I can't let it go. This word. It's been everywhere lately. It's been on my heart and on my mind. And you can only be given a message over and over again so many times before you have to share it. You just have to let it out for others to hear.
If you caught my spot on the North Dakota Today Show earlier this week, you heard me talk about intentionality in regards to your tax refund. On that show, I encouraged people to let their refunds sit for at least a week and spend that time thoughtfully considering how that refund would best be used.
Then later that day, I launched a blog post detailing the statistics of impulsive spending. They are pretty scary stats. The average U.S. consumer spends $5,400 every year on impulse purchases. In this post, I outlined how and why people should strive to be intentional instead of impulsive.
All of these things that I've shared are true. Being intentional with your tax refund and being intentional with your spending is important in the big picture - being intentional with your finances.
But, there's more than just numbers, cash flow, and savings accounts. Intentionality affects YOU. Being intentional isn't just an act of logic (you know, like choosing to invest your tax refund in your retirement account instead of spending it frivolously). No. Being intentional is also an act of the heart.
This isn't a discussion - this isn't a message - just for our finances. No. We need to be intentional with our family, our faith, our finances, our health, our time, our words, and the list goes on. We need to be intentional in everything.
Now, when it comes to being intentional, I can tell you one thing for certain. There's no perfect formula for intentionality. You see, being intentional is going to look very different for each of us. For example, how you choose to be intentional with your family time may be very different than how I choose to be intentional with my family. Because our needs and our circumstances are different, our intentional choices will be different as well.
While your intentionality may look different than mine, there are things about being intentional that are very much the same for everyone. Being intentional means slowing down (which is a lot easier said than done in our fast-paced society). It means spending time in thought - YOUR thoughts, not someone else's thoughts, not society's thoughts. It means refraining from acting immediately on something, and instead thoughtfully considering what might be best. Intentional actions don't happen until after they have first been given some serious thoughtfulness.
And there's another thing about intentionality that's the same for everyone. Remember how I mentioned earlier in this post that being intentional is an act of the heart? Well, that couldn't be more true. Choosing to be intentional affects a person on a deeper, more intimate level. Acting with intentionality positively impacts our emotional well-being.
"A purposeful life," or "a happy heart." However you describe what you feel when you act with intentionality, chances are good that you will feel a greater sense of purpose, joy, and contentment - in a sense, "true happiness."
Why is this? Well, when we are choosing to live life with intentionality, we are choosing (YOU are making the choice) to be deliberate and purposeful in what we do. Our family, our relationships, our faith walk, our health, our finances, and our lives all have the potential to be more fruitful when we choose first to be intentional.
I'm not here to tell you how to live with intentionality. Like I've already said, there's no special formula and being intentional is going to look very different for each person. Rather, the message I want you to hear is this...
Choose to live life with intentionality. Be intentional in everything so that you might live a more purposeful, fruitful, and joyful life.