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I.N.T.E.N.T.I.O.N.A.L Living

As I am ready to begin this new year, this new decade, I want to be INTENTIONAL and THOUGHTFUL about my life. I have made the statement many times about being intentionaL; it’s a great cliché and it sounds good. The irony of the word is that it takes action! I can say I want to be intentional all day, but if I don’t actually put the word into practice intentionality means nothing! As mentioned in my last post, I wrote about my life being a metaphorical garden. Growing a garden or tending a garden takes initiative and intentionality. A garden doesn’t just grow without effort. Well let me restate that comment, a garden needs to be tended to in order for the things that you want to grow to grow. Things will grow in a garden that is not tended to such as weeds, but no one wants a garden full of weeds! No one wants a life of ‘weeds’ either. Meaningful growth, whether in life or a garden, must be done with intention and thought. In the garden, intention looks like this: selecting the specific things you want to grow, finding a place to start the garden, going to get the seeds to plant, turning over the soil, planting the seeds, watering and fertilizing the seeds, tending to the growth of the seeds, keeping out varmints and weeds in the garden, observing the garden, being patient with the growth, and knowing when to pick and use the ripened produce. As it relates to life, intention looks like this: imagining or selecting the specific things you want to grow or manifest, writing these things down, setting goals to accomplish, posturing yourself to attain the goals, taking daily steps to accomplish the goals, being patient with yourself and readjusting if need be, keeping out things that hinder your growth, celebrating and acknowledging the small victories, observing the growth, and walking in the overflow of growth.

Without setting intentions or goals, intentional living will not happen. Period, point blank. You can’t daydream about intention, intention does not come from osmosis or the sheer desire of wanting to be intentional. Being intentional must be practiced. It is a word that only means anything if it is activated. There must be action. In this new growth mindset that I now have, I am open to see what is and walk by faith; to piece the puzzle together by faithful observation and a trusting of my instinct that was given to me by God. So let me interject something in here that was not planned, but I just happened to observe it in this new light. In August 2019, my husband and I attended a John Maxwell International Leadership Conference and we became part of the John Maxwell Team. I haven’t done anything with the material that I have access to yet, however, I wrote the JMT DNA in my planner. I don’t look at this page every day, nor did I think about the JMT DNA at all while I have been thinking about moving forward into this new decade. It just caught my attention as I was writing this and I stopped, observed and paid attention and now my mind is blown as I receive this as confirmation that I am back on my life track. There is also a page that states: NEW beginning NEW mindset NEW focus NEW start NEW intentions NEW results! I can’t make this stuff up.

From the JMT website, “The JMT Culture: Living and Leading with Intentionality. Vision is what you say, culture is what your see. Culture is the visualization of values, where people can see what we value. Culture is the substance of the Being. It informs and influences all of the Doing. Actions become more important because people do what they see.” And now here is the JMT DNA that we vowed to adopt and live by:

Model consistency: Remain consistent in character, values and attitude, acting in a manner that is exemplary for others.

Add Value & Value People: Show forth importance, worth and a high regard for each person you meet on a daily basis

eXeed Expectations: Always go the extra mile in your presentation, interaction and delivery, living and leading with an assurance of success

Willfully Grow: Value yourself, you gifts and your opportunities by regular, ongoing, purposeful personal development

Equip Others: Serve, prepare, supply and ready others with the tools and training needed for successful and meaningful life and leadership

Live Intentionally: Set a daily course of action that is consistent with your beliefs, values, gifts and purpose in life

Lead & Lift Others: Consciously and intentionally be active, engaged, motivating and inspiring in the ongoing influence and encouragement of others

Demonstrate a Positive Attitude: Make a cheerful, optimistic, generous, constructive mindset the forefront of daily thoughts, tasks and talk

Nurture Transformation: Come alongside others to identify, envision, inspire, and guide needed change that creates and nourishes a lasting difference

Allow Room for Faith: Give time, space and opportunity for divine influence and action in you and through you

