change is inevitable, growth is intentional.
[My friend Dia wrote a really fantastic blog post on positive focus earlier today, please go read it!]
I have spoken, tweeted, and e-mailed people with a slight frequency lately on the topic of “being intentional” in the last while. It’s becoming a theme that I am trying to implement in my own life — and screwing up at rather hard, to be totally honest. However, the fantastic thing about intentionality, is that it is ALL about choice. And though fantastic, this freedom can make intentionality a little hard to grasp, and even harder to implement. It is hard to ask yourself myself before each choice you I make: “which of these optionss will impact me most positively?”
So what is it to be intentional? Like I said above, making the choice that will affect you the most positively in the most ways.
It is like one of those “choose the best answer” multiple choice quizzes, except without the pre-concieved negativity of how much those questions suck. We are trying to be positive in our intentionality here, are we not?
The thing is, it is often easy to identify the correct, most intentionally decided upon choice, but it is not as easy to act upon these choices. Sometimes for me, it is easier to act upon the intentional choices with regard to perception than it is with the ones that involve action. The other thing I am realizing is that I likely need constant reminder to make choices that are intentional. It is not enough to wake up and decide to make intentional choices.
I keep blaming circumstance. I keep saying to myself “It was so much easier to do this last semester . . .”
Why? Because of the influencers surrounding me. Physical Activity: Promotion and Adherence was, among various other things, a term-long lesson in intentionality. It is a Good Thing to be reminded a couple of times a week of not necessarily exact things, but things like Jay constantly reminding us to own the behaviour and change it. That is a reminder that I need to give myself.
What choices was I making last term that made me more aware of these aspects? More interaction with people striving towards the same things. More intentional exercise — 45 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week. More constant nutrition logging — not to make a big deal of it, but just to make me more conscious of what I was putting into my body. The journalling thing I mentioned in a previous post is an intentional choice I hope to carry beyond Lent, but is one that I started trying to make again last term to deal with the emotional side of things.
Honestly, just because the class ends doesn’t mean the behaviour should. Not a chance. This is, this needs to be, far beyond a phase.
Today was not a good day for intentional choice-making. From what I have eaten, to the fact that I didn’t exercise, to the negativity I have felt towards certain situations or people, I need to change this. And I know that change is good, and change is a choice. The thing is, it is cyclical. Exercise is the cornerstone — it encourages me to eat better, it helps me effectively deal with what I am feeling. Dealing with what I am feeling prepares me better to write out the remnants of the day before I go to bed. Because of the above I sleep better. I sleep better and I can exercise a bit harder and think a bit clearer. It is all a choice.
Start over at that moment. We all screw up. Screwing up doesn’t mean I have to wait until tomorrow for a re-do.
Own the behaviour . . . and change it.