Are you living intentionally by knowing your purpose, creating direction, and taking action? Or are you not living intentionally at all. I believe everyone can live intentionally. But it isn’t enough to have purpose, direction and take action in our life as a whole. We must choose these in every area of our life to provide us with balance in order to truly experience an intentional life.
It may be hard to know every area of your life, but I have found four main categories where everything seems to flow out of for me. These four categories are: Faith, Self, Relationships, and Outpour.
Below, I share what each category means and what parts of our lives may fit into these categories. It is not an exhaustive list, it is started from my life. However, I know all to well my life might be different from your life. So, please think through each category as it might apply to you as well.
This is an important category to me because of what I believe. If what I believe is true, it should be important for everyone. What I believe is God created everything and he loves his people. He has a plan for us, and part of that plan is that we live in relationship to him.
If we are to live in relationship with God, we need to be doing the things which help us grow our relationship with God. Reading our Bibles, praying, being in community with other faithful people, and sharing our faith.
This is why I want to be intention in this area of life and why I believe it is important for everyone. Even people who do not have any faith or belief system, I think it is important to be constantly looking/searching. Otherwise, there will be no balance to our lives.
This might sound selfish, to put self next. However, if we are not taking care of ourselves, how are you supposed to interact with others? Intentional living with regard to self, I focus on: Physical, Intellectual, and Emotional/Mental Health.
Being healthy is my overall goal. And right now, I am barely healthy. However, if we are not healthy phycially it affects the other parts of who we are in our intellect, and emotional/mental states. This is why it is important to be intentional about what we eat(an area I am working on), with exercising (another work in progress), our cleanliness, and how we go about day to day life.
Are we learning? Do we do intellectually stimulating work? This is where school or hobby classes come in and where reading falls for me. I read a lot. And I encourage others to read at least one book a month! Ultimately, we need to be stimulating our minds in order to take care of ourselves as well.
I must admit right away, I lump these together for myself. For some people, I understand these might be two very separate and very distinct areas of their lives. I do not discount this fact. For me, these areas are very similar and so I keep them together.
It is important though to know where we are at emotionally and mentally. How we are doing? Do we need help? I think alot of people do not know how to understand their emotions and it makes life more difficult. We need to be intentional, in order to relate better with those around us.
All relationships fall under on category. When I say this, I am talking about marriages, children, parents, siblings, extended family, friends, coworkers/colleagues, and anyone else you may interact with on a daily basis.
We must be intentional about all relationships because we need to know who is in the inner circle? Who is most important? Maybe there is some or a group that need strong boundaries in your life?
It is said that “you become who you are around.” And if you want to be the best version of yourself, or you want to help your children be the best version of themselves, you need to surround yourself with examples. This is an area where my wife and I continually think about being intentional.
You might say, this is the catch all category for your life. But the truth is, this is where everything we are intentional spills our into the world. Smaller categories within this one for me are: work, finances, rest, giving, and house work.
I am sure there are other things which would fall into this category, things like volunteering or hobbies. It is important to note these are mostly things we do or maintain which have an effect on us. We need to be intentional with these otherwise they may effect our self or our relationships causing us to become off balance.
When we think about being intentional, I know I have boiled this down to four simple categories and life is much more complicated. However, when we want to live on purpose and live intentionally, it is important for us to remember we need to be thinking about life holistically.
In this way, we can do it.
How do you think about your life? Are there smaller categories which I have left out? Share in the comments below.