursued. I felt spread too thin and was disconnected with real community. I desperately wanted to do something well.
- Where do I want my family to be 5 years from now?
- What do I want us be known for?
- And how are we going to get there?
I wanted to do more than survive. I wanted to live a life that was intentional, one that had purpose beyond conquering my to do list.
Can you relate?
For me intentional living is deciding what you want your life to look like, what do you want to be known for, and intentionally pursuing it.
So what is Intentional Living?
According to Wikipedia…
“Intentional living is any lifestyle based on an individual or group's conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs. These can include lifestyles based on religious or ethical values, as well as coaching, personal transformation, and leadership training.”
Intentional living will NOT help you:
- Live the perfect life.
- Have it all together.
- Be in the spotlight.
- Know all the answers
Living on purpose, having control of my time, and pursuing the dreams I had seemed impossible…but it wasn’t!
Here are some of the steps I took to pursue a life on intention:
Decide to change. You don’t have to let the way you have done things in the past dictate the way you do life in the future. Everyday is a new opportunity to make a change. It takes courage to choose to do life differently because you will need to break some old habits.
You will not change what you are willing to tolerate. << CLICK TO TWEET
Identify exactly what you want to change. What are you unhappy with and hope to change? My journey started with a list of things I desperately wanted to be different. For example, I wanted to stop being a “Jack of all trades” and invest in ONE thing consistently enough to do it well.
Define your non-negotiables. The question was asked of me, “What are the 5 things that must happen everyday for you to feel good?” Naming these was hard at first, but I did it. Over time they have changed.
Define your values. What is important to you and your family? Values are the things that you believe are essential to the way you live and work. There are many values that are worth espousing, however your values are the ones that are most important to you.
Examine how you spend your time. Do you have time to do, what you have to do, in any given day or week? Look at your schedule in blocks of time, designate for specific tasks for each of those blocks. You may find you have an unrealistic expectation for what you can do. You might also discover blocks of wasted time. Getting this step established takes time and refinement.
Connect with others doing the same. The best thing you can do is a find friend or an online community of people who have taken control of their lives too. Or you can enlist the help of a life coach that will walk you through the steps. Someone to encourage you and exchange ideas with is invaluable.
My life is far from perfect but I can honestly say that I make more thoughtful decisions for my family and me. I no longer feel like I don’t have control over my life. I am intentional about how I use my time and I see the fruits of it. The atmosphere of our home has changed and I have achieved goals I didn’t think were possible.
Over the next two months I will share more specifics about the steps mentioned above. And provide you with resources to help you take those steps too.