As I was typing these out, I noticed that there are 10 principles. I realized that I could use these 10 principles to be the overarching themes of each year in this new decade! Each year I could take one of these principles to be the focus of the year to guide my goals and to be able to be Intentional about this next decade!!!! My mind is blown right now. So this year’s focus is to Live Intentionally. You wouldn’t believe this (I can’t make this stuff up), but before going off on a tangent about the JMT DNA, I had already written out an acronym for INTENTIONAL Living. Each month of this year of INTENTIONAL Living I am going to focus on a verb (an action) that coincides with being intentional about my life. Now I’m going to get even more intricate and add in the JMT DNA principles to every verb for each INTENTIONAL act!

Intentional: Purposeful in word & action. Living a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to me. Making thoughtful choices. Actively interacting and engaging with my life. Here is my INTENTIONAL Living acronym:

(Jan) I- Imagine. Begin to imagine what my life will be like as I grow, as I live intentionally. Write the vision. Speak what I seek until I see what I say

(Feb) N- Notice, Nibble. Learn about or see something for the first time. Nibble- take small bites, small steps

(Mar) T- Trust, Try. Trust God, trust the process, my intuition. Try- Just do it! Try the things you just talked about, try new things

(Apr) E- Edit, Eliminate, Enjoy. Up until this point are there goals or things on the pad that need to be edited? What things in my life need to be rewritten, reimagined? Eliminate those things that don’t serve me anymore. Enjoy where I am, enjoy this process

(May) N- Narrow, Navigate, Nourish. Observe where I am and narrow my focus to what I want to accomplish, what I want for this year. Navigate that path and nourish myself while on the journey

(Jun) T- Tailor, Target, Tweak. Tailor this thing! Tailor the goals to fit me and my schedule and lifestyle, custom make this thing. Target and pinpoint exactly what I want to grow and go after it! Tweak any goal or plan to stay on track

(Jul) I- Implement, Invest. Implement anything that has not been implemented up to this point to reach those goals. Implement the plan. Invest in those things/people that are going to help me get to where I need to be

(Aug) O- Observe, Opine, Oust. Observe what’s around me, what is growing, what is going on? Opine- share my thoughts or opinions. Is it time to start my blog? Or now I can open up about this new journey. Oust, get rid of things that don’t serve me (thoughts, mindsets, ideas, and judgements)

(Sep) N- Nest, Network, Nurture. It’s September, going into a new season. It’s time to nest and create and settle into a secure refuge. What is going to keep you secure as the season changes and growth may begin to slow down? Nurture the growth that has taken place. If it is time, you can begin to network a little

(Oct) A- Ask, Assist, Aspire, Appreciate. Ask for what you may need still to reach your goals. Ask questions to gain information or ask to connect with others. Ask someone something meaningful/thoughtful every day this month. Assist others, Aspire to continue going and growing, and appreciate that you have come this far this year! Appreciate the people and things around you. Appreciate how God has orchestrated your life.

(Nov) L- Listen, Locate, Log. This is your creation month! Listen to those around you. Really listen to what people are saying or not saying. Locate the value that you can bring to them or a situation. Log, make sure that this year has been logged. Begin to listen for what God is saying to focus on for next year

(Dec) REFLECT back on the past year. See how far you have come and how much you have grown! Really reflect on if you lived a year of Intentionality.

I now have a starting point, a map, and a path. I will be gracious and patient with myself while holding myself accountable to the plan. I believe that God has given me a tailor made plan because I desired to get out the matrix of the world and trust His plan for my life. Having a plan (written) can eliminate anxiety, give a sense of direction, help to focus attention on objectives and results, helps anticipate problems and cope with change, and provide guidelines for decision making.

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How divinely appropriate a post this is for the new year. I specifically love the admonition of "writing the vision" - a nod to one of my favorite verses (Hab 2:2), and a built-in fail-safe of sorts, to help stay the course! Grateful for that garden of your heart and willingness to share your journey of sowing...weeding...replanting...and ultimately reaping the abundant harvest the Lord has given you! Love you! -

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