Choose Wellness: Live your days with Intentionality!
We move about our days with the belief that living a purposeful life requires a set of goals, and a steadfast focus on these goals, where achieving targets become our primary measure of success! In the pursuit of a purposeful life we wake up each morning, with the hope of trying to incorporate as much as we can into our day - where being idle is considered living without purpose or intention. This leads to full days of family, work, friends, and activities. If we were to think about yesterday, what stands out for each of us is a conundrum. Why? Not because nothing stands out, but because our days have been so full, it has gone by like a blur. If we had to pick a vivid moment, a memory from yesterday - what memory would you pick? What memories did you make yesterday?
Many of us mistake intentional living for a busy goal oriented way of living. In fact, years ago, I considered a day of being idle, taking time for activities I needed to attend to or, simply time to rest, as a wasted day - a purposeless day! I have come to better understand, in the last few years, through practice and intention, that a busy day does not equal a day lived with intentionality. What is living with intentionality? Living with intention is to live with the awareness, of your daily interactions and actions, and with the knowledge of how these actions align with your values and beliefs.
Living with intentionality requires focus. Focus on our moment to moment interactions and activities. To say we lived intentionally and then not remember more than 5-10% of your day, is not to have lived an intentional day. If we focus on our day and the living within, we will make memories as we go through our day, we will remember our activities of the day, as we end our day; we will better know if our day was lived with purpose - not just towards the end goals that we as humans seem to constantly strive for, but also towards our own functioning, wellness and wellbeing as individuals, as a family, as a community, and as a society.
If you have ever been in therapy, counselling or worked with a coach, you may have experienced being asked what the rest of your day is going to look like, at the end of the therapeutic session; while there a few reasons for this question, one is that it brings back intentionality, self-awareness, and moment to moment focus for the individual ending therapy. Why is it important? Because it guides a person to look at the day or evening ahead, and encourages intentionality in action, rather than being on auto-pilot!
How do you bring intentionality back into your day? Living with intention requires the awareness that our days are made up of choices, and decisions. It requires moment to moment presence (turn auto-pilot off), and it requires the use of your free will. Reminding yourself that you have choices to make, changes living with reactions to circumstances, to making choices that fit with your values and beliefs. It requires focusing on what is important to you, and re-evaluating the expectations you have of yourself, others and the world. It requires implementing small daily routines and habits that provide structure to your intentional day. It requires checking in with yourself - how are you feeling as you start your day? Mentally, emotionally and physically? What hopes do you have for your day? What worries or concerns come up for you as you think about the day ahead? What contributions will you make to others, this day?
Living an intentional day, an intentional life, requires our presence, in our own lives.
For more information on living intentionally: