Living Intentionally

Since my last post a month ago I’ve been thinking a lot about living intentionally. Essentially, there are two ways to experience life.  Life can happen to you, or you can live your life.

I find it so easy to slide into the routine of letting life happen to me.  I go through my day meeting the minimum requirements of my obligations, mostly feeling lethargic, exhausted, and to some extent apathetic.  I tend to fill every spare moment with noise, whether that noise is music or a podcast in my ear or a pointless game at my fingertips.  The things I’m doing are not my first choice, but they are there, they are easy, and they happen.  It tends to make me feel bulldozed.

I’m at my happiest when I am doing life.  When I am actively making choices about how I spend my time.  In order to do life, you need to embrace the moment. It’s okay to sit in silence, or simply listen to the ambient noise of your environment.  It’s okay not to have your hands  and mind occupied by the latest app.  When I am doing life all of a sudden it feels like I have time to exercise and to try new foods and to make meal plans and to save money.

Another way I’ve been trying to look at “doing life” is living intentionally.  When I have spare time it’s easy to spend it doing nothing, reading reddit for another half hour, answering emails, or browsing the app store.  I find it’s much harder to look at that time as an opportunity that can help you reach your long term goals.

This week I realized, while I feel like I’m busier than is appropriate for anyone to be, I have lots of times like this during my week, times that are otherwise lost to my smart phone.  This week I decided to spend that time walking.  Taking slow, small steps towards active living and better health.  The walks were wonderful.  I bumped my daily steps average from 8k to 13k in just 4 days.

Such a small mind shift has made this week feel more meaningful.

So for the first goal I set a month ago: “Exercise daily (even the small stuff counts)” – I think I can do this goal.  I think I’ve set into motion the steps needed to make this a lifestyle.

I still have to work towards the second goal – I have been eating better: more home-cooked meals, and more vegetarian meals, but I haven’t been brave enough to dip in to the raw vegan stuff.  I just really like the idea of cutting back on meat and processed carbs for one or two meals a day.  Baby steps.

What do you do to live intentionally?