If there is anything I have been seeking in the last couple years, it is intentionality. How can I be more intentional with my schedule, my interactions, and my priorities to make sure that I am living the life I desire and not one driven by mass consumption and the world’s expectations?
And if there is anything I have learned, it is that simplicity is king. The more we ‘cut the crap’, the more we are able to bathe in the sun.
Don’t wait until you have a death sentence to evaluate who you really are, what you truly want out of life, and the impact you want to make. Seek intentionality now! You deserve happiness now!
Still not sure of where to start? Here are some simple ideas to consider:
1. Prioritize your tasks – Make a list of everything you have to do in your life- tasks for today, unfinished projects, the steps necessary to reach larger goals. Categorize them into groups: this week, this month, the next 6 months, the next year. Is there anything that you are hesitant to put in any of these categories? Consider not doing that task. If you are hesitant to categorize something, chances are you are not that passionate about doing it in the first place!
Within each category, do the important tasks first- they often take more time and effort so are easily pushed aside for the smaller, easier tasks, but if they’re not managed appropriately then they never get done. Don’t spend so much of your time doing busy work that you never get to the real work of living!
Is there anything else that you are doing just because it seems like ‘something you should do’ and not necessarily because it is of value to you? Cross it off your list- don’t underestimate the liberation felt from stepping out from society’s expectations and defining life on your own terms!
2. Start saying ‘No!’ – Time is a limited commodity. Don’t agree to anything that you are not thrilled about. Don’t want to go to that baby shower? Decline gracefully and send a gift. Don’t want to participate in that project your friend is trying to talk you into? Don’t! If it doesn’t genuinely interest you it will feel like a chore, you will not be as effective, and it will stress you out sabotaging the other areas of your life in which you actually want to be spending your time and efforts.
Not sure when it is appropriate to say ‘no’? First, evaluate what your personal and family goals are. What do you truly want to do, be, and accomplish in this life? What can you do with your life to foster these values? What are the priorities of your family? Understand that everything has tradeoffs. Since we all only have 24 hours in the day, the great differentiator is what we say ‘no’ to because this is what creates space for bigger, better ‘yes’ moments to come along!
3. Simplify your finances – There isn’t anything that will suck the life out of you quite as fast as compromised finances. Overspending and under budgeting is the groundwork for lots of stress, lack of freedom, strained relationships, and stifled possibilities. On the flip side, there’s nothing like having an energetic (balanced) exchange of money in your life to liberate you from boredom and stress and help you better live with purpose.
4. Fill your life with people you love – Hold those you love dearly close to your heart. This means prioritizing your life so that you have adequate time to devote to these people and relationships as well as letting go of those relationships that don’t serve you. Do you really want to go out to coffee with this person? Do you really want to host that dinner party? Know that you can design your life on your terms- you can still have friends no matter what you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to.
5. Take more time for yourself– meditate, sleep, and eat whole, natural foods. Nourish your body, mind and soul and your happiness will skyrocket. Like the airplane analogy of putting the mask on yourself before helping others, your life needs to follow this same path. By making time to support yourself you are able to be a better partner, parent, employee and friend. Don’t fall into the rut of serving everybody else until you are sucked dry- it isn’t sustainable, you will make yourself sick, and ultimately be more of a burden than a savior with compromised health and wellbeing.
Let simplicity reign!
Enjoy the choices you get to make- it is your opportunity to create the life of your dreams.
Enjoy the freedom that exists in living life on your terms.
Enjoy the small things- this is often where the most beauty resides.
Enjoy the space you create- it is where the possibilities reside. I guarantee you never dream as big as you are capable of so leave space for amazing things to happen!