Blooming Boomers

June 17, 2010

Being Intentional – Part 2

Being intentional with your thoughts is foundational to living a healthy and productive life. Following your thoughts, come actions. Being intentional with your actions is something I would like to talk about further.  It involves having complete focus and attention on the task at hand.

Unfortunately, in our busy world today, we have even less chance to focus because of cell phones, text messaging, email, etc.  So focusing on one thing at a time can be very difficult. Add to that a full time job, kids, grandkids, and any number of activities we cram into our schedule, and it is no wonder we feel stressed!

One myth that we have in our culture today, and particularly among women, is the notion that multi-tasking is good. It is not. Without giving our full attention, everything suffers. A good example of this is the law that is being passed in many states to not allow people to talk on their cell phones while driving. We have learned through incident after incident, how dangerous that can be.

Maybe you work in an office setting. It has been said that the average cubicle worker has 17 interruptions per hour. Not only does this cause distraction, but it also causes one to feel fragmented and have trouble thinking clearly regarding the task that needs to be done. It can take up to 20 minutes to get back on task.

But research has shown that being intentional allows us to be significantly more productive, more satisfied, and less stressed. That is why it is one of the important points we want to emphasize.

So how can YOU really be more intentional?

You need to focus on what it is you want. You need to have a plan – goals you want to achieve. Come up with goals you would like to see take place in the following areas: your personal life, your relationships, your job or career, your home, your finances, and your giving or service to others.

In regard to having goals, some of you are natural planners and list-makers and can tackle a list with fervor. But others do not operate that way. I am suggesting that even those of us who are not natural planners can come up with a next thing that is important to do or a next goal that is important to think about.

Without a specific goal or target to aim at, how in the world do you think you can hit it?  Add distractions, multi-tasking, and fragmented thinking to the process and you have a recipe for disaster – or at the very least, the inability to accomplish very much in the course of your day.

Being intentional means focusing on different things at different stages in our lives. For example, think about moms with young children. They have a particularly difficult challenge in being intentional. There is nothing they may like more than to spend all day sitting cross-legged on the floor interacting with their precious children. And with the bigger goal being to provide a loving and nurturing presence as their parent, this is good. But other stuff has to get done as well!

So, as a young mom, how in the world do you do it? First, YOU NEED TO know that you can’t do it all. Nobody can. But from a practical side, you can be intentional about using the time during your children’s nap, for example. Or be intentional and get up a half hour before them in the mornings. I remember when my children were small, naptime was the time I intentionally used to do Bible study and pray. This made me feel recharged for the tasks at hand and allowed me to have less stress and more joy. Then, because I no longer felt overwhelmed, I was able to handle things better and accomplish more.

Speaking of being overwhelmed, no matter what our age, we as women may occasionally have a tendency to go off on tangents of negativity in our thinking when we become overwhelmed.  This can lead to problems in our interacting with others. Our emotions may be affected by changing hormones.

A great thing to remember is that you are responsible for yourself alone, not for what others do. Don’t use up all your emotional energy trying to fix someone or something that only God can fix.
When you feel full of negative thoughts or somewhat out of control — and you have a decision to make — think of this saying:  Let emotions subside, before you decide. Being intentional about maintaining control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions is a gift that you can give, not only to yourself, but to those around you!

Remember your thoughts are like seeds. Be intentional in what you think about, and your actions will sprout forth in ways to bring you a more joyful and fulfilling life.

Sow an idea – reap an act.
Sow an act – reap a habit.
Sow a habit – reap your character.
Sow your character – reap your life.

Sherrie

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2 Comments »

  1. Each time I read the Bloomers I come away encouraged, that maybe, I can have more control of my life. Even at this age. Thanks ladies !!

    Comment by Marge — June 17, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    • Thanks for your comments, Marge. I am glad you come away encouraged, because that is exactly what we want to do with this blog!

      Sherrie

      Comment by Sherrie — June 17, 2010 @ 8:45 pm


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