As already established in the last e-Boost, having intentions/goals/plans is not synonymous with being intentional; having intentions is passive while being intentional is ACTIVE, CONSCIOUS and DELIBERATE… So today, we are going to focus on how to be and live more intentionally, in order to get the best out of life. Please seat back, read, learn and share your thoughts in the comment box.
And just before we proceed, here’s a quick recap of steps for being intentional:
- Have a plan/goal/intent you want to achieve
- Have a strategy for achieving your plan/goal/intent.
- Have a schedule/timeline for accomplishing your set plan/goal/intent.
(Please click here to read the first part of this post, so we can flow better).
To achieve any significant progress in anything, you have to work on being intentional – being active, conscious and deliberate about the matter. Note that, living intentionally does not mean you’ll get to do everything you want; neither does it mean you’ll do everything perfectly – it simply means you’re more focused, deliberate and conscious about achieving/accomplishing what you want.
That said, here are top 7 tips for living life more intentionally on all fronts:
- Have a set plan/goal/intention – To be intentional or live life more intentionally, you must have an intention (goal or plan) that you want to achieve in different areas and levels of your life. Your intentions/goals/plans are the blueprint that will guide your intentional actions. Jack Kornfield said: “Intention leads to behaviors which lead to habits which lead to personality development which leads to destiny”. I think that summarizes the importance of having intentions.
- Trust God with your plans/intentions/goals – No matter how good or well thought out your plan/goal/intention is, without God, it will fail, (except God chooses to allow it). “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”(Proverbs 19:21 NIV). From my personal experiences, I have learnt that when you trust God with your plans, He will help you to avoid loopholes, deathtraps and failures, early on. Little wonder the wise King Solomon wrote this in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”(NIV)
- Have a mapped out strategy for achieving your goals/intentions/plans – Your goal/plan/intention is the blueprint/big picture, while your strategy refers to the conscious active steps or things you need to do, remove or put in place to achieve your set goal/plan/intention.
- Discipline – I think the word discipline should be placed beside the phrase ‘Being Intentional’ because without discipline, you can’t achieve anything worthwhile. It is discipline that will help you determine and stick to the number of hours to sleep, study, exercise, work, etc. It is discipline that will help you determine when and how to speak or respond to people/situations/events. It is discipline that will help you stick to your set plan/goal/intention; it is discipline that will help you determine negative habits to cut off and also help you develop more helpful ones… There’s really nothing we can do well in life without some level of discipline.
- Pay close attention to the company you keep – The company you keep goes a long way in influencing how focused, deliberate and conscious you will be with your decision to be intentional. Now the company you keep is not restricted to your human companions, it encompasses the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to and the places you visit – offline and online.
- Be prudent with your resources – A spendthrift or stingy person will have difficulty achieving his/her set goals/plans/intentions hence striking a balance is needed. Prudence will help you determine and decide when and how to spend your resources. And your resources goes beyond physical cash or money; your time and energy are also your resources.
- Have a timeline/schedule for achieving each goal/plan/intention – You can have a perfect plan with a working strategy but if you don’t attach a time-frame for/to your actions, it might take a lifetime to get anything accomplished. So it is important to attach a time=frame/deadline to your plans, and your strategy for achieving them. This will help you track your progress and make necessary adjustments where and when necessary. Having a daily planner, soft or hardcopy, can help you keep track of your daily progress.
- Believe in yourself and in the possibility of achieving your goals/plans/intentions – If you don’t believe in yourself and/or in the possibility of achieving your goals/plans/intentions, how can you convince others to do so? Yes, we all have doubts at some point or another but that shouldn’t be your default mode. No matter how big or impossible your plans may look, learn to believe that with God all things are possible (Mathew 19:26), and all things are possible to them that believe (Mark 9:23. (And this doesn’t mean you should set unrealistic goals for yourself, you know what I mean).
The summary of all these tips is that when we have an intention/plan/goal, we need to consciously, deliberately and intentionally follow it up with daily steps, decisions and actions focused on making a difference, large or small, in achieving our set goals/plans/intentions. Life as we know it has no regard for our intentions or plans, if we don’t follow through with them.
So that’s it on today’s e-Boost. Do you know/have other tips that can help us live life more intentionally? Please don’t hesitate to share in the comment box. Looking forward to learning from you too.
Photo1 Credit: katielance.com
Photo2 Credit: Pairedinc.com