Sunday, November 16, 2014

Intentions, Plans, Goals, Action?

I talk about these a lot with the women in the different communities I belong.  Over the years the ways in which these things are communicated have changed.  But no matter who I'm talking with or listening to, I have found that we are excellent at talking about our intentions, our dreams and our goals--even our plans. Some make distinct differences in what each word means/represents to them personally.  Others use them interchangeably.  No matter how you use these words, at the end of the day, if you're not putting things into ACTION it doesn't matter what you call it.

Every year I read through two books--yes, the same two books.  Every year, I find that I'm in a different place and so they speak to me in different ways each time.  I recently shared this with the homeschooling community to which I belong sharing it as an example of how reading good books help you change.  With things going as they've been in my life, I'm more about the action part of things now. I am good at planning; at balancing different priorities; adjusting and being flexible; yet keeping my goals every before me.  I've decided that in addition to my weekly planning for my family overall (meal plans, weekly schedule, learning opportunities, down time, music lessons, etc.), I need to be extremely intentional about creating regular time and space for myself.

A mother-friend of mine recently shared how she was being intentional about her family life.  Her husband made it a point to her to make sure she included time for herself and her personal development.  That was powerful to me.  Not because it was new.  Not because this was something I hadn't tried.  It was powerful because it involved her partner.  He is one who pushes her towards her continued development--and not only that, he helps make time for it weekly by being fully present with their children during that time.

After hearing this from her and speaking my with own husband (who, I must say, has been a support and encourager all these years), we have come up with a better schedule for our lives now that includes intentional time for both of us to pursue activities that continue to keep us at our best.

So as I get through my weekly planning today, I've decided that I want to set some intentions at the beginning of the week.  Intentions that I can then put into action right away.  I will be looking for practices that will stretch me yet reinforce these intentions.  I'll check in later in the week to let you know how things are going.  What's working and what needs some adjustments.

  • I intend to be fully present, specifically with my children & husband; secondly with those I'm with over the course of the week.  I will practice listening, giving eye contact, seeking to understand first before being understood.
  • I intend to make time this week to create.  I am working on warm hats, scarves and making gift items for the upcoming holidays. 
  • I intend to reach out and make plans with three friends to engage them in creating/crafting.  By week's end I hope to have those dates on my calendar.
  • I intend to spend time three times this week working on my professional and personal development classes online.
  • I intend to make time daily to read, for myself and aloud to my children.
  • I intend to make time daily to write for one hour on my book projects.
  • I intend to make adjustments in my bedtime and change my overall sleeping patterns.  I will begin this evening by getting to bed by 11pm and practicing this all week.

Honestly, I have a lot more I'd like to add, but am stopping myself now. (This might need to be one of my intentions as well, keeping things simply and not overdoing just because I can.) I want to be successful at this. I know that although I may be able to do more part of being intentional, for me, at least, is to put this list into ACTION.  No longer just on paper or on a nice check-list or chart.

I'm wondering if this might be something you already do. Perhaps you have some tips to offer me as I begin.  I would love to hear your experience with moving plans, goals, intentions (whatever you call them) in to action.  You're also welcome to cheer me on should this be something new to you.  And I would be remiss if I didn't invite anyone of you to join me in this practice of setting weekly intentions and then making them happen through immediate action.

Your comments are welcomed below.  Thanks for stopping by and reading today.

Have a great week.


Kelly said...

I need to be more intentional about making weekly goals. Thank you for the encouragement.

~Leslie said...

Hey Kelly,
I'm glad this has encouraged you.
My day has already started out well (despite the rain and it being Monday). :)
Thanks for stopping by.

Jamillah Karim said...

Thank you for sharing! Accountability helps to achieve goals. Sharing with us is a great step. Spouses, children, and close friends can also help.

~Leslie said...

You're so right, Jamillah.
Thanks so much for reading today.

Candis said...

I accept your invitation! Going to join you in this practice of setting weekly intentions and then making them happen through immediate action. This has actually been on my mind-it's so funny when that happens. I need to do a brain dump first--write down everything that has been taking up valuable mental space--then order it by priority and attack an aspect each week. I need to make sure I set intentions, though, that are measurable and doable in a week's time. SO my intention for next week is to do the brain dump and prioritize what I write down; What needs to be done first.

~Leslie said...

Wonderful, Candis! Glad to have you join in on this.
Take baby steps, if necessary. No need to overwhelm yourself. As the saying/question goes: 'How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.'
Where can I look to read your intentions? (Yes, that's an accountability question--smile!)
Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting.


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