Intention. Our determination to act a certain way. Resolve. Significance. What one intends to bring about. - Merriam Webster.
I love this word intention. Not only does it talk about having a determination or a drive, but it also addresses our own significance. Do you ever find your significance lacking through the comparison game, or the feeling of never measuring up? Me too. I totally creep down that path some days. But, something that I have begun to implement this year are a few things that I have started doing as I wake up and as I go to sleep that I do with a heart of intention to help me focus on the right things in life.
Waking up with Intention
Every morning, before my feet hit the floor, I have started trying to do these 5 things. 4 of which I heard from Jenna Kutcher and her amazing podcast. But here they are:
1. Think of 3 things that I am grateful for.
2. Pray. I pray for have a heart of service, a heart of freedom, and that I would enjoy the day, that I would fight for joy, and be able to notice the small places of joy He brings before me.
3. List out the top 3 things I need to accomplish today. (I actually list these out the night before, so I simply think upon them so that I bring them to my attention).
4. Drink a glass of water. I always have water beside my bed, but Jenna reminded me of the importance of drinking a large amount of water in the morning so as to jump start your metabolism and help with brain function, and I would have to say that I have noticed a difference in my drowsiness in the morning with drinking a large amount first thing in the morning.
5. Finally, stretching. If I am able I try to also do a couple of stretches in the morning. Typically I will do some hamstring stretches right in my bed, or I will stand up beside my bed.
All of this together takes me less than 5 minutes. Typically closer to 2-3 minutes, and it really has been changing the way I feel in the morning.
Why Living Intentionally Matters
Why is this so important to me? Why does it matter? For me, a couple of reasons. First, I want my life to be the best picture of the gospel that I am able. And because I am incredibly selfish, (which now shows up more than I could have ever imagined being a mother), I need practical steps to help me focus my attention and desires off of myself and to that of my creator. I want my life to be reflective of fresh water pouring out, and this is only slightly possible if I first reflect on the goodness of the Lord. And secondly, I have to remember to take steps to take care of myself physically and mentally as well. I am so bad about putting everyone and everything else about myself and my own needs. And while this can be good in some aspects, such as care taking for my children, I have to also remember that I cannot run or pour out from a dry cup. I have to make sure that I take care of myself so that I can be equipped to take care of others. I have to remember how to enjoy the Father and this body He created if I am to teach that to others as well. I have to come first sometimes. And that is where these steps to waking up with intention come into play.
Going to Bed with Intention
Here is where I confess my true struggle. The social media scroll. Goodness, why is this so incredibly hard for me? So many of my evenings are wasted away from scrolling for far too long. But something I have started to implement at bedtime are these 3 things:
1. Write out my list of what I need to get accomplished the next day. This helps me prepare what I need to the night before to be ready to actually accomplish what needs to happen the next day. This eliminates so much stress and helps my brain to turn off at night.
2. Every night I put on my coconut oil with lavender moisturizer. I LOVE this! It is a simple way that I can pamper myself, and not only does it help my skin, but it also helps me to relax and helps me to sleep better!
3. Read. I have gotten into the habit, instead of scrolling on social media (not that I don't still do it at all, but I set a limit of about 10 minutes), I make sure to end my evening with a couple of pages in a book. It literally is only 5 minutes some nights. But, someone once told me that whatever you intake right before going to bed, will also be what your mind thinks of first thing in the morning. Which I think could be true. When I scroll, thats the first thing I also want to run to in the morning. But, when I read and activate my mind, it seems that is the first thing I also want to do in the morning. And not only that, it brings my heart more peace and clarity as I think on things that are true and enlightening right before bed, versus comparing myself right before bed. It leaves me on a positive note rather than negative.
How will you live with Intention this week?
So, are you on board with me? Do you feel like there are some areas you could adjust and tweak to live your life with more intention? What I truly believe happens in this process is that we are able to have more joy. We are filing our hearts and our minds with more truth, and less compassion and doubt, and I truly think that is such a beautiful thing. If you want to take it one step further, I also created an amazing guide: 5 Steps to Reducing Stress that you can get here if you would like.
Let's choose more intention this week, so that we can lean more fully into the spaces the Lord has for us. I can guarantee our lives will be more full experience His goodness over our selfishness. The intentional life is the fruitful life.
~Rooting for you, from my home to yours this week,