Intentionality runs through my veins; I can be an incredibly focused/determined person and thankfully, my husband is the same (I’m not sure our relationship would survive otherwise!).
In our early days as a couple, we would give each new year a title: ‘Project Wedding/House/Baby/New Business/Extension’. I’m aware that probably sounds a little sad to you but it worked for us and meant that we were really good at seeing whatever it was, through.
In fact we still are; intentionality is definitely a strength of ours. So when the preacher encouraged us to ‘live a more intentional life’ last Sunday morning in church, I felt fairly smug. There are many, many things that I could really do with working on, but intentionality is not one of them. Or so I thought.
Is there such a thing as too much intentionality?
It’s taken me a few days but what I’ve since realised, is that actually I probably have too much intentionality, resulting in this particular strength quickly becoming a weakness. Let me explain…
Over the last seven years, I’ve chosen a word or phrase to shape the coming 365 days: believe, satisfied, sacrifice, grace, trust, release and this year, balance. I am a lover of words so this exercise definitely floats my boat.
In order to be intentional though, specifics are needed; so back in January, I set about working out what ‘finding balance‘ might look like for me. To cut a long story short, what started out as one theme for the year, soon became 12 intentional goals.
Can one person really keep up with 12 intentional goals?
I promised that I would give you a little update on how I’m getting on with finding balance in 2018 and I think now would be as good a time as any. Are you sitting comfortably?
- Having one admin evening per month – lasted until February ie I did it once.
- Taking it in turns to organise one proper date night per month – we started well but March came and went.
- Only taking on one home project at a time – I’ve kept up with this so far, son’s bedroom is almost finished.
- Planning blog posts and work goals every month – hmm, don’t think I managed this at all.
- Reading and responding to emails only on the days I am working – this is laughable.
- Taking time to consider before saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to opportunities – I am pleased to say that this has become an integral part of my life.
- Unsubscribing from at least one email list every day in January – I did this but it seems to have made zero difference to my inbox.
- Carving out time to meet with one friend every week – bingo!
- Leaving the house with time to spare – probably happens 1 time in 3.
- Reading during the day and not feeling guilty about it – this worked well for a while but it never became a habit.
- Doing 20 minutes of yoga three times a week – does once a week count?
- Resurrecting the hand-written diary – I quickly found it impossible to keep up with two diaries and locating it when I needed it, was a problem.
Anyone reading my optimistic post back in January, probably predicted failure at 50 paces. Intentionality is all well and good but it has to be achievable; this was not.
I also had various intentions of a personal nature, that I didn’t share in my original post – giving to Foodbank once a week, that kind of thing. Some of those I’ve done regularly, others have been very hit and miss; I’m disappointed about that.
What I’ve realised is that my big long list left no room for me to add things as the year progresses and I was unable to see some of the important things through.
Have I failed? I actually think that being able to tick off one quarter of the list is something to be proud of! Recognising where I’m going wrong, whilst laughing at myself, even more so.
Going forward, I think picking off one goal at a time would be better. Top of my list is making sure that date night actually happens, so tonight the OH and I are hitting the town – no time like the present!
I’d love to hear how your goals for the year are going. Remember that there is no such thing as failing, we are all trying and we can’t ask for more than that.