It seems that so many people react. They wait until they have health problems to eat right, wait until their kids are in trouble to try to discipline them, wait until there is a crisis to pray. And sometimes, life happens to us, and we don’t have an option other than to pick up the pieces and handle it the best we can. But how many situations could be completely prevented with a bit of planning? How much more rich would our lives be if we spent some time thinking about how we really want to live, and then put into place some intentional actions to make it happen?
It is a simple idea that I try to live by. Between peer pressure (and yes, adults succumb to it as much as teens), the marketing industry at large, the news media, busyness, and maybe even just sheer laziness, we have to make a concerted effort to live our lives the way we desire, rather than the way the world wants us to. Here are some questions you can begin asking yourself:
- Spiritual: Do I have a deep, personal relationship with God? Do I spend time daily with Jesus, talking to him, listening to him, and worshiping him? Am I seeking his perfect will for my life?
- Health: Are my food choices nourishing my body? Do I plan healthful meals for myself and/or my family? Am I eating out too much? Are my choices affecting my health & the health of my family? Am I exercising?
- Finances: Do my spending habits reflect my true priorities? Am I living within my means? Am I living paycheck-to-paycheck Is my debt taking over my budget? Do I make mindful choices about how I spend my money, or am I allowing the marketing world or my peers to make my decisions for me?
- Time: Do I spend quality time with Jesus, my family, and my loved ones? Am I (or are my children) involved in too many different activities and commitments, preventing us from spending meaningful time together? Am I too busy to plan and make wise choices in other areas of my life?
- Children: If you have them, are you actively teaching them the life skills they’ll need to know when the grow up? Have you fostered a relationship with them? Are you teaching them how to walk with God? Would they come to you with a problem?
Now, you can’t change everything at once – don’t get overwhelmed! This is just to get you thinking – maybe choose one area that you’ve allowed to “happen to you”, and make a plan to be more intentional! I’ll be sharing some ideas for practical ways to “be intentional” in coming posts.