Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Some Tools Required...

Have you ever bought a piece of furniture that comes in a very small box but supposedly a large piece of furniture is packaged inside.  Usually these can be purchased at IKEA!  You've seen them...they come with step by step picture directions and often in the upper left hand corner is this...

A picture of a couple of tools that without them...you will NEVER be able to complete the furniture piece properly. The tools are usually simple in nature...a screwdriver, a wrench, and a hammer.  Tools that many of us have just laying around but when we put them to intentional use we end up with a beautiful piece of furniture! (we usually have to bring patience along as well!)

On my quest of INTENTIONAL LIVING… I've realized that for me some tools are required! I am quite certain that every person has their own set of tools...some might be the same and some might be different but they are usually simple, usually available, and just need to be put to intentional use.  

For me to be intentional, day after day, consistently, on purpose...some tools are required!  This is what my tool list looks like...

My tools are my Bible, My Fitness Pal, my To Do List, and my calendar.  

My Bible is the tool that helps me to make sure I stay on the right path...between the guard rails. And I will be honest, I am not always as diligent as I need to be.  My mornings get away from me, my quiet time gets overrun with other things.  BUT...it has to be my 1st INTENTIONAL tool!  God's Word is living and powerful...alive and active!  It is how the Lord communicates with me and how my relationship with Him grows.  It is essential and REQUIRED!

My Fitness Pal is a tool to help me intentionally be mindful of my health and my body.  It is a tool that truly helps me to be aware (on purpose) of the items that I put in my body and how often I get up and move.  My body is a temple...and I only get this one!  So this is a REQUIRED tool for me that keeps me accountable and focused to INTENTIONALLY be healthier and more active in 2016.

My To Do List causes me to prioritize the things that must be done and the things that might be able to wait but it also allows me to visually see what I am accomplishing on purpose.  For me...a To Do List is a REQUIRED tool in order to be INTENTIONAL with my time! I might even write things on it that have already been accomplished when I am feeling overwhelmed and nothing is getting marked off the list quickly!  

My Calendar is what allows me to look ahead and know what is coming so that I am prepared and not taken off guard.  When you are trying to be INTENTIONAL with your time, relationships, health, etc it is important to know what's on the horizon so to the best of your ability you can plan ahead.

These are my REQUIRED tools...yours are probably different BUT I bet you have some.  Many are probably laying around..so take some time to identify your required tools and then make sure they aren't rusted, damaged, or unusable so that you can put them to intentional use...on purpose!  When we use our practical tools as the Lord leads we just might end up with a beautiful life!

Here's to a more INTENTIONAL 2016!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Procrastination & Compromise Does Not Equal an INTENTIONAL life!

One of the items on my To Do List last weekend was to post a blog that talked about compromise and how it can thwart a plan of intentional living...I even took pictures as proof of how compromise can cause things to pile up and allow clutter to move in and take over.  Often in that clutter and chaos peace leaves!  This has been true in my life many times and in the process of mulling over the idea of how compromise robs us of so many things...the week went by and I had totally missed the compromise post due to procrastination!  This is the story of my life BUT 2016 is supposed to be different because I am on a quest to live INTENTIONALLY!  So...this will now have to be a combo post!  I do feel that compromise and procrastination can go hand in hand and rob us of our intentional living.  Procrastination & Compromise often like to walk along life's path together with Chaos following close behind.

My real life example of this...my kitchen table...I am the Queen of Piles!  And I often just move them about.  I will NOT bore you with the pictures of all my piles just know...I am the Queen!  But with my plan of being INTENTIONAL...keeping things picked up was on my list of things to do ON PURPOSE, intentionally.  When the house is picked up there is just more room for peace and time for things that really matter - people, relationships, and healthy living.  And it just isn't that hard to put things where they go as opposed to just laying them down and then dealing with them later (or so I've been told!). There is a productivity principle called "Touch it Once" (seriously...I looked it up to verify!) that states that we increase our productivity when we consciously only touch something once.  Things were going great!  The dishes were making it to the dishwasher, the mail and other stuff was making it to the office/bedroom and the other places it belonged.  The kitchen table was staying cleared off because things were NOT getting placed on it each afternoon.  There really was peace and an absence of chaos and clutter...and there was more time to do things that matter.  BUT THEN...instead of putting the mail in the office...I set it on the kitchen table (enter Compromise...and please understand...the office is literally 10 steps from the kitchen table!) and then the next thing I noticed was a table completely covered with STUFF (and I was adding stuff to it every day) and it was quickly becoming overwhelming, chaotic, not intentional and not peaceful!  Now...at this point...I could easily have made an INTENTIONAL effort to pick up each thing and put it where it goes and restore order and peace and intentional living but instead...(enter Procrastination) I decided it could wait until another day because it already looked bad and was piling up so it could wait.  Why take care of it today when it will be there tomorrow?  See how the cycle starts?

I wish I could tell you that my kitchen table is the only example of compromise and procrastination that rears it's head in my life...but it's not!  I have photo evidence (and so does my husband) of many areas where ONE small compromise has lead to LARGE scale chaos!  The dishes in my sink, the clutter in my car, the clothes in my floor (I swear I am a teenager at heart!), the props closet at school, the weight I've gained, and the stacks on my desk.  I told you there were many areas! See, compromise starts with ONE small thing/decision.  One dish left in the sink, one coffee mug not taken out of the car at the end of the day, not hanging up what I put on in the morning and hated so I threw it in the floor, not completely putting the props away from a show after a busy weekend, not exercising today because I'll do it tomorrow, not documenting what I ate on My Fitness Pal for breakfast and lunch so why even consider logging dinner.  And in each of these areas...chaos is there due to procrastination and compromise.  The most frustrating part is that with each compromise...I was taking a step (whether big or small) toward and then onto the wheel of chaos.  And while spinning out of control I just want off.  And how do I get off? By INTENTIONALLY choosing to get off!  Taking small intentional steps to stop the chaos!

It all starts with ONE small thing!  Today, I am committed to being INTENTIONAL about the ONE small thing.  You see if I can conquer the one small thing...compromise and procrastination won't have a place to survive and therefore chaos will NOT take me for a ride!  And TODAY needs to be the day.