I began this year choosing ONE WORD to focus on rather than setting an intention or resolution. At the time I wrote this post about another New Year, I was considering one of two words. I then shared it on an Instagram post so that, in my mind, I would be held accountable.
For 2016, it was and continues to be my goal to really be intentional about most areas of my life:
Living intentionally means being intentional about what I eat – considering what I put in my mouth and why. Am I feeding actual hunger or some other emotional something going on? I’m thinking most of you know what I mean on this. You know what it’s like to get that phone call, exchange cross words with someone, or have some thoughts or memories come up that make you reach for something. Something to munch on for no particular reason, or for any reason except real, physical hunger.
This intentional eating, or some refer to it as intuitive eating, has been completely freeing. It is in no way restricting. There’s no negativity associated with it, as there are in most diets. It also means that if I am feeding myself well, following the 80/20 rule that I encourage, and eating in a healthy manner, and I want to have some treat, like that piece of key lime pie, then it is an intentional decision. I can enjoy it for all the right reasons . . . with absolutely no guilt. If you have ever been trying to diet, or restrict food or have a not so healthy relationship with food, this is a wonderful place to be. It’s eating and feeding yourself in the right way for the right reasons. And, I will come completely clean and say that, with no effort, have not been bothered by that 3-5 lbs that usually comes and goes and takes up a lot of my extra time fretting.
My personal exercise and workouts have also become more intentional. I attempt to get in my own workouts outside of my teaching schedule. In the past I think a lot of these workouts were from habit, were from a sense of obligation, were often hard on my body and joints and sometimes not even enjoyable. These days I look at how often and what classes I teach and then incorporate workouts, yoga and walks that compliment my other activities and, shocker, add in one, and sometimes, two days of rest. I have discovered that I am spending less time working through an injury, unnecessary soreness, soaking in salt baths, limping around and physically too tired. I’m wondering why it’s taken me almost 50 years to figure this out??
Spend Time Intentionally
I’ve tried to give up being busy just for busyness sake. This is really one of the best areas of this whole intentional thing. Being intentional with time, what we do with it, who we spend it with, using time efficiently and wisely to make each day less crazy and more in line with whatever goals and values we have is another gift. I’ve finally learned that some things are just not that important. Some things do not add to our lives. Some things can actually steal our joy, if we let them. Saying no to activities, jobs, or people that are only going to bring stress to our already full schedules, and in turn, our families and well-being, are not worth our time. Do you realize how precious your time is? Each hour of each day- and each day- is truly numbered. Each are open for being used for its best purpose.
This is another thing I wish I had figured out years ago. This is one of those things my mother tried to get me to see during the days my boys were young and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was so afraid of saying “no” to any offer that came my way. I wanted to do everything all at the same time. Sometimes I didn’t even know why I wanted to do certain things, and sometimes I actually did not want to do some unnecessary project or activity. I was just too afraid to say no.
I think this is a major area of living intentionally. Figuring out what is really important, what values matter, what a person’s goals are and how best to spend time to fulfill those areas is so important. Learn to value time.
Intentionally Not Shopping
Now this last thing is sort of a by product of trying to be more intentional. Some of you know that every so often I strive to give up shopping for a few months. This usually begins in January after all of the hoopla and over consumption of stuff from Christmas. I always feel a bit overwhelmed by bringing more stuff into our closets, inflated credit card bills and just feel a need to simplify. My usual time is three months because, let’s be real, I am definitely human and a girl. Unfortunately, I do like things, especially Spring and Summer clothes, cute workout gear, and I have a weakness for a particular brand of shoes. So, this is always a good challenge for me.
This year I have expanded my time frame from three to six months. That means I need to do no shopping for any thing for myself from January until July. By that time, all the cute Spring clothes and most Summer things will be long gone! So far it’s been four months. Want to know how it’s going?
Well, it’s gone pretty darn well. That is until I went to the beach with my oldest high school girlfriends. There was a day that was far too cold and windy to be at the beach, so what are girls to do? Shop, of course. Even though I broke my self inflicted no shopping rule, I don’t feel particularly guilty. I purchased a total of four things, and all very well thought out, really good, lovely buys that I’m thinking I’ll enjoy for a long time. Then I jumped right back on track.
You know what the best thing about it has been? The amount of time I’ve saved (and money of course!). I’m not trying to figure out a time to squeeze in trips to my favorite shopping places. I’m not spending time pursuing websites for some retail therapy. I’m not looking through and dog earring catalogs for ideas to order. When I’m looking for something to wear going out, I’m shopping from my closet and doing a pretty good job! It’s a new feeling of being satisfied with what I have. I appreciate what I already have that needs to be worn and enjoyed.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m human and as all females know, sometimes a little retail therapy is just what the doctor ordered. I’m sure that day will come. Or the day may come when I actually might need something. I’ll cross that bridge when it comes . . . I’ll have to really be strong. Force myself to find something else to do. Take my dogs on extra long walks. Anything. Until July.
So, there’s my check in report on my New Year’s Resolution – or word – for the year. So far it’s been a really good year.
Did you make a resolution? Have you checked in on it? Is it still a work in progress?
Enjoy Your Day!