When I think about living intentionally I think about the relationships I have, the people I love, and making the most of the time I have with them. I talked about this last week - how sometimes that means throwing plans out the window and staying in for a snuggle.
On another level, being intentional is something very personal and individualized to each us. To live intentionally we need to take the time to think about what matters most to us and then seek those things out. In the fast paced world we live in, this can be easier said than done. It can be difficult to focus on what's important when everywhere we look people are trying to make those decisions for us. This is true in all categories of life: raising a family, tending to relationships, starting a business - or anything else you do day to day.
Here is a simple two step process for living intentionally that I hope can benefit you. It involves giving some deliberate focus to our priorities, and then pulling out that calendar to turn intention into action.
Step One, The List.
What matters most to me?
Family: Make time to date my husband. Plan family time both together and individually. Create a homeschool environment that encourages a love for books. Allow plenty of free time.
Relationships: Make time for friends. Show love and support, and give encouragement.
Health: Use real ingredients, stay away from processed foods, enjoy cooking, bake often (duh), and be active.
Simple Products: Use well made products in the home. (And in my case the shop.) Support small businesses.
Kindness: Teach my example. Spread love everywhere with acts both large and small. Volunteer.
Nature: Go outside often - daily! Play games, explore, make art.
Work: Create simple, modest clothing for mamas and their girls. Collect and share classic antiques that were well made and are full of character.
Happy Home: A combination of everything above + simple cleaning routines and restful daily rhythms.
Step Two, Make A Plan.
Put it into action.
This is where the planner in me gets very happy. With my calendar on the table in front of me, I gather all of our schedules and previously planned activities, along with my list (from above), and start filling things in. I plan play dates, field trips, date nights, family activities, homeschool, work days, cleaning routines, and meal plans. I also keep a list of things we need for our home and for our wardrobes and buy things accordingly. This is so helpful when trying to buy minimally, support small shops, and have quality items that will last a lifetime.
Before you get overwhelmed, remember this is a list that is individualized. Craft your list around what's important to you. You only have to make time for the things that you want in your life. I've found that I always end up being a certain amount of busy no matter what, but when I take the time to decide what I am going to fill my days (and home) with, I am happier with the time I've spent.
What are you guys doing to live intentionally? If you try this method, let me know how it works for you. May we make the most of this life and remember to find beauty in the simplest of things.
Here are some photos of a simple day out with my kids where all we needed was grass under our feet and some ice cream to enjoy some time together.