As a working mom, trying to juggle all the things is next to impossible. It is easy to feel as if we have failed in some way if we don’t check off all the boxes on the never-ending to-do list. However, we can’t do everything and we can’t be everywhere. What we can do is learn how to be intentional each day. This isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing. It will take some extra effort and prioritizing, but I promise it will all be worth it.
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what does it mean to live your life intentionally?
Living an intentional life does not mean you are living a productive life. It is important to recognize the difference between the two. Productivity is often the result of accomplishing tasks. However, being intentional involves thinking through what you commit yourself to as well as your time.
Living life intentionally is being present in the moment. If you’re just going through the motions for most of your day, then you may feel unfulfilled at the end of it.
We need to be realistic in our goals and expectations. Being present and knowing what we value helps us limit the number of things we try to fit into each day, so we can find more happiness and joy.
Ultimately, living intentionally means prioritizing your health and happiness. It is about finding a balance between work life, home life, and your own personal time.
how do you build an intentional life?
Do you ever wonder how some women just seem to have it all together? You know the ones. They are confident yet laid back, happy, and seem to have time to do whatever they please.
Whenever I would see these types of women I’d become intimidated that they have life figured out and I don’t.
Let me share with you, these ladies don’t have some secret sauce that you and I don’t. They just choose to live intentionally. But they weren’t born with that skill.
As I mentioned earlier, becoming intentional does not happen overnight. It comes with shifting your mindset to what really matters and what is most important. Prioritization is the name of the game.
10 practical ways to create an intentional life
1. prioritize your tasks and goals for the day.
Being organized starts with writing out a to-do list. Some things are going to get done, and some won’t based on your priorities and what you can reasonably get done in one day.
Think through what matters the most and put those things on the top of your list.
2. Set reasonable expectations about what you can accomplish in a given amount of time.
No one has an infinite amount of time.
Being intentional means accepting that you will not always get everything done that you want to, and being okay with that.
Use your time to your advantage. This may mean that you have to say no to a few things that may hinder you from completing tasks in the time you have allotted.
One beneficial way of allocating time in a structured way is by time blocking. With time blocking you assign a certain amount of time to a task. Think of it as a budget for your time.
3. Build relationships that will encourage you
No one needs a Negative Nancy in their life. There is nothing worse than a toxic person who drains the life out of you.
It is important that you are surrounding yourself with positive people who energize you.
Whether this is a coworker or friend that has never-ending drama, limit the negativity in your life.
4. Limit distractions and time busters
Over the past few years, our ability to be distracted has increased because of the growing presence of technology.
The internet age has allowed us to do things more quickly and with greater ease and convenience.
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain attention on one task. Not only does this decrease our ability to perform tasks, but it also decreases our happiness.
By limiting distractions, we can increase our ability to focus and make the most of our time.
Smartphones and tablets can also interfere with our relationships. How often have you seen a couple out to dinner and one if not both of them are on their phones?
I know, I am so guilty of it too.
However, if you are going to choose to live an intentional life, it is important to know your weaknesses. You can limit distractions from your phone by turning off your notifications.
Or better yet, leave your phone in another room or your purse and give those you love your undivided attention.
5. Recognize what is working and ditch what is not
As busy moms, it is easy to keep doing the same thing over and over for lack of time to figure out something new.
Let me give you permission friend to stop and take the time to identify what may not be working in your life.
You see, life is too short to continue doing things that don’t make you happy or keep you stuck. This really comes down to choice.
In her book, The Joy of Missing Out, Tonya Dalton says “not making a choice is a choice”. You don’t have to keep circling around that same mountain week after week, month after month, or heaven forbid, year after year.
Take the time today to get quiet and do some reflecting on what may be preventing you from living a meaningful and intentional life.
6. Set aside quiet time to recharge
Taking the time throughout the day to recharge is not an option or something to do when you have the time. It is a necessity. This does not have to be time-consuming.
When you are completely exhausted life becomes daunting. Simple tasks can easily lead to overwhelm. It does not have to be that way, but you must recharge your battery.
This can be as simple as writing in your journal, reading a book by your favorite author, reading Scripture, and talking to God.
Build time into your day to step away from the noise and rest.
7. Remember to laugh and smile throughout your day
Did you know that laughter is like good medicine? It truly is.
According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing can lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well as your stress. It can even boost your immune system.
These days there are all sorts of memes and funny quotes online. You may have to search a minute for ones that are clean and appropriate.
But when you find one you enjoy, write it down or turn it into a sign to hang near your bathroom mirror or above your desk at work.
8. Make a list of things that inspire you
Looking for small inspiration? Create a list and keep it with you. This could be Bible verses or things that your kiddos said that were heartfelt.
Keep this as a reminder that good things come in small packages and let them serve as a reminder that life is not all work.
9. choose a well-balanced diet
We have all heard it said, “You are what you eat”. A diet high in sugar and carbs is a surefire way to have mood swings throughout the day.
Keep your blood sugar consistent with lean proteins, fruits, and veggies. Make sure that you are also staying hydrated by drinking at least 60 ounces of water. Avoid sugary, carbonated drinks.
It’s easy to come home after a long day, kick up your feet, and have a glass of wine. While I am not opposed to drinking wine, it is best in moderation.
Also, keep in mind that wine before bedtime can interrupt sleep during the night. The same is true for caffeine. Opt for decaf after dinner if you crave coffee.
10. Remember that, above all else, God is in control and has a purpose for each day.
I know that there are days when we have done all we know to do and it still seems that we can’t get it right.
The dishes in the sink are piling up, we yelled at our kids…again, and we gave that little attitude to our husband on the way out this morning.
I get it, more than you know.
But here is the good news: God ordered this day. Yep, He is in charge!
Despite all of our efforts and best intentions, God has a plan for each and every day. And do you want to know something? He will see to it that His plans are accomplished.
He does not need us to have a perfectly planned out to-do list. He really even doesn’t need us.
But in His mercy and grace, he delights in and takes pleasure in us. so He allows us to be a part of His plan. I don’t know about you but that is a huge relief and burden lifted.
As moms and working professionals, we don’t have time to procrastinate and feel guilty for not doing what we could potentially do. If we’ve done the best we can with what is in front of us that day, then that’s all God expects from us.
Remember to slow down. It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos of life, but if you remain calm, it will be easier to think clearly and make good decisions. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, take deep breaths or getaway for a few minutes so that you can catch your breath.
There are many ways to live an intentional life. I hope these tips have helped you discern what is important to you and how to better prioritize what matters.