#10: Living with Intention
Life has a way of happening, whether we're ready for it or not. Time passes, habits develop, children grow, businesses chug along, and if we aren't careful, it all happens without any input from us. Take our morning routines, for example. I've written about the one I'm trying to develop now, but it's not like I'm working in a vacuum. I had a morning routine before, it just wasn't one that I'd intentionally developed. It just...happened. I'd wake up and do the same things every day, without thinking, habitually. Waking up, laying in bed scrolling my phone, getting a shower, getting dressed—all these things happened every day in the same way, which is the very definition of routine. I just hadn't meant for them to happen. I removed all my agency in the situation by not being intentional.
That's an important distinction to remember in all aspects of our lives. In our relationships, in our businesses, with our children—if we don't set an intention and work to create the habits, routines, and results we want, we will still create habits, routines and results. They just won't be the ones we want. Nature abhors a vacuum, so the vacuum created by lack of intentional action will be filled with whatever garbage can float in. Sometimes, you might stumble on something good, like a workout schedule or an evening prep routine, but you aren't giving yourself very good odds if you just leave it up to chance. And once those habits/routines/results have developed, they are incredibly hard to change, because we, as creatures of habit, don't love change.
I'm taking this moment in my life, when I'm experiencing a lot of change, to review all aspects of my life. Where have I been un-intentional? Where have negative or neutral habits developed that I don't like? Where can I make intentional changes? First, yes, my morning routine. Then, I have a whole list of other habits I want to change. Other places where I want to be more intentional, either in how I spend my time, or with whom. I can't change everything at once, because that would be very difficult, but I can make smaller changes over time that will eventually accumulate into me living the life I want to live, with agency and intention. Because that will be my best life.