Living Life With Intent

‘What happened to the day?’, I would wonder as I got up from the couch looking down at my pajamas and then up at the clock that read 4 pm. A smile would come to my face as I realized I had accomplished absolutely nothing of consequence and enjoyed every moment of it. Those were “me” days; the very rare days where I slowed down and ignored the demands on my time to just unwind. Every now and then, those are great days. But what happens in the era of Covid-19, when every day can be a pajama day?

We are living in a bizarre series of days where it doesn’t matter if you cleaned your house since no one is coming over anyway and it doesn’t matter if you are dressed professionally and wearing your make-up because no one will know the difference. But after some thought, and a couple of pajama days of my own, I have realized that it does matter. It does matter that I am up and moving every morning, even if there is nowhere to go. It does matter that I am dressed and prepared for the day, even when I am working from home or binge-watching my favorite show or cleaning up the house. I’m learning these days that I do not need to physically leave the house to have purpose in my day. I just need to be moving with intent.

There’s a difference between moving and moving with intent. When I was a kid, my dad would call up to my room to ask what I was doing. As a typical snotty teenager does, I would answer “I don’t know.” To that, dad’s response was always, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, how will you know when you’re done?” A silly response that was a bit annoying to me, the snotty teenager, but I now realize it was quite true. If you don’t know what you are doing, it all runs together. One day becomes the next, and the next. Day after day everything becomes the same until the end of the week arrives and you look back realizing you did nothing memorable over the last seven days. Maybe my dad was right, the days slipped together because I didn’t know when I was done.

That is where the intent comes in. When moving forward with intent, I get up every morning. I get dressed, take my medicine, eat breakfast and start a day that is thought out and prepared for. Without the need to overburden and stress myself out, I have a goal in mind. That day’s goal could be to just relax and do the things that make me happy. On another day, the goal may be to straighten up the house, vacuum and do laundry. Both days are equally important but what is essential is that I don’t end the day wondering where did this day go. I can look back at the end of the day and feel that something was accomplished. I can know there was intent in what I did.

Many of us in our work lives have set SMART goals; goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. I challenge you, especially during these home bound, cooped up days where we wake up wondering what day it is and how it will be different from yesterday, to have a SMART goal in mind every day. Figure out what you want to accomplish and move with intent to reach those goals. Whether big or small, find that something measurable and know you did it with intent.

Written by Nikki Rashes, CRSS

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