Being Intentional

This is a lot different from a New Year’s resolution. New Year’s resolutions tend to be optimistic delusions. I know that’s strong, but how many of us have made the same resolutions for the last ten years without achieving any of them? I like to call these the “I wanna’s.” I want to loose weight, I want to make more money, I want to start my own business, I want to go out more, I want to establish new relationships, I want to be a writer, but the reality is we’re not truly motivated to do anything about these things. In other words, we have no real intentions.

Intention implies making a plan. A plan requires decisions, details, and arrangements of time and space. If we want to accomplish something we have to be willing to design our lives. Here’s an example from my life. I wanted to write more with the goal of being published. I talked about doing this for a number of years. Every year was going to be my new beginning. I would start writing and before I knew it I had stopped. Life, work, laziness, pessimism, distractions, procrastination – something always got in the way. (By the way this was true with my diet as well.) So I ended up with folders and journal with half written stories, a few poems, and a lot of idea notes, but no material for publication. About five years ago, I got serious, partly as a result of a Vision Board workshop, and partly because I really wanted this thing.

Here are some pointers I picked up from the Vision Board workshop. Don’t just cut out pictures; actually write down how you plan to make those pictures a reality. What steps will it take to get there? Will you need classes, a partner, some how-to books? Can you find a mentor or interview someone who is successful in the area of your desire? These ideas sparked a fire in me. I grabbed a composition notebook and wrote down all the things I thought I needed to do to accomplish my dream.

So these are the steps I took. I looked for and enrolled in a writing class. (This was a class about writing memoirs and my first published book was a memoir.) I subscribed to two periodicals about writing. I bought a Writer’s Market book along with several other books about honing my skills as a writer. I joined a writer’s group that met at the public library weekly, and I set aside two hours three days per week to go to the library to write. (It didn’t take me long to realize I couldn’t avoid the distractions of my family even though I have a home office.) Lastly, I wrote a list of the things I wanted to accomplish each week. This was a checklist that helped me hold myself accountable for following through with assignments and short and long term goals. It was very intentional.

Think about it! If you are around other people who are doing what you want to do, it makes it real. It tells your brain and your heart, it’s possible. When you design a plan that includes short and long term goals, it helps you to move forward and make progress. It makes your decisions and your effort intentional. Intentionality helps you build the appropriate habits and work ethics to succeed.

I think it’s hard for us to be intentional because so many things are planned for us. We have forgotten how to plan for ourselves. Someone else designed my work schedule at my job. Someone else wrote the job description. Someone else wrote the list of duties, and my evaluation is based on me meeting their goals. What about your personal goals? Whose going to set your schedule? Whose going to write a description of the duties? How will you evaluate your success? BE INTENTIONAL! Being intentional is not a resolution it’s an action plan.

Perhaps you have other ways of being intentional that you would like to share. Share your plan for success with us! Let’s all be more intentional in 2020. DESIGN YOUR LIFE!
Dream. Imagine. Believe : Vision Board Journal: Journal your way to success by visualizing your dreams, a unique notebook with blank and lined pages to draw, sketch, write or add pictures

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