“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
The Art of Intentional Living
Many of us live our lives allowing others to make decisions for us. We are Christians because our parents made us go to church as children. We become doctors or lawyers because we come from along line of doctors and lawyers. On the flip side some of us do not have a savings account because our parents did not have one. Some of us continue the cycle of finding ourselves in abusive relationships because, quite frankly, that is all we have ever known.
Intentional living is being mindful of our actions and having the consequences of those actions in the forefront of our decision making. It’s really getting to know our purpose and to live it out unapologetically. It’s understanding that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13) and no one else was placed on this earth to be you and to do what only you can do.
So, how do we take the reigns of our lives and make sure our actions are intentional?
1. Examine your life.
Honestly ask yourself:
- What is my purpose on earth? Am I living out that purpose?
- Am I living for myself or am I living to please others?
- When I look at my life do I feel that I have made intentional choices?
- Are my relationships intentional? Do I surround myself with purpose-driven individuals?
- Are my choices faith-based or fear-based?
- Am I doing what is best for myself spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally?
- Do I see myself reaching my goals if I continue in the direction that I am heading?
Taking time to examine areas of our life is important to gauge where we are in the grand scheme of things. You may realize that there are small things in your life that you have grown accustomed to that need to change.
Sometimes, the answers are a hard pill to swallow, but if our choices come from a place of conformity, fear, or shame it’s time to change and start making faith-based choices that move us towards our purpose.
2. Pray. Visualize. Plan. Do.
Some of us might feel really lost. We don’t know what our greater calling is. That’s OK.
Pray on it. More often than not the answer is right in front of our faces. We were all given skills and talents. Sometimes, all we really need is to take a minute and clear our minds of all of the chatter. Prayer and meditation is an amazing way to acquire clarity.
Once, you have an idea of what you want to do, then visualize yourself doing it. Create a vision board or write sticky notes to remind yourself what your goals are.
Plan. Plan the next steps that will help you achieve this calling.
And don’t forget to get started. Getting started is half the battle.
3. Celebrate the small victories.
Here’s an important one! Celebrate the small victories. Take time to acknowledge how far you’ve come. This will make the journey more enjoyable.
I had to learn this the hard way. For a long time, I would focus on the next step without fully appreciating my recent achievements. This left me feeling discouraged because it led to feelings of inadequacy.
Once I actually took time to thank God for the small victories and celebrated them, I realized my attitude changed and living out my purpose became less of a burden and more of a constant celebration.
4. Embrace your uniqueness.
My dear, embracing who you are flaws and all is such a pivotal part of living intentionally. You won’t be be able to live out your purpose if you try to be someone else.
Embrace who you are. I struggle with this from time to time. I focus so much on my flaws that I miss out on the fact that God created me, intentionally. It was not accident. My flaws were not an accident.
The beauty of life is that we live in a universe where the good and the bad are so intricately blended that we can’t fully live out our true purpose without embracing both weaknesses and strengths.
Remember, God can use our flaws for HIS glory.
If you feel overwhelmed, just take a minute to breath. Sometimes, living out intentionally will require a “pause” of some sort. Life will often times pull us in so many different directions that we need to remember to just breath.
I have trouble with this. I am always trying to go at a 1,000 mph! Even when working out I find myself holding my breath to finish that last set and my trainer always has to remind me to breath or else I’ll pass out!
The same applies to life. Just take a minute to breath, hit pause, re-align yourself with what’s really important and keep going.
This is only the beginning
Intentional living is the beginning of a beautiful life changing season. I encourage you to take a very close look at your life and start realizing your fullest potential! Live out your life intentionally every step of the way.