Finding Grace in Intentionality

I made a last-minute decision to combine my Tuesday and Wednesday posts this week because of their similarities – so, this is a Tuesday Tip & Finding Grace combo!

My “word of the year” for 2018 is intentionality. I feel like I’ve been in survival mode for a solid four years now. There have just been so many big things in so short a time—finishing school, starting jobs, getting married, having a baby, and moving to a different state. I almost feel like I’ve forgotten what it means to let life just cultivate where it is; no big changes, just growing what I’ve already planted.

Life is always going to bring big changes, and I have my share of them in this season. However, in 2018, I’m trying to be intentional about the way I’m using my time. I’m looking for balance, trying to prioritize what’s most important.

In December 2017, I discovered the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets Planner by Lara Casey. This is not your run-of-the-mill daily planner; it’s a collection of worksheets that help you define and keep goals throughout an entire year. During the last week of 2017, I hashed out all of the areas that I wanted to grow in this year and then set definitive goals associated with those areas. Then, I use the monthly “Tending Lists” to set specific and definable areas for growth that I want to see in a particular month. This has been so helpful, especially as I try to cultivate daily habits, such as laying aside at least 1 hour per day to get rid of all distractions and have total one-on-one time with Trippe. Sometimes this is just being present with him while he eats each meal, making funny faces and being silly; sometimes it’s spending that full hour on the floor with him, playing with blocks.

This is what my February “Tending List” looks like:

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This is where the grace part comes in. I am epically failing so far in February after doing very well in January! I am not meeting my daily goals like I want to at all. I haven’t been feeling well these past few weeks, so creating energy to be intentional has been extremely difficult.

However, what I love about this planner and the whole methodology behind “cultivating” your goals is that these things take time. You’re going to have slower months, and you’re going to have months when you have every single square filled in. And you know what? It’s all ok!

Pursuing intentionality, even through my failures over the past few weeks, has been the best “new year’s resolution” that I’ve ever set. I’m realize more than ever that simply doing little things every day create big results after a long time. We truly are creatures of habit, and our bodies and minds love consistency. Even if you don’t use this planner, there are ways you can work to be intentional in the ways that you want to grow in your life. Set monthly goals and daily habits for yourself; do something every day that will make you healthier or cultivate a relationship. Redeem common things in your day to take on a bigger purpose, like conversations you can strike up with the cashier at the grocery store. Figure out what you want to be intentional about, and go do it! Create tangible goals, and reward yourself when you meet those goals. Living life on autopilot leads to a lot of busyness with very little depth; intentionality allows you to do what you want to do, and do it on purpose.

 

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