Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles on “intentional living” which got me to thinking about my own life and exactly how much intentional living I’m getting done. As I evaluated my everyday living, I’m afraid some days, I gave myself a D. It seems like my day takes off and before I know it, evening has arrived, it’s time for bed and I ask myself, “What did I get accomplished today?” Too often the answer is, “not much.”
Dale Carnegie said about procrastination “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” With intentional living, I believe we can enjoy the roses, a bit more.
I don’t think “Living with Intent” is about how much you get done in a day but rather the things you did, you did intentionally.
For me, it starts with quiet time in the morning. I must quiet my mind and think about the day. I think about what I need and want to do. I intentionally set my mind in a purposeful direction that will lead me to the end result I desire. Other words, I point my mind in the right direction and my body will follow. Without getting my mindset in order I lose control of my day.
My most successful days, are days with a list. My list might range from a few things to many, but whatever I want to get accomplished, I write down. I still enjoy carrying around a steno notebook for my list but yours may be on your phone or computer. Doesn’t matter, just make a list, write it down, and check it off.
When I make my list, it is like a powerful force starts to happen. I know what I need to do, I write it down, I see it throughout the day, and then as I approach the task, an energy starts flowing through me until I’m absorbed with it. When my task is completed and checked off my notebook, a sense of accomplishment washes over me. I think it’s because my mind realized what my body has completed and it is satisfied.
Often times our days are busy and we get a lot done, but because it’s routine our mind doesn’t acknowledge or appreciate all the work we’ve done that day. I don’t think we need to write down every little thing, but if you are feeling empty at the end of your day and you don’t know where your time went, start by writing down the things you do throughout your day. Even if you reflect at the end of the day, write everything down and look over how you spent your day. If you are not satisfied with it, be ready the next morning to make a list of what will satisfy you. Then intentionally set out to fulfill your list.
Don’t overdo or stress yourself out, just make a plan of how to use your time. As we age, we often want to take on something new. Perhaps gardening, writing, a new exercise class, learning to play an instrument or your very own secret wish you never had time for. Or, it could be, something you wish to get away from or stop doing. With intentional living you can make it work. Plan your work and work your plan.
George Craig Stewart said “Weak men are the slaves of what happens. Strong men are masters of what happens. Weak men are victims of their environment. Strong men are victors in any environment. Strong men may not change the circumstances, but they will use them, compel them to serve, and bend them to their purposes. They may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but somehow they will coerce the wind to fill their sails while they drive the tiller over to keep their course.” I believe Mr. Stewart is talking about intentional living.
If your days are full and you are content at the end of your day, good for you! Keep it up 😊 If like me, somedays you are a bit disappointed, then regardless of your circumstances, try “living with intent”.
Good luck and please let me know how “Living with Intent” is working for you.