November 2, 2011 in Creating Simple Living
Everyone’s intentional living is a bit different, but I wanted to compile a list of 10 steps that should carry across the board. Even if you aren’t sure what you want your intentional life to look like you can still take these steps.
Write Out Your Priorities
What is most important to you? God, kids, pets, car, education, retirement. I believe God should be in there and, if you have family, it should be in there too, but beyond that it is pretty personal. We are all wired differently to have different things that are important. It is good to put this list (honestly) in order, then when an opportunity or change comes up you can rate it against your list.
Write Out What You Are Passionate About
To me, as an emotional woman, this is what brings me to tears. Like the priorities, this is personal. To me it is kids and families that struggle financially, especially in poor countries. I think people should be able to have clean water and the chance to work to provide food for their families. I can’t imagine the hopelessness of not being able to provide for my kids. This is close to priorities, but not the same. These need to be discovered so that they also can be compared against any change or opportunity that arrises.
Get Out Of Debt
Ok, this probably should be first, but I wanted to start with something ‘funner’ than money. Really getting out of debt is fun/freeing. Nobody is ‘called’ to debt and nobodies dream is debt so this is a pretty good given across the board. Debt sucks and it should be ran from. We really like (and try to follow) Dave Ramsey’s plan/steps. Simple… but not easy. The idea is you have to hate debt, be scared of debt, run from debt. It isn’t an annoyance, it steals your life and happiness… it is the enemy!
Become Your Definition Of A Minimalist In Time And Stuff
Everyone has a different idea of what is necessary material wise in their life. Don’t worries. This step is just making sure that you only have what you need and no extra baggage. Think, stuff=time, stuff=maintenence, stuff=triping in the middle of the night, stuff=money, stuff=loss of space, stuff=can’t find the things you want… you get the idea. Minimalize away any extra stuff and keep your ‘stuff life’ organized and clutter free.
Find A ‘Board Of Directors’
This I have seen in several places so it isn’t mine originally. There is two steps in this. First, you need to find people close to you who want you to succeed (or want to succeed with you). These are people who will listen to your ideas and offer encouragement and ask questions to really help define what you are thinking. They are also those who will keep you accountable. This works in diet and exercise and will work just as good or better with intentional living. Second, there might be people you thought would fit in the first group but don’t. (there might even be people you are close to that you know are draining and discouraging you from looking outside your box) These people should NOT be in your ‘Board of Directors’. Not that you can’t still be friends with them, but what you share with them and what you talk about with them should not be your intentional living goals. Making changes, especially ‘crazy/out of the box’ ones are hard enough without being discouraged or told it will never work.
I would love to be strong enough to do what I want and feel is right no matter what, but I am not. I need lots of like minded, positive, encouraging people around me. … and you probably do too
Fine Tune Your Resume And Keep It Current
This isn’t thought of as often, but I have come to really believe in it. Whether you are working, love your job, don’t plan on getting a new job, etc, it still pays to have a solid resume handy. You never know when a time might come for a dream job (more than the dream job you might already have) or another side opportunity that you will need it for. If all else, you will feel better knowing you are awesome and worth promoting after creating a killer resume Opportunities are much easier to go for when you already have the resume to send.
Get A Passport (or equivalent if travel is not your thing)
Ok, this is kinda my thing because it is travel. We have current passports for the whole family. There has been options where we have tried to use them (more than just Canada) that haven’t worked out, but just having them makes it easier to go for stuff, especially last minute stuff. If travel isn’t your dream what is? What do you need in hand so that you could make the most of an opportunity? Have it handy… it would be a shame to miss out on an opportinity because you weren’t ready.
This is huge for intentional living. Turn off the TV and learn something. Take a class, read a book, sit and think… it doesn’t really matter how. Even taking up a new hobby helps grow and expand your mind. There is so much available right now with books, computer, cheap(er) education, that other generations wouldn’t have been able to dream of. Still, so many people just sit with their head in the sand giving away precious time to TV or useless computer. (my blog is very useful, lots of thinking and positive ideas so it counts as learning ;)
Keep Your Eyes And Ears Open
This goes along with the last three (resume, passports and learning). No matter where you are or what you are doing, even if you think you are already in your ideal dream, keep your eyes and ears open. Open for other opportunities, other challenges, new ways of thinking, new things to learn… you get the idea. Always watch, listen and talk for growth. Intentional living isn’t a point A to point B kind of thing. It is continuously growing and changing as you grow and change.
Always Look For Ways To Expand This List
You got me, I only came up with 9, but 10 is such a nice number. In all honesty, because everyone’s intentional life is a bit different it needs to be filled in and added to personally. Take Action! Have Fun!