I am quite a list maker and I measure my success on my journey with God by how close I get to accomplishing the goals on my lists.
Over time, I have learned the goals I make fall into two categories. I have those goals that are really just wishes, like redoing my living room, reading up on a topic of interest, working in my garden, etc. If I don't attend to those goals, nothing catastrophic is going to happen. Life will go on as usual. My living room will stay the same, and that's it.
My other set of goals fall into the second category of greater desires that I have for my life this year, month or day. They are what my journey is all about and they involve other people, time, work, and most of all, my commitment. Those goals are also longer-term, for example, growing a friendship, getting involved in volunteer work in my community, spending time with extended family, etc. These goals are much more of a priority for me since they help me grow in my journey with God. I have learned that in order for me to see progress in my goals, I have to live every day with them in mind and make decisions that will allow my journey to progress. I have to live intentionally by remembering my goals and making those choices that are in line with them. If a situation presents itself that is compatible with my journey, I am free to embrace it knowing that I am fully engaging with it. It also allows me to say no to those requests or situations that are not compatible with my greater goals at that time.
For example, one of my bigger goals this year is to be more involved in my community. I have been able to move towards this goal by taking on a couple more volunteer initiatives that are exciting to me. When the opportunity to be involved presented itself, I was able to take these activities on, knowing that they were in line with my goals.
Living intentionally also means making sure are you are attending to your whole journey and not letting one part of it take over. Just the other day, I was at a community initiative meeting and right next door, another meeting was starting for a different opportunity that I would love to be involved in. I was itching to join that meeting and I was asked if I would like to. I think people noticed I was staring a bit. Would I like to??? Well, yes!!! But as my excitement was taking over, I heard that small voice telling me it was going to be too much and my life would become unbalanced. So I called my husband and basically asked him to talk me off the ledge. I didn't go to the meeting. I was sad, but I also knew that it was the right decision on my intentional living journey. If I allowed one part to take over, my journey would suffer. I had to let go, even though it was in line with my goal --- and that was not easy! In times like these, I know that have to trust God that He will provide the right time for me to do more than I am able to right now. But now is not the time.
So this is what living intentionally means to me --- carefully choosing the way I spend my time, what I say yes and no to, and attending to my whole journey.