When you make the choice to live with intention, you are in essence taking over the reigns. Instead of passively riding along, you have hopped into the driver’s seat! This requires a measure of thoughtfulness and decision-making on your part. Where do you want to go? What do you want your journey to look like?
When working with a finite amount of time and resources, doing everything your heart desires is simply not possible. It is also important to remember that storms and detours will arise along the way and course adjustments will be necessary. When making plans for the road ahead, you will want to think in terms of what matters most. If you knew you only had one year, how would you choose to live it? How would you spend your time and money? Who would you make a priority? What would you change?
When thinking of life in these terms, I have found it helpful to use the visual below. It is a representation of a me as a whole person:
While technically a pie chart, I prefer to call it a plate. 😀 Individuals are comprised of three different, yet equally important parts – the mind, body, and spirit. An imbalance in any area is an invitation for trouble (health problems, depression, relational issues, addiction, financial difficulties). Over the years, I have discovered journaling to be an invaluable tool for keeping watch over all three areas. If I have trouble writing something down for fear of making it “real” then that is a clear indication something is amiss. Journaling is a check-in of sorts; if we go back to the traveling analogy at the top of this post, journaling would be the equivalent of vehicle maintenance. I will not go very far if something is out of whack.
And like a good meal, the “stuff of life” goes on top of our plates – all of the commitments and responsibilities, in addition to the fun stuff. This would include everything we say “yes” to:
working out at the club
your career or job
volunteering at school or church
if you’re a parent, kid activities
socializing with friends
time spent with your husband
engaging in social media
reading a book or magazine
if you’re a parent, helping kids with homework
All of this and much, much more on top of the plate. And it can get pretty heavy at times, many of us carrying far more than our plates can handle. Which brings me back to what I touched on above: we cannot do it all. If we are not selective about what we take on, the long-term effects can be costly as our minds, bodies, and spirits are excessively burdened.
In the coming week, set some time aside to think about your plate. You may draw your own circle or use the one I created above to reference in your journal. Reflect on each area. Do you notice any weak spots? Which area is most balanced? Which is least balanced? What could you focus on this week to help balance out your weakest area?
If you are interested living more intentionally, be sure to do your homework and visit my blog next Wednesday! [If you’re looking to go even further, check out Intentional Gatherings.]