Life is tough sometimes. Money gets tight, you worry about your kids, your parents, your friends, your job, the state of the world… Yeah, I’m a worrier. I always have been and I always will be. When I feel life getting a little overwhelming then I have to focus on living intentionally.
What’s that even mean? Living Intentional? To me, living intentional means not sleepwalking through life. Life gets crazy busy sometimes and it’s easy to get lazy and settle into mindless routines. Living intentional means being more aware of what I’m doing on a daily basis to achieve my life goals. It’s focusing on the things I want in my life and not those that I don’t. Here are a few categories I’m focusing on being intentional about in my life.
Common theme on this site, I know. Single mom…two kids in college…hefty medical bills…still paying on my student loans and getting ready to start paying on Michael’s soon. Money is definitely a constant stressor for me.
One of my January challenges was to have 8 no-spend days and I’m sad to say that I only ended up with 6. Spending no money during the course of a day is extremely difficult!! Take a week and let me know how many days you don’t spend any money. And worse, sometimes I think I’ve not spent any money and later I’ll realize I did. Oh crap, I bought a hot tea when I stopped to browse at the bookstore. I wasn’t even thinking, it was just a mindless habit. This is definitely a tough one for me and being intentional with my money choices is a necessary evil when money is tight.
I did well on sticking to my reduced grocery and entertainment budgets for the month though. Being intentional about limiting the times we eat out has also been fairly successful. I love eating out but I’ve been making dinner at home throughout the week and we’ve cut our breakfasts out on the weekend to one of the two days.
I tend to shop at several stores (Target, Aldi’s, and Kroger) because unfortunately I can’t get everything I need at just one store. Planning better and getting all my grocery shopping done in one day needs to be a priority this month.
A doctor’s visit back in December was really tough for me because I was about 15 lbs heavier than I am used to. I set a goal of hitting the gym three times a week. That was a big fail-I only logged 7 days for last month.
I’ve done great at being intentional with my water intake though. My goal for January was to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. This is a major achievement for me. I am a hopeless diet coke addict, followed closely by my sweet tea addiction. The trick for me is using my infusion water bottle and putting strawberries in it. It’s so much easier to get the water down this way and I actually find myself craving it. It does take a little more prep work but it’s worth it.
I wanted to go to bed before 11pm five days out of the week. Ha ha ha…I should have made this midnight I think. This only happened 2 days in January. Terrible! I am such a night owl.
I spent a lot of time in January writing. Prioritizing myself was fairly successful in that regards. Part of the time was spent working on my novel I had set aside after November’s writing spree. I also managed to get 4 blog posts published.
I need to do better about only working my scheduled work hours at the day job though. I’ve discovered I’ve become more of a workaholic as the boys have become less dependent on me.
I also managed to read 4 books in January.
Living Intentional Tools
Tool number 1: My beloved notebook. You all know how I am about my lists. I carry around a notebook with me daily that I will jot down both my daily goals and weekly goals. The notebook might also be covered in brightly colored sticky notes. (I love me some office supplies!)
Tool number 2: My Jen Sincero planner. I love this thing (and Jen Sincero). It has kick-ass quotes on each page to motivate you and monthly habit tracker pages. Monthly calendar to see your month at a glance and also weekly pages-I love having both. The monthly habit tracker has been really beneficial to me. I love being able to list my monthly goals and checking them off on a daily basis. Nothing like seeing a bunch of unchecked boxes to motivate you to head to the gym even when it’s cold and dark and rainy outside.
Tool number 3: Relax Meditation app. Although going to bed at a decent hour was a colossal failure this month, I do feel like this app I discovered has helped me wind down and go to sleep easier. You can choose from probably 60 different sounds to go to sleep and there’s a timer for how long they’ll play. I usually choose about 4-5 sounds to play together.
Do any of you feel like you need to live more intentionally at times? Any tricks that you use that you care to share with me? Leave a comment and let me know. As always, please feel free to share this post to anyone you think might benefit from it.