You have been given one life and it is up to you to decide how you are going to spend your days.
I want to make certain that the majority of what I do adds value to my life and those around me. Yet, I also know how easily I can go off on a tangent and before I know it, I have spent the whole day doing lots of ‘little and easy’ tasks thinking I’ll do those first and get them out of the way, only to later realise I have no time left to do the important ones. I end up neglecting those important tasks that work towards a bigger picture.
I understand that we all have responsibilities which can quickly fill up our weeks and to be honest, that is simply the life we must juggle trying to fit things in where we can. I have people who rely on me at specific times for certain things whether it be at my job, at home, at church or with my friends, and I will do my best not to let them down.
That is why it is important to be intentional about the things you do and to keep your focus on the important tasks instead of only focusing on what is easy. By being intentional about the direction you are moving in, whether you are moving slow or fast, and having goals and a purpose can actually prolong your life. A study done by Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center found that people with Alzheimer’s disease who had a sense of purpose showed less cognitive decline than those who said they had less of a sense of purpose.
If you’re looking for tips to help you be intentional with your days regardless of how busy life gets, here are my recommendations for living an intentional life with purpose.
- Write down your goals
Dreams and purpose go hand in hand. The way you were created and the visions you want for your life sum up the essence of who you are. Therefore, writing down your dreams, even if they seem totally ridiculous, can assist you in discovering your purpose and give you a clear focus of how you want your life to look.
- Set bite-size tasks
Looking at the mountain that you need to climb can be overwhelming. Yet, viewing the first ten metres or few steps is a doable task. The same is said with your goals. You know where you want to be and now you need to break it down into bite-size chunks of small achievable tasks. Essentially you are setting little ‘mini-goals’, things that you can do daily or weekly that are determined by what you want to achieve in a month.
- Assess your life regularly
At this moment, are you doing what is most important in your life?
Often our days and weeks can get away from us and before we know it another year has slipped by. The familiarity of your daily routine can sometimes provide a comfortable lifestyle where you put things off until ‘tomorrow’. You keep saying you’ll sign up for a class next semester, you’ll visit that friend next week, or you’ll make time when you get to a certain point. Having a regular catch up with yourself can help you refocus when necessary or make changes if something isn’t working. You may find your goal was unrealistic, yet instead of giving up, you can find a way to adjust it.
- Tell someone
Humans were created as relational beings and you are designed to be in community with people. You need at least one person in your corner cheering you on and encouraging you to live your best life. Tell your big audacious dreams to someone your trust and have them help you stay accountable. Meet up regularly but don’t feel you have to be perfect. There will be highs and lows, but the right people will be there beside you to walk through everything in life. When life sometimes gets too much, tell your friend how you feel. The saying a ‘problem shared is a problem halved’ is true and often someone can see something about a situation that you can’t see when you are too close to it.
- Give yourself grace.
Realise that there will be times when you won’t be able to do everything. That is just life. We are not created to be on the go 24/7 and taking time to rest and recharge is a must. You will find you are more productive after refilling your mental, physical and spiritual tank rather than feeling like you have to run on 50% energy all the time.
No matter what stage you are at in life, live your life with intention. If you are not where you want to be just yet, remember that God has you exactly where you need to be.