Intentional Living is a Process

I’ve been living “intentionally” for about a year and though I know that’s not a long time to “practice” any type of given lifestyle, I’ve learned a a couple of things.

The first thing I learned is that living intentionally is something that can be applied in every aspect and corner of your life.

The second thing I’ve learned is that it takes trial and error.

If I was this gung-ho, super disciplined person, I would commit and overcome all obstacles and stick to Plan A and have no other backup plans.

But simply put, I’m not. I *could* train myself to be so if I really wanted to and rewrite the story for myself and retrain my thinking habits, but I low key want the space for flexibility in my life and be able to give myself grace when needed.

Saying all that leads me to this point – ALL the plans will be needed.
If you want to become that gung-ho person, there is nothing wrong with that!
By all means, practice and retrain your habits and thoughts to become the type of person you want to be and live the life you want to live!

I do great in rigid routines but I also know that I get dead tired and exhausted.
I’m still in the process of accomplishing goals and creating my dream life – ultimate goal is to GET there and help others get there.

As a single mom, that’s a LOT to juggle: working multiple jobs, school (which includes school assignments and studying), being a mom (and we all know what that entails wearing 50 different hats).

I’ve learned that for me, yes, routines and systems work great but I also need the space to for some wiggle room and have learned to give myself grace and pick up where I’ve left off.

Definitely, in a handful of areas, I need to create a better system (for example, updating my blog) and have a better discipline, but I no longer kick myself in the shin when I fail to do so.
Kicking myself in the shin leads to not even wanting to get back into things.

I’ve failed so I give up.

It’s a toxic cycle and giving up is the real failure but that is what I learned as I’ve started to apply intentional living into my life.

Change is expected. Life throws lemons and bananas and the plan you’ve set for yourself becomes completely useless.
You keep trying to stay on the path but it doesn’t work.

You decide, “Okay, maybe it’s not just meant to be.”

But here’s what I’ve learned: Create a new plan.

Maybe you decided that in order to start working out, working out in the morning is best.
And sure, it could be a discipline problem and lack of being intentional.
Maybe you aren’t going to bed on time.
Maybe you’re eating too much sugary snacks and it keeps you awake.
Maybe you’re just not used to it yet.

That’s user error and you need to be a tad more intentional about working out in the mornings.
Is what you’re doing serving you and your goals?
Is binging on Netflix going to help you wake up on time?
Is eating that sleeve of Oreo cookies going to help you?
If what you’re doing isn’t helping, what and how can you change to keep yourself accountable to your goals?

The other side is, maybe it’s just not realistic.
Maybe your job leaves you fatigued and you actually do need that extra 30-60 minutes of sleep.
Maybe you don’t come home until 3 A.M. from your job and waking up at 6 A.M. is just not feasible.

Like maybe you thought you could do it -workout, go back to sleep, and then go about your day but it’s just not happening.

You have two choices:
A. Keep going at it. Start changing other aspects in your life to make it happen. Create that discipline.
B. Toss the morning workout plan and come up with something else. Maybe working out in the evening is better. Maybe creating a routine around the evenings will make your ultimate goal of working out consistently more possible.

Intentional living is about being/becoming who you wish to be and living/creating in a space that serves you.

Living intentionally takes trial and error.
It’s not to say to try it once and if it’s not working, give up and create a new plan.
You have to give it a REAL chance.
Make yourself do it at least for a week. And if you REALLY tried and failed before you even get to the end of the week, then sure, go back to the drawing board.

I recently decided to walk 3 miles every morning.
I’m about a week in.
It’s been hard on many different aspects.
Mentally because I’m constantly having that inner battle in my head, “But it feels SO good to just lay in bed.”
Physically because my body isn’t in the best shape and 3 miles just seemed like too much. My body has been so sore lately that I keep deciding whether or not I should readjust my goals to two miles.
But I know that two miles is doable for me and the whole point of me wanting to do this is to push myself.

What I did adjust was my wake up time.
Initially, I wanted to wake up at 4:40 A.M. and leave the door by 5 A.M.
But it’s just not happening.

For now, wake up time doesn’t matter since I am off work for the summer (Huzzah for working in the school district!). My goal is to walk 3 miles every morning.

I wanted to commit to the mornings because it’s something I want to be consistently doing even once I return to work. My job is exhausting and can be fairly physical so I know it’ll be that much harder to do it after work. Plus, I have other tasks that I would like to complete in the evenings.

I’m not leaving my home at 5 A.M. like I want to…yet.
When I first started, I was leaving my home around 7:30.
The last couple of days, I’ve been leaving my home around 6:30.
I’m slowly training my body to wake up earlier naturally (no alarm clock).

By the time I return to work, I hope to be jogging/running the 3 miles (it’s really 5k so just a hair more than 3 miles) so I know that technically, I can leave my home a little later.

Right now, I’m planning it early because it takes me about an hour to walk 5k.
Hopefully, by the time I return to work, jogging/running 5k will take me 30 minutes, giving me a little more stretch of time to sleep in – I want to be home by 6 A.M. to get ready for my day.

What matters is that I’m doing it. I’m doing the thing that matters. I’m walking 5k.
It doesn’t matter when I do it as long as I do it.
But I prefer to do it in the mornings and that’s how I’m setting up everything else around me.
I’m intentional about what I eat, what I do in the evenings, and what time I go to bed.

I had to make some adjustments (trial and error) when I realized I can’t just wake up at 4:30 bushy eyed and ready to go.
I may never even have to wake up at 4:30 but that’s the goal just in case it still takes me an hour to complete the 5k walk/jog/runs by the time August comes around.

The main goal is do 5k. No matter what that looks like (walking, jogging, running) and when I do it.
I just want to do it.

The main thing to remember is that things might fall apart.
Things might not happen the way you are wanting it to.
Things might change.
What matters is – what are you doing more of?
Are you getting closer to the kind of life you want to be living?
The person you want to become?
If yes, then that’s all that matters.
If not, it’s okay to go back and tweak things.

Don’t give up on the kind of life your heart desires to live.
Keep that image fresh in your mind.
Feel how it would feel to be there.
And make it a reality.

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