Making Intentional Choices

Life can get tricky and we tend to make choices out of stress, obligation, guilt or any other external factor surrounding us. In those times, we act on what we should do and not because of what we truly want. Unfortunately, outside influences tend to have power over us when decisions are made without careful consideration. Time is money, time is power, time is valuable. The luxury of time is not always afforded to us; actively practicing intention in our decisions is a skill we must make time too perfect.

Becoming aware of what occupies our focus, whether it be work, friends, or family, we don’t have to surrender ourselves to everyone else’s wants and needs. What do you want to accomplish, what goal are you aiming towards? Be intentional in getting there. Show up, be present and watch your life tend to you instead.

Obviously, we all go through our own unique situations and must assess from that standpoint, but here are some common places to start practicing.

  • Lifestyle
    • This is a big one, also one that often gets put on the back burner. It’s easy to make excuses as to why we can’t start changing and blame it on obligations, demands and further distractions. A great way to start is to first, make a list anywhere where you can have daily access to. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish in the next six months? Next, set a date to get started and hold yourself accountable. Set an end goal as well to help keep you on track. You have to want change, and lifestyle is a hard one to tackle once we fall into a habitual cycle. Be intentional and show up for yourself, in the end you will have a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. You are your biggest obstacle.
  • Relationships
    • Our relationships, of any kind, require a level of nurturing and support. From both parties nonetheless, but you are only in control of your own intentions and behaviors. Don’t just continuously say you want to be better, put more effort in, communicate better and put your words into intentional actions. Again, you have to want change, if you don’t feel a pull to do better in your relationship consider why that is and assess. Put intention into making time to spend time with your partner, don’t seclude yourself. Consider the end results of changed behavior and gaining patience and how this could benefit your life. Don’t live reactively, although this is difficult in the heat of the moment take a second to consider the consequences of your actions, or lack thereof.
  • Spending habits
    • This one coincides with lifestyle. You can’t keep saying you want to spend less money then find yourself indulging on small items thinking it won’t affect the long run. Be intentional with your spending, prioritize needs not wants. It is definitely easier said then done, but setting a date for an end goal is a great place to start. Think through spending decisions, what would happen if you said no?
  • Time
    • Our time is valuable, depending on your situation your energy can feel its being pulled everywhere and at the end of the day it seems there is no time for you. How are you spending your time? These days we tend to lose our time stuck on our television or phone screens and hours pass without notice. Become intentional with the time you can manage and attempt to step away from technology and spend time with loved ones or with yourself and relax. The world moves so fast online as we attempt to keep up with others, put that energy into you. Pick up a new novel, take a walk for some fresh air, journal your thoughts and goals and be intentional in attaining them. It can feel we have no control over our own lives, but take a minute to breathe and be present. You’ll realize you have the power in every choice you make.

Those are a few starting points to think about, but if they don’t apply to your life at this time consider where you could be more intentional. Be aware of your intention and live your life with purpose rather than obligation. Ask yourself what you need. Take the steps you feel necessary to begin removing stress and anxiety from your plate.

Keep in mind that good things take time, remain intentional and trust yourself to be accountable for your choices. You have the right and the power to say no to activities that don’t fulfill you. Your priorities and values are the most important obligation you have to yourself.

Start today, tomorrow or next month, but be intentional in following through. You’ll be thankful you did.

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