Last year I made the decision to spend my summer living intentionally, making each day count. My goal was to go to bed each night feeling that I had accomplished something.
What is Living Intentionally?
In order to live intentionally we have to first define what it means to do so. A quick internet search will bring many definitions, some related to religion or spirituality, some related to a personal philosophy, some related to something else all together.
I don’t believe there is one right way to live intentionally. I don’t believe that the areas of my life I choose to focus on are any better or more meaningful than those than you choose to focus on. We’re all on our own journey, so we must all take our own paths.
For our purposes living intentionally is going to mean to live in such a way that brings focus and joy into your life.
The goal is to go to bed feeling that you’ve accomplished something meaningful, however small, to yourself, your family and friends, or your community.
Not just for summer.
While my original goal was to have an intentional summer, and transform a time of year that lacks structure and purpose into a meaningful break from the routine.
That said, I enjoyed each week so much that I decided to continue it during the school year. An argument could be made that living intentionally is easier when tasks are built into your day, like working, getting the kids to school, etc. And that’s true, to a point. After all, it’s easier to say you’ve accomplished something when that something is forced on you.
On the other hand, tasks you have to do aren’t necessarily those you find meaning from. In that case, you need to find time for things that you, your family, and community can benefit from. And that’s no easy feat when you’re doing your 9-5, the kids have school, homework, and activities…
When life gets busy.
My goal for the school year remained the same; to do something of value to myself, my family, or my community every day so that when I laid my head down I felt good about my contribution to the world. Sometimes just being a teacher was enough to accomplish that goal. Other times, I had to make a conscious effort to do something meaningful.
What does that look like? It could be as simple as inviting my daughter to cook with me so we could get some quality time together. It could be working on my blog. It could be saying no when I just can’t do another thing.
Basically I looked at the balance of my life each day and I tried to fill the holes. Was my day all about other people? Then I’d give myself some time to do what I wanted. It’s all about balance.
Our new summer series begins next week, but if you want to review the 2015 Living Intentionally Summer Series, here you go: