In an effort to get back into writing on a regular schedule, I joined the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. This is the first time I’ve participated and hope to succeed with posting each day, as my blog has grown dormant.
My theme is “A Vocabulary for Intentional Living.” This corresponds with the objective of my blog, which sees life as a voyage shaped by circumstances both within and outside of our control. Realizing our purpose and goals begins with self-awareness and mindfulness in all our daily choices.
One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it. ~Sidney Howard
Goals…I have a love/hate relationship with them.
I know how important they are to better living, but often get lost on the road to achieving them. (Well, maybe not lost as much as the tendency to take detours.) Especially the ones that require the most work and discipline. Like losing weight and exercising.
I get excited about them when I first make the conscious decision that I’m going to try again. Like when the New Year is approaching. I’ll write my intentions down in a spiffy new journal and block out the time on a calendar. I buy the calorie counter/meal app and spend too much time setting it up in my iPhone. Then comes the positive mental pep talks necessary to build momentum.
And I do well at the beginning! I’m enthusiastic and update my meal planner app daily. I don my ear buds and walk 2.5 miles around the local park listening to an audiobook meant to inspire. But, somehow the wind in my sails die down after a short period of time. I begin to crave high fructose corn syrup and decide that cleaning out the closet IS exercise.
Life is full of obstacle illusions. ~Grant Frazier
I know I’m not alone in these struggles. As humans we have to work extra hard to avoid the things we want and go to the things we know we need (ice cream > broccoli.) This is made even more difficult by the busy lives we lead, loaded with distractions and obligations. It’s SO much easier to cruise the drive through than have to spend an hour preparing a meal after a long, tiring day.
And this is where living intentionally comes in. We have to always stop and consider our choices as we make them. Having a plan is great, but when we’re inclined to deviate, we have to stop what we’re doing and have a conversation with ourselves. That dialogue should include all the pros and cons of the choice we’re about to make.
Goals are great to have, but require constant vigilance. And the more specific the better. Breaking a large goal into several smaller bite-size ones makes the task seem easier.
Without them we never get anywhere. Even when we veer of the path to our goals we must circle back and continue working. If we do this, we will eventually succeed!
If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. ~Lawrence J. Peter