5 Ways to Live with more Intention
"Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others' choices make us." ~Richie Norton, Author I don't know about you, but sometimes I wanna flick a magic wand, remove every obstacle & clear a path for everything to go exactly as I want. (Sorry...did you say you don't have a magic wand?! Well, most of us don't, BUT I can help with that, too. Just click here :)
Even incredibly magical chicks like you & I still have days when it's a challenge to move life in the direction we want to go. Maybe we committed to a long-term career we thought we wanted, but it turned out to be a dead end. Or maybe several setbacks are thrown in our path all at once & it totally derails our plans. Or we've had multiple life transformations happening back-to-back, but we're still "adjusting". Let's face it, good or bad, sometimes life just gets crazy busy. I've had many exciting life changes over the past several years. BIG changes. With each big change, I've had to take a step back, look at the big picture & tap into the magical woman I am. I had to find ways to keep setting my intentions for the direction of my life, even among whatever unforeseen events come my way. So here, I want to share with you a few simple ways to hit the re-set button to redirect your life towards YOUR intentions, dreams and goals... because sometimes it's easy to get swept up in our barrage of friends & family...and to forget about ourselves.
1. Give yourself an Energy Boost!
A close friend of mine gave me this simple idea when I decided to prioritize all my new life changes. She said: think of all the activities (& people) that give you an amazing burst of energy. Make a list of these energizing elements & no matter how busy you get, make it a priority to do at least one item from your list during the week. When you focus on energy boosting activities & people, even just one day a week, it feeds your spirit with a boost that empowers and motivates you to tackle life's not-so-fun responsibilities. (And you'll also pay more attention to situations that drain your energy, too) Some of the items on my energy boosting list were: yoga, working on art projects, going to the movies and spending time with my mother-in-law. Yes, I LOVE my mother-in-law...so lucky, right? What are some of the items on your list?
2. Acting before Thinking = Regret
In contrast, make a list of activities you THINK sound like a good idea at the time, but you almost always regret doing later. i.e. staying out way too late with that one friend who inspires heavy drinking which then turns into a massive hangover for you and also a day wasted (or a night "wasted" depending on how you look at it lol). You love the laughter & fun they bring to your life, so you may not be aware that sometimes they're derailing your focus and your goals. Writing these scenarios down will help you notice them more easily and also bring them to the forefront of your mind, so you can try to avoid them in the future. And avoiding at least some of these things, some of the time, will make you feel like you're more in control of the outcome.
3. Flexible Scheduling
I recently discovered this amazing FREE project management app called Asana. I have it on my phone and it syncs to my laptop, too, so I can revise & check it from anywhere. I use it to create "projects" and tasks with due dates. You can use it to prioritize everything from Dr appointments to house chores to work-related items. It gives you a sort-of time saving "map" of what you're doing that day, week, month, etc. You can also drag and drop tasks to another date so that you can accommodate those unexpected curve balls, yet you still have a schedule in-tact right at your fingertips. There are plenty of mobile calendar options out there, but I really LOVE this one bc you can separate your tasks into categories and color code your entries, too, which really appeals to the artist in me. Check it out: asana.com
4. Dream in Real Life
Think about your dream vacation, wedding, job or whatever your heart desires! Even if you don't have the resources right now to get there, start planning out the details anyway. I firmly believe when you start thinking about the dream more often and start planning it in reality, it will propel your life in the direction of achieving it. And if nothing else, it will get you excited about future possibilities and new ideas even if, say, you might be currently stuck in a job you hate or don't have money for the vacation right now, etc. Just trying to flesh out the real details of that exciting future with concrete information gives you more focus on what you intend to happen in your life and it also reaffirms your belief in the probability that it will happen.
5. Go out and Play
Check your college degree, accomplishments and job title at the door (also leave behind your need for approval, this is about YOU....it's not about other people's opinions of you ;) Start asking your 8-year-old self what things she looked forward to doing as a grownup & get out and do them! Did you want to play guitar or go skydiving? or maybe you used to go ice skating when you were little and you really miss it? Check in with your inner child and ask them to come out and play! When I was 8, I remember I couldn't wait to grow up so I could go out on NYE bc my older siblings always seemed like they were having a lot of fun! When I finally became an adult, NYE didn't live up to my expectations, until I met my husband 6 years ago, who happens to be a silly goof just like me! :) So, now, he & I travel every NYE to some random small town to watch funny things "drop" at midnight all over the US. My inner 8 year old LOVES it so much! So far we've done 6 new year's eve drops in 6 different small towns. This year we went to the Muskrat Dive in Princess Anne MD and met some fun new friends while we were there! If you google "weird things that drop at midnight on New Year's Eve" you'll see what I'm talking about LOL! So get out and get totally silly with your inner child. Realise some of those fun & playful dreams that maybe you've forgotten. "Adulting" can create many demands on our time and energy. Sometimes we get pulled in too many directions & we start to feel like instead of consciously choosing our lives, we're just reacting to everything that comes our way. This overload can leave us little time for our own intentions, dreams or fun. But isn't life meant to be enjoyed?! I say, go on with your bad self and ride life's crazy train with its cast of characters, responsibilities and random happenings, but at least try to drive the train in the direction YOU want to go. Make your happiness a top priority AND ditch the idea that making yourself a top priority is selfish. If you aren't happy with your life, chances are you won't make anyone around you happy either. Nobody likes a crabby witch no matter how magical she may be ;)