The Art of Intentionality


Today I wrote down my intentions on a post-it note and stuck it to the base of my iMac. The post-it was bright pink; there was no way I'd sit at my desk each day and not look at it. On it, were the three things I wanted to dedicate the remainder of this year focusing on. On the top in all caps it read: FOCUS - as both a title and a note to self.

I've been focused so much on my personal life - mainly, healing - that I neglected some of the other parts - mainly, my purpose. I figured if I wrote down these focuses and put them in plain sight, then everything I do in this space, will be dedicated to that. This bring pink post-it would be my constant reminder, every time I pulled up to my at-home desk and wrongfully opened Facebook; or got lost in the abyss of YouTube makeup videos and John Gray sermons. This post-it note will serve as my accountability partner for the remainder of this year.

If I dedicate time to do something — no matter how small — great things can happen. Great things will happen.

So I wrote down these three focuses in the neatest penmanship I had, with my favorite pen, and stuck it there; right in front of my face. I prayed over it, and looked at it for the rest of the evening. I knew this bright pink post-it note would be exactly what I needed to rev my engine back up and start making moves; even in the middle of this transformative (and time consuming) self-work.

Intention usually begins with small steps like these. With little things like writing it down, making it plain, and repeating it to yourself each day. It starts with implementing the smaller tasks, praying over your larger ideas, and doing what you can now without overwhelming yourself. It starts with the easy decisions. The lighter load. The baby steps.

Too often we think that to be effective, we have to be on a million all the time. That the only way to make a mark on your to-do list — or in this world — is to do grand things all the time. But sometimes, most times, the biggest changes come via the small changes you're able to make immediately. Sometimes, it's about your ability to be intentional.

Intentionality isn't about enforcing your big strategic plan all at once, it's about enforcing the smaller acts that'll get you to your bigger end goal. It's about making the smaller decisions. About doing things that push you closer to where you hope to be. About living in alignment with all you hope to accomplish; strategically positioning yourself in places, and making decisions, that agree with those intended achievements. It's not just about the big plan, it's about simple matters, too.

True intentionality begins with your everyday decisions. The ones you often overlook. The ones you think won't affect any of the big plans you have because there just baby decisions...and just baby mistakes. But it is those every day decisions, those evreyday mistakes, that can (and do) impact your current position in your purpose. I lost ten pounds in 3 weeks, met some new friends, and done some incredible self-work by remembering this. By staying focused everyday, not just when I was inspired to. By seeing what I wanted to become, and planning each day to reflect my journey toward those goals. By being deliberate in my actions. I stopped behaving in ways that wouldn't benefit my end goals, and started making sure everything connected the way it was supposed to. No idle time was spent doing things that weren't helpful toward where I wanted to go. And that's what intentionality truly is: ensuring that everything you commit to doing, in some way, benefits the bigger picture; the end goal; your purpose. The meetings you have, the events you go to, the people you meet — which of the goals are those accomplishing? The phone calls you make, the topics you discuss, and the tasks you do each day — where are they taking you? Not everything will have a focus, but everything will have its own respective goal (albeit professional, emotional, mental, social, physical, intellectual, etc). And, if it doesn't, perhaps you should consider whether or not it's something you should be doing. 

That's the art of intentionality and that's how we should begin to govern our lives; toward meaning and purpose. And, if I had to leave you with any tidbit advice about how to do so how to live a life of intention it would be the following:

Remind yourself every day of your purpose. Whether its specific goals or your life's purpose, constantly reflect on what you hope to achieve, who you want to become, and where you hope to go.

Commit yourself to doing something that contributes to that purpose, every single day. At first one task per goal will suffice — you have to start somewhere. But as time progresses, you'll find yourself making multiple decisions dedicated to your goals. You'll find that strategic decisions and more beneficial behavior will become a habit of yours, and the way you contribute to your dream everyday will no longer be more thought than action; it'll be all action.

Pray about everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. Some of my best decisions, influential writing, and most well-executed projects, came with prayer. I prayed to God about it. I asked Him for confirmation for some of the decisions I was making. Asked Him to show me effective ways to implement. I asked Him to place His hand in every part of what I was attempting to achieve. I asked for guidance, and confirmation; for clarity ad conviction. And, He showed up. If you want to be intentional, you must include God in all parts of the process (especially the big decisions), to make sure you're on the right path and doing the right thing; He'll certainly let you know.

I wrote down my three focuses. I wrote them neatly on the bright pink post-it note, and stuck it to the base of my iMac, because I know that the more I fill my mind with them, the more I'll remember to dedicate time to them. The more I see them, the more I'm able to envision them coming to fruition. And the more visible they are, even in an imaginary sense, the more focused I am toward making decisions that further advance them. 

How will you be intentional today? 

  • Share:

You Might Also Like