A to Z Challenge | Intentional Living | G is for Goals

10th Anniversary Blogging From A to Z April ChallengeIn 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

 

 

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A to Z Challenge | Intentional Living | F is for Forgiveness

10th Anniversary Blogging from A to Z April ChallengeIn 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.


Forgiveness is a wonderful, yet unnerving process that forces us to examine ourselves and expose our vulnerabilities. Whether we’re receiving it, giving it to other people, or offering it to ourselves, it is an intended act which benefits the relationships involved.  Whenever we become more self-aware and generous toward ourselves and others we are choosing to live with intention.

Forgiveness FOR others

Being on the receiving end of an apology is easier than having to make one. We should be grateful, not smug, when the offending party recognizes their missteps and seeks to repair any damage to the friendship. It takes strength of character to admit you’re wrong.

Just ask someone who endured continued “mistakes” without ever hearing a mea culpa. Obviously, mistakes that happen over and over form a pattern of abuse. We tend to think of abuse as physical or sexual mistreatment, but it comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be verbal, emotional, and financial. People who take advantage of others, in any way, are abusive.

Finding peace means breaking ties with toxic people who will never be sorry for their bad behavior. However, we must forgive them anyway. It’s not about them and excusing their behavior or transgression. It’s about you and the ability to move on. Surrounding yourself with a like-minded tribe of family and friends is an important step in living with intention.

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got. ~Robert Brault

Forgiveness FROM others

Good relationships are made up of mutual respect and trust. When WE hurt others through word or deed, we undermine that trust and risk losing them. 

Admitting mistakes takes courage and honesty. No one likes to accept responsibility for behaving badly, but it’s essential to successful relationships. And it helps us grow as a person. Taking time to do a self-examination into what motivates our emotions, etc. helps us modify unhealthy behaviors.

Without forgiveness life is governed by… an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. ~Roberto Assagioli

Forgiveness for OURSELVES

Forgiveness doesn’t always involve another person. Sometimes the process has only to do with ourselves. 

We all have regrets. They may be things that occurred recently or decades ago. They may involve specific people and situations or be more general; a way that we acted or reacted to a life event. 

Whatever the case may be, we must recognize our humanity and the fact that we’re imperfect. Certainly, it’s important to make amends with anyone we’ve offended first. If we harbor any anger towards ourselves it’s crucial to make amends with ourselves. 

We should always try to improve how we communicate. Loving others and forgiving is possible when we show ourselves the same compassion. This will open up opportunities for positive growth as we go forward.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~Paul Boese