Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Friendly Reminder: Be Intentional

be intentional: Intentional living, thoughts, time, and actions lead to better time management and actions speak louder than words

I just recently finished a book called The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay. This book is dedicated to the twentysomethings out there to reinforce that your twenties are, indeed, something you should take seriously. People procrastinate doing things that would help them get the life that they want in their future until their late twenties or early thirties. Some things that they might want and procrastinate on are a career, kids, and love. You know, things that are socially popular to have in your thirties.

By their late twenties, they feel like they don't have any time to obtain these things that they want. They're left scrambling to find a mate so they can get married and have kids and trying to get started in their careers.

The main message that I got from this book was to be intentional. The people who didn't put these things into consideration were people who weren't treating their life and actions as purposeful. But, I don't think it should only be twentysomethings that should be intentional; I believe that everyone should treat their life and actions as purposeful. That is if you want to live the life that you want.

In my opinion, there are 4 things that you need to be intentional about in order to achieve a life that you want: actions, time, people, and thoughts.

1.) Actions

Your actions speak louder than words. Your action will help you get where you want to be. A great example of someone who was intentional about their actions was Wanda Perez.

Wanda Perez wanted to do something in the field that she loved: makeup. She did other people's makeup, tried to be a makeup influencer on YouTube, and is currently making her handmade cosmetic brand. Each decision that she made ultimately lead to her doing what she loves. If you haven't read about her yet, click here to learn more.

All of your actions don't need to lead to some big ultimate goal. It can be a skill that you want to learn or a habit you want to develop. For example, I wanted to learn how to be more strategic. I read in the Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel that chess will make you more strategic. So, I decided to learn chess. Another example would be I wanted to meditate regularly, so I am mindful of maintaining a daily meditation habit.

Real happiness lies in progress, and you can't progress unless you take action.

2.) Time

Time is one of the few things that we can't ever get back, which makes it so precious. When I say to be intentional with your time, I mean to optimize your time. By making the most of your time, you can work towards your goals faster, be less stressed, and be amazing at time management.

If you don't know where to start, here are a couple of tips:

A. Prioritize tasks.

Make a huge to-do list and each day decide which ones are the most important to complete that day. I think it's important to prioritize 3 major tasks. If you manage to finish those before the day ends, then work on any others left on your to-do list.

I think 3 is a good number because a lot of people underestimate how much time a project or task may take and then feel discouraged or unproductive when they have a whole list of things to do when it's not realistic to get everything on your to-do list done in one day.

B. Make use of your spare time.

Instead of using your spare time to go on your personal social media page, you can do something that you need to do. Maybe you have work due in a week. You can get started on that. Or, maybe there's a skill that you want to learn, take the time to YouTube about it or go on Skillshare and take a class.

C. Plan your day.

Since you've already had your tasks prioritized, it makes it easier to plan your day! Planning your day makes for great time management. It makes your day so much easier and you'll feel less overwhelmed. You also won't forget things that were in the back of your mind that you planned to do ahead of time.

D. Limit your phone use.

Of course, you knew this one was coming. For those addicted phone users, a good app to use is Forest. Lifestyle blogger Lavendaire loves this app and uses it so she stays off her phone while she's working.

How the app works:
You set how long you want to stay focused for. On the screen, there will be a seed planted and a tree will grow in the meantime as you are off your phone. But, if you go on any other app, your tree will die. When app users spend their earned virtual coins on the app on planting real trees, Forest will donate to Trees for the Future, a real-life tree-planting organization.

I've personally used the app, and it didn't do much for me. I would just let my tree die. Horrible, I know. When I find myself using my phone too much, I usually am going on social media too frequently and constantly. So, to counter my problem, I go on a social media detox to clean myself of my addiction and delete my social media apps on my phone.

3.) People.

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. That is, if you spend time with people who are successful, you're most likely to be successful, too. And, if you spend a lot of time with people who are unambitious, you are most likely going to be unambitious, too. 

If you want to be on another level, you may have to change your 5 people. Or, at least some of them. I know some of you guys are going to misinterpret what I'm spewing here because I know I did when I initially heard this. You don't need to cut off the people who aren't on your level anymore; you just need to spend less time with them. If they are really hurting your energy, then, yes, cut them out, but other than that you don't need to unless you want to. 

4.) Thoughts.

"Treat your thoughts like money, don't waste it."
-Sophia Amoruso
I know I've mentioned that quote before, but I love it so much. This quote kind of relates to the Law of Attraction. If you haven't heard of the Law of Attraction before, the summary is that your thoughts will be manifested by the universe. Initially, I didn't believe it to be true, but after learning more about it, a part of me has come around.

It's a weird concept to wrap your head around, I know. But, I don't think you need to believe in the Law of Attraction to believe that you should be intentional with your thoughts. Let me give you a more logical explanation why I think you should be intentional with your thoughts.

You are what your thoughts are.

Say, you wanted to start your own business. If you start off believing you can't do it, then you won't do it because you've already put a limiting belief on yourself. Since you already believe you can't do it, you won't do everything in your power to make it happen because you felt deep down you wouldn't make it successful. With every obstacle, you'll take it as a sign to not continue. On the other hand, if you thought, "I can do this," you'd be more resilient to the punches because in your mind you believe it will work out in the end and you'll do what it takes to make it work.

Another more relatable example would be your self-esteem. Let's say you think no one likes you for whatever reason.

Because you already have that thought loop in your head, you're only going to pick out the experiences that will prove this theory as opposed to paying attention to the experiences that disprove it. You'll focus on that those times that you messed up a social interaction instead of focusing on the ones that prove that there are people that do like you.

You get my point? So, instead of thinking, "I can't do this," or "I'm not likable," or whatever your thought loop is, do the positive opposite. And, you'll see a change in your perspective. Initially, you won't believe at first and you'll be really skeptical about this new positive thought loop, but once you practice saying it more and having faith in your words, you'll start believing it.

Also, you kept saying you weren't shit for years, you believed it. So, why not make this your day 1 to your many years left that you are the shit?

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