Updated: Mar 1, 2022
I love this word - intentionality. What could be better than living your life on purpose? What is incredible, though, is that a lot of people apparently don't live their lives intentionally, they just let their lives happen. It's a personal choice of course, but the thing is, sometimes, for those people, not a lot happens. Many opportunities are missed.
I'm not a person who is capable of not having goals. I've found old diaries from childhood which have lists of things that I wanted to get better at or habits I wanted to acquire, with ticks for the number of times I practiced them. My life is a constant process of reflecting, reviewing, revising and revisiting ideas, plans, dreams and achievements to decide what my priorities are at every new stage and moment in time. Relaxing my mind is the one thing that hasn't made it onto the list. I've almost given up on that one.
I understand that this might seem strange to some people, but studies have shown that people who live life intentionally are more likely to succeed, as in, far more likely to succeed. Now, I know that success is a word without a meaning, but I would define it as feeling like you're where you want to be, doing what you want to be doing and feeling like everything is flowing in your life without too much struggle. For me it's a work in progress. Maybe it's a work in progress for everyone. The difference is that without commitment to progress, it is unlikely to happen.
People are so resistant to the idea of New Year's resolutions. I think that's very funny, because I have New Year's resolutions, mid-January resolutions, birthday resolutions, June resolutions, August resolutions, September resolutions, December resolutions etc. etc. etc. These take different forms depending on my ideas at the time. There might be lists, calendars, journals or vision boards. One year I came across an idea of having a 'right-brained business plan', so I made one in the form of a visual book, with every aspect of life represented in pictures.
Now, for me, intentionality is becoming more about fun. Rather than being about things I should do, it's about making life count. It's about challenging myself and having new experiences rather than living life on autopilot. I've been doing a little research lately... I have realized that this is now my most common verbal expression. I keep finding myself saying to people, "I was doing some research the other day...." - all the time! Remember what I said about my mind not being able to stop? Anyway, I've been doing a little research lately in preparation for the new year, and have put all my intentionality methods in place. I learned that a vision board can be better if it's not too busy, so I made a small, strategic one with the four most important things on it. No, I'm not going to divulge what those four things are. When they happen I'll consider telling you what they were. This is also a good thing to remember. Not everyone will be onboard with your particular priorities, so if you are squeamish about that, it might be better not to share them with certain people.
I also put a lot of things on a calendar document to remind me that I want to prioritise them this year. And, I read about an idea of creating a list of 21 things to do during the year - 21 for 2021. Because one list is never enough, I've started making lists of fun things to tick off during the year: 21 books I've never read, 21 movies I've never seen, 21 things I've never cooked, 21 cafés I've never been to. I think the hardest part will be to stop at 21. Please stop me before I decide to make 21 lists of 21!
I'm a very future-oriented person and I understand that many people are present-oriented people. This kind of thing is not natural for everyone. A lot of people tell me, though, that they just can't think of anything to plan, dream about or make lists about. It this is the problem, look, there's always Google. With all the infinite 'possibilités' in life, it's a shame to let them pass us by. Feeling like life is a treadmill, or an 'ever-spinning wheel' or an 'uphill battle' is no fun at all. You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? It's so true. But, when we start working on acquiring those little habits, or expanding our awareness, or rising to those challenges, we find new windows and doors opening all over the place. We become capable of things that we never dreamed we could do, and find ourselves in places we never thought we would be. These are the 'pinch me' moments of life. I've had so many of them in my life, and look forward to many more.
It's time for me to intentionally get back to marking some more assignments. I hope you have a wonderful year full of planning and dreaming.
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