A handful of ways to be more intentional...

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Thanks again to all those who took time to fill in our new year resolution quiz - we had a range of specific answers that I managed to sort into 5 key areas - Which, for the purpose of this post, I'm thinking of as 5 fingers on a hand!  

If you filled out the quiz you might recognise some of examples, as I've used your resolutions... see if you can spot yours..

... starting with the ‘thumb’…

Ever noticed that it’s easier to say no to someone else when you’ve already made plans? 

Or more to the point - ever noticed it’s much harder to say no to someone else when you haven’t already made plans, even when you really could do without any extra commitments? 

Understanding this principle is critical to being Intentional about your health and wellbeing, and to do things that are important to you.

The good news is this principle isn't just applicable to improved health and wellbeing, it easily transfers to all aspects of our life.

Understanding today's aspect of being intentional can make all the difference in saying ‘no’ to anything because you've already given something important the ‘thumbs’ up! 

This can be helpful whether you are trying to; Avoid sugary snacks, Drink more water, Want to take time to pray more, Exercise regularly or or even run a marathon with your daughter.

It is equally applicable if you want to spend more time at home resting and replenishing yourself, so that you aren’t exhausted and can give your best self to your friends and family.

Whatever our challenges are, it can be hard to justify being intentional and putting these important things first - and I’ll let you into the secret why…. 

The consequences of all of these important choices are realised in the future.

Where-as the donut calling your name, your friend knocking on the door asking you to come round for coffee, trying to squeeze one more thing on your to do list before picking the kids up from school, the office telling you they need a paper signed quickly or to attend another meeting this evening, are all seemingly urgent - they need doing today - need a response now demanding immediate urgent attention.

So here's the principle...

Unless we have a compelling reason to remember the important future - our present self will always respond to the urgent demands of today ahead of the future demands of tomorrow

To overcome our present self - or to exercise self control, we need to understand and resolve to remember "why our future-self is more important" 

When we really appreciate our "why" we recognise; 

  • •I am the only mum, dad, husband, wife, daughter, son [fill in the blank] version of me that my family has (we are all important to someone - even when we don’t feel like it)
  • That I only get one body, and in the long run it needs less sugar and more water and healthy nutrients to last longer and work effectively
  • That the benefits of scheduling in regular exercise to keep my heart healthy or run that marathon with my daughter will be a significant achievement for both of us, strengthen our relationship and bring us closer together …
  • When we include rest and balance in our day to day it’s easier to retain peace and be more patient and less grumpy with those closest to us (who we rarely save our best behaviour for!)…

Suddenly everyone benefits. - Even my friend who wants to off-load will appreciate a more rested and present version of me, than a frazzled or frenzied one!

When we compromise on any of this, it’s the most important people that tend to lose out.

That’s why we NEED to say ‘no’ to other non urgent but important things. even if we feel guilty for saying ‘no’ to others.

In doing this we are effectively acknowledging that we have already said ‘yes’ - or given the "thumbs- up" to something that's really important in the future - and it's also really important today.

Here’s an invite to a practical 30 day challenge to help you understand a little of how this works:

  1. Take 5 minutes to think and decide today one good intentional lifestyle choice that is important and WHY this is important to you? (The key is one thing at a time. It could be something as simple as drinking more water, or staying home a set number of nights a week) - What are you giving a thumbs up to? write this down.
  2. Next, imagining yourself in one month's time - how you want to see yourself and think about what might get in the way of this one thing. You may well have some short term pain for a long term gain.
  3. Think about how bad you could feel if nothing had changed, particularly if you’d let the most important people down. 
  4. Think about how you could live that month over again to make it the best ever.
  5. And finally schedule in the family time, rest time, exercise time, drinking water time… whatever it takes to make sure your intentions are in your life and calendar for the next 30 days. You could even add alerts to remind you if you're using your phone! 

Then keep these intentions front and centre and guard them as if your life depends on it for 30 days!

Please let us know how you get on in being intentional!.. We are right there with you - giving you the thumbs up!


The content from these short posts are taken from our Intentional Health Programme. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about joining one of these community programmes.

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