30 Days of Intentional Living

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Now that Thanksgiving is behind you there are only a few days left until December starts. Why is this important you may ask because this means you have one more month to make 2018 a great year and start setting yourself up for 2019 to be your best year ever?

I believe in being intentional through life not reactive.  It is so easy to have things planned out and then along comes something or someone unexpectedly to throw you off your game. Sometimes these are important, and you need to pause what is on your schedule at that time and handle the situation or the need.  You have to make this decision wisely, because any interruptions in life do not always need to be handled right away, by you, or even at all.

When you are in the holidays, it is easy to be thrown off your schedule and get to January and wonder where December went and now you have career demands, family demands, and no plan or path on how you want to make 2019 your best year ever.

Establish goals for 2019 – I recommend you start this process now. I will be following up with an article that defines further how my wife and I have set our goals for 2019. Goals are essential to keeping you and your family on the right path. I like the quote by Zig Ziglar, “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.” This pretty much defines to almost anyone why setting goals are important and a way to keep you on track and going through life intentionally and with a purpose.   This destination is different for every person and family.  You get to build your story; this is one reason why America is so great.

To give you a sneak peek into next week’s article.  I will show you how my family and I set goals in eight different areas of life and use that to define our top five to ten goals for the year. I print this list on a Word template and display it on the wall next to my desk so I can look at it and review it every day. May seem excessive but it only takes a few seconds, and it keeps your mind focused, clear and on track to being intentional in 2019 all year long.

Get a head start in 2019 – You want to get 2019 off to a good start. As I mentioned earlier, you do not want to look up one day after things settle down and you are already in the middle of January with no goals and no time to discuss or plan them out with your significant other.  It is healthy for your emotional state, your satisfaction in life, and I believe your marriage to establish goals well before the New Year starts and have a plan going into the New Year.

Finish 2018 strong – Living intentional over the next 30 days involves a lot of slowing down and not necessarily conforming to the culture. What I mean by this is you can have margin during December if you say no and yes to the right things. You do not need to say yes to everything. Say no so you can create margin in your life and be fully present for what you choose to say yes to.

December is a great time to spend with your family and maybe rekindle relationships that are very distant. Often you will see family or friends at Christmas that you may only talk to once a year. Take this time to be present and rekindle those relationships that are important to you. Relationships take work no matter how close the family connection is. Remember you only have so much time to maintain the relationships in your life. So, pick the right people and invest in them and do not spread yourself too thin. Work on quality and not quantity this December. 

Living intentionally also means keeping your debt down or non-existent. It is easy to want to spend money to check the box or get somebody something so they will approve of you. If someone gets you something, it does not necessarily mean you have to get them something in return. It is true, they may not get you something next year, but you have to set the example. In our family, we buy gifts for our children and grandparents. The fact is my wife and I get gifts all throughout the year, and there is no need to spend extra money we may not have or buy more stuff we may not need.

Finish 2018 strong by taking care of your health. This goes back to creating margin and saying no to the right opportunities.  This will give you the time(margin) to spend with your wife and children, keep your spending down, and continuing to progress towards your health goals. You will have the time to sleep properly, exercise regularly, and be able to keep your stress low.

Instead of feeling beat down on January first you will be excited to start the New Year and be fully energized about it. This is very important so you can go into the New Year fully equipped to makes next year your best year ever.

Take this last week to prepare yourself for 30 days of intentional living when most Americans are living a very reactive, unintentional life and wonder why their New Year never seems to get off on the right foot.

Share with me in the comments below how you are planning to make 2019 your best year ever. This way I can learn from you and others who are reading the blog can as well.

I will be writing an article next week on how I set goals in my own life and how my wife and I do this together to ensure our family is on the right track towards our long-term goals. Stay tuned for that next week, and until then have a healthy week.

Nurse Brian