Intentional Living

Back in 2012, my husband and I were planning to go on a mission trip to Haiti with our church. They were in the process of prepping us when one of the group leaders looked at me and told me I would need to take my acrylic nails off. I was told jokingly there would be no need for them in Haiti. But it was true, Haiti was no place for someone sporting nail tips.
I didn’t hesitate taking them off, but I began to wonder why I even wore them in the first place. I wondered this because I wore nail tips for 20 years and I hated… I mean dreaded going to get them done. It was a chore. I can’t say I wore them for fashion purposes since my own nails grow long and pretty and every time I had nail tips put on, they would have to cut my nails shorter. Huh…..So why did I faithfully go every 2 weeks and get these nails done, when I 1) Hated it. and 2) Had my own healthy nails? The answer is I was sleepwalking. I was doing things because I had always done them and mindlessly walking through life. My wake up call started with nail tips, but I’m sure you can relate to sleepwalking through the years, letting life live you, while not being intentional in your daily life and purpose. Intentional Living is habit of successful people and this is why my Vision Group has selected it as our 2016 theme. We want to be women who live intentionally, while walking in our purpose.
So what is intentional living you ask? Intentional living is any attempt to live in alignment with your beliefs and values. It’s your alignment of your short term actions with long term vision. This simply means that everything you work on daily and all of your short term actions should be in direct alignment with your long term vision. You are intentionally actionable around what you want and believe. Now here’s the trick…or the lie. We all say we want to be happy. We want to be healthy. We want to travel, etc, etc. However, our day to day actions don’t align with what we say we want. For example, someone may say they want to travel and can’t because they have no money. But they spend thousands of dollars shopping for clothes they don’t need. Or maybe you say you want to be in a house, however you keep living above your means and never actually budget and save to buy this house you want. Or you just can’t find the time to work out, but you spent over 380 hours on FB this year. Doesn’t Line up, right? I could go on, but you get the point. To bring it home personally, when I did the math for those 20 years I was getting those nail tips, I calculated that I had spent over $18,000. Now I was one of those people who said I wanted to travel and take life altering trips, but my habits were not intentional in reaching my goals. I could have bought at least 12 international trips with this money and had some great life experiences!!! Talk about a wake up from sleepwalking and an unintentional life.
So here are a few things to consider when thinking about living an intentional life:

  1. Understand your vision, purpose or calling
  2. Set SMART (Specific Measureable Achievable Results-oriented Time-Based) goals that support your vision
  3. Create actionable daily habits that align with your long term goals
  4. Get rid of the excuses as to why you can’t live out your values and beliefs
  5. Examine your current habits: Either they take you towards your goal or away from them. There is no in between.

Friends, as we enter a new year I hope this post incites you to WAKE UP and live an Intentional LIfe. I hope it provides you the wisdom needed to move towards your goals. And finally, I hope it provides revelation which opens your hearts and minds to living an intentional life…full of purpose…..fully awake and meeting all that you seek and hope for. My humble wish for you….

Many Blessings!

Natasha Gayden is the founder of Elevate! Master Coaching. Natasha brings over 20 years of corporate experience identifying and developing high potential talent within individuals and teams. She as has many years of life experiences and a track record of helping people unstuck in their lives. Natasha specializes in the development of human potential across the personal/professional spectrum of life. She brings to the table significant Coaching, Training, and Consulting experience in the areas of Strategic Planning, insight, leadership skills, executive presence and overall life resiliency.