**If you would like to listen to this blog post, scroll to the bottom for the audio version.
I find that a lot people live their lives inadvertently.
Would you agree?
The most common answer I get when I ask my clients just about any question is, “I don’t know”.
They don’t know …
Sure, they may come up with a few excuses. In the end, most of them concede to the fact that they didn’t really take the time to think about it. They just did.
I had a friend who wanted to start getting up earlier. I asked her why? She said, “I don’t know. That’s what healthy people do. They get up earlier to work out and do stuff.”
She might as well keep sleeping with that reasoning.
Her goal was to lose weight. I told her, “Weight loss doesn’t fall in your lap. You NEED to be deliberate. Not just in exercise, but in all areas of your life. If you want to change, stop running on automatic and start being aware of the daily decisions you are making. Just getting up at 5 am and exercising won’t accomplish your goal. You want to lose weight. Start being intentional all day.”
I don’t think she was excited about her goal after that. Maybe it wasn’t my best sales pitch…
Intentional living is how you are going to accomplish what God has set before you.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5: 15-17
This verse is a great reminder for all of us to be intentional. Let’s look at it a little closer.
You can see. God doesn’t want us to just live life carelessly or unconsciously, he wants us to be present and deliberate.
Why do we not take the time to be INTENTIONAL?
Because it takes work and effort to be intentional. In the beginning, it seems like A LOT of work. Especially if you are very used to living on autopilot.
To combat this with my clients, we start with a morning routine.
My morning routine is kind of sacred to me now. I get up at 5 am so that I can set the intention for the rest of my day. That is how I maintain my weight, build a business, raise three kids and run a household on top of all of my other commitments. But first and foremost, it is how I serve God on this earth.
I’m going to outline how to start your day with intention. I will summarize my routine. You SHOULD NOT follow mine exactly. Build your own with some key principles. Make it your own. Create a routine that is true to you and YOUR INTENTIONS.
Stop telling yourself you are not a morning person. Very few of us are. Do you think I really want to get my butt out of bed when it is -20 below outside and put on my workout clothes? No. I want to stay in my nice, warm, cozy bed and sleep.
The first few weeks of getting up earlier will be torturous. This will pass. Tell yourself this is only a phase. It does get easier. But it only gets easier after you have been consistent and you start see the benefits of waking early. You will never know the return until you put in the investment.
Also, I’m not talking about getting up hours before you usually do. Start with five minutes. Work your way up to more.
If you are waking up earlier, even it is only five minutes, make sure that time has a clear purpose. I start the day with a bible verse. It is just one, Jeremiah 29:11. It is my favorite verse and it puts my focus on what is most important.
You could do a quick devotional. Listen to your favorite Christian song. Pray. Just make sure you look to where your guidance, strength and purpose comes from first.
Not only do I say this verse when I wake up, I take about 5 minutes to write in my prayer journal every morning. When I miss a day, I can feel the weight of those prayers sit on me. Writing is very therapeutic. Don’t let the evil one tell you you’re not a good writer, you don’t have time, or you don’t like to write (these were all my excuses at first). Try it out. You may really be surprised like I was.
I didn’t say exercise. I didn’t say work out. I said move. Your body was made as a temple to carry the precious Spirit living inside of you. For it to properly function, it needs movements. If you don’t move it, stretch it, clean it and care for it, your body is like a machine that has sat outside for too long. It gets rusty and takes a lot of work to get it back up and running. If it was just used a short time everyday with small amounts of maintenance spread out, it would work just fine.
For my clients, I encourage walking. Start slow again. Maybe it is just a two-minute walk. Then you build your way up. My routine includes a 25-40-minute workout. Nothing intense. I pick workouts I enjoy, that make my body feel strong. Be thoughtful about what you pick. It makes a difference whether you will stick with it or not.
It is hard to want to have the motivation to take care of your body if you are always hating it. Show it love. Say nice things about you and your body. God did not make mistakes. You have a wonderful temple. It may need a little restoration, but it’s still gorgeous, wonderful and worthy.
My morning routine consists of a list of thoughts I want to dwell on (You can kind of call them affirmations but I have a different take on those. I won’t get into that here though 😊) I also show love to my body by fueling it with food that gives me energy.
This is the part I really focus on with my clients. But if you want good for you, lasting weight loss, you need to take care of your brain.
Most of my clients do not take the time or effort to PLAN. This is number one in my book. Every morning I sit down and plan what I am going to eat and my activities for the NEXT day. No, not that day. The next one. Why? Because I make really good decisions for myself a day in advance. Once I start that day, it already starts to get a little clouded between what I need and what I want.
Actually, these last tools kind of blend together. Moving my body means I love it. In order to love my body, I need to take care of my mind.
This is exactly why I told my friend (the one I told you about above), you can’t just change one part of your day and have it magically change your life. Once you change one part, you'll see where else your life needs tweaking.
These are the tools, my friends. Be wise. Use this outline. Take the time to be intentional.
I promise you, if you do this, your life will become so much richer and more meaningful.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth…” Ephesians 5: 8-9
Let's take a look at the fruit we can bear with some intentionality…
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5: 22-23a
Live a life of intention now, and get ready to enjoy the harvest!
Do you want to reap good fruit? Are you struggling with being intentional? Do you feel like you're just living on autopilot? Sign up for a FREE 45-minute coaching session with me here